The stylish and successful Fashion & Beauty Director at ESSENCE discusses pet peeves, her collection of crystals, true beauty, and what she wears to make her feel strong.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Why walk when you can dance?

WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL?

To revel in my curiosity of the world and that there is a light of God within everyone. I graduated from a Quaker boarding school in Pennsylvania (Westtown School), and it was one of the greatest gifts my parents have ever given me.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PET PEEVE?

Mediocrity. We’re here for greatness!

WHAT DO YOU WEAR THAT MAKES YOU FEEL STRONG?

My Afro.

WHAT IS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?

A book that I’ve started but will probably never finish, a tray full of various pieces of jewelry I love, and a collection of aromatherapy oils and crystals.

WHAT GIVES YOU GOOSE BUMPS?

Thinking about all the things that I dreamed about that actually came true.

WHAT IS YOUR BAD DAY BACKUP PLAN?

I don’t have one. I should probably figure that out!

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

Happiness and being known for your work in your industry. BUT, also having enough money to pay my rent, student loans, son’s tuition, and any other bills that always find their way into my life. I’m still working on the money part!

BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Pretty is as pretty does.” In other words, true beauty is how you live and how you treat people. It’s something my mother always told me and it has never let me down.

WHAT MAKES YOU FORGET TO EAT?

Very little. I love to eat! But laughing and playing with my son is a welcomed distraction.

WHAT DID YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF LOVE DOING?

Playing with Barbie dolls, and taking endless ballet classes.

WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU GRAB IN A FIRE?

My husband, my son and our Quaker wedding certificate.

FAVORITE WORD?

Dope. It perfectly describes my life, the people in it and my dreams for the future.

FAVORITE WORK OF ART?

Anything by Kara Walker – her work is such a beautiful and thought-provoking reflection of the Black experience.

FAVORITE BOOK?

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I laughed, I cried and I laughed again. I truly fell in love with the protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly. What a character!

To learn more about Julee, check out Essence and follow her on:

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