Meet Susan Jones of The Belle Effect
Susan Jones is an award-winning passionate, driven and results-oriented professional that cares deeply for her community. Her experience as a social justice activist, elected official, entrepreneur, and mother are what drives her passion to make the world a better place. Susan is the Founder of the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, The Belle Effect. This organization focuses on fighting the issues of homelessness, poverty and illness in the community by providing individuals with professional headshots, makeup, products, life skills workshops and employment opportunities.
While serving her community through various acts of service, she received her undergraduate education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) in Political Science. During her years of study at UMSL, Susan served as a lobbyist for the UM-System as an intern in Jefferson City, member of Helping Hands, Student Government Association, Political Science Academy, Intern for the Sue Shear Leadership Academy, President of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri and Legislative Intern for the St. Louis Board of Alderman.
Susan has also completed a Master’s degree in Leadership and Management and a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University. Susan was originally elected to the St.Louis Board of Education in 2013. To date, Susan has served as Board Secretary from 2013-2015 and Board President from 2015-2018. Susan currently serves on the Board of Education and Board of Directors for the Consortium Partnership Network for St. Louis Public Schools.
Growing up, Susan Jones experienced a lot. One area in particular that served as a spark for her to create change was poverty. As a child, Susan’s family would often times make visits to local shelters to obtain the necessities they needed. One day while watching her mother gather items for her family, Susan decided that if she ever got the chance to give back to her community, she would.
Susan experienced other issues that inspired her work such as making bad financial decisions with credit cards, getting a flat tire and not knowing how to change it, not having a professional headshot available for opportunities, and seeing friends and family die from health issues that could have been avoided. Those past experiences are what inspired Susan to become an Entrepreneur, Professional Makeup Artist, Photographer, School Board Member, Business Executive and community activist which led to her developing, The Belle Effect.
Through The Belle Effect, Jones is not only looking to inspire lives through her own testimony but to ensure that all program participants are equipped with the life skills needed to move forward in their next phase of life.
The road hasn’t been smooth but thats the beauty of it all. I believe that it allows you to appreciate the end result more if you’ve had to work through different situations versus it just being handed to you. Some struggles that I have faced along the way were simply taking the leap to move forward in this sector of business and finding a work life balance. I’ve learned to take life one day at a time and to say no if I am unable to take on specific tasks. I’ve learned that although life does come with struggles nothing that we go through is for no reason, I believe every good moment and bad moment can be used to move us forward toward our destiny and in our purpose.
Inspired by experience, 501(c)3 nonprofit The Belle Effect was founded in 2018 to serve as a catalyst for individuals to accelerate in the areas of health, financial literacy, education and beauty. This organization focuses on fighting the issues of homelessness, poverty and illness in the community by providing individuals with products and services that range from professional headshots, makeup, life skills workshops and employment opportunities.
Belle Effect – /bel/ a’fekt/ Noun The phenomenon whereby a moment in time mixed with glam, wisdom, and inspiration can lead to substantial effects that last over a lifetime.
I am most proud of the The Belle Effects commitment to helping program participants redeem their given purpose by providing education and hands-on experiences in various areas. Being able to serve as a conduit between a person obtaining a job or knowing how to take care of the essentials such as a house, car or themselves is important. We take pride in the fact that once people obtain or if they have already obtained these things they are able to navigate life more efficiently and save money. The Belle Effect envisions a thriving society where participants will use their experiences to change the world in a positive way. We do our programs in homeless shelters, hospitals, schools and pop up locations in St.Louis, Atlanta, Texas and Illinois.
Products and Services
In order to combat the issues of homelessness, poverty and illness, we provide toiletries, cosmetics, hair care products/tools, wigs, new undergarments, metro tickets, and food gift cards. This is made possible by way of Belle Effect collections sites, and pop up fundraisers throughout the city that enable disadvantaged individuals to live productive and safe lives. The services that we provide are professional makeup, headshots, and Belle Effect Workshops. The Belle Effect Workshops that we provide are the Belle Car Clinic which focuses on individuals learning the basics of car safety and how to change the tires and oil on a vehicle. Additionally, we provide a Resume, Health, Fitness and Belle Beauty Clinic. We also provide opportunities for employment and internships through our local partners.
My definition of success is being able to live out and execute your purpose in life. Success is being able to leave a legacy of making a positive change in this world.