Three words indubitably define Sarah Jakes Roberts — faith, fun and fashion.
She is known around the world for being a leader, businesswoman, powerhouse wife and mother. Among her many jobs, Roberts serves as the senior editor of eMotions, an online inspirational magazine designed to embrace, educate and empower women. Many people are also not aware that she was responsible for the marketing success of the feature film, Not Easily Broken. There’s not much she can’t do.
Roberts’ transparency about her life is one of the biggest reasons people connect with her. From being a teen mom and giving birth to her oldest son at 15, to her bouts with depression, she shares it all. As the daughter of one of the most famous faith leaders in the world, Bishop T.D. Jakes, she has managed to make a name for herself in both fashion and faith.
In the fashion department, she is a considered a faith fashion icon. SJR is willing to take risks that may be seen negatively because of her role as a pastor and first lady. That doesn’t stop her though because ultimately she did not set out to defy boundaries; her only desire was to finally embrace who she was. As a result of embracing her truth, mistakes and achievements, it gave other women permission to do the same.
Her stylish reputation has allowed her to be featured in Essence Magazine, Kontrol Magazine andFashion Bomb Daily amongst other popular platforms. No matter the criticism for onlookers, Roberts is resolute on giving other women that same emancipation in feeling beautiful. No matter the type of clothing, they should feel comfortable standing strong in their faith. Roberts even created an online boutique in hopes of promoting the idea that you can be a Christian woman and be stylish at the same time.
Since moving to Denver in August of 2017 to pastor The Potter’s House of Denver, she has been trying to find a way to bring more attention to our beautiful city. Roberts decided to host a two-day conference with sessions carefully designed to cater to every aspect of a woman’s evolution. One of the sessions titled, “Allow Me to Reintroduce My Style,” hosted by celebrity stylist, J.Bolin, is all about women finding their unique sense of panache. Woman Evolve will take place on July 13-14 so we wanted to talk with the powerhouse about her plans and goals for the conference.
303: Why do you think it’s important to have the Woman Evolve Conference in Denver? And what do you want to achieve?
Sarah Jakes Roberts: It is my hope that the thousands of guests coming to Woman Evolve will recognize that the beauty of Denver is a reflection of their own inner potential. The booming, eclectic, yet homegrown feel of the city set on the backdrop of captivating mountains instantly made it feel like home for me. There is something that speaks to every facet of who a person is from arts, business, athleticism, technology and family. I know that being in Denver’s vast personality will awaken the dimensions of the women coming into the city.
303: You chose to title the conference Woman Evolve. Can you share how you came to this title?
SJR: Now, more than ever, women are shattering glass ceilings that once limited their ability to dream, grow, and change the world. No longer do women have to choose between family or career, they can have it all! As the definition of womanhood continues to advance so does the woman’s need to connect and assess where she fits in the ever-changing world around her. There is no better time than the present to awaken, identify, and release the unique offering of the woman, however if we don’t recognize this we will be stagnant and frustrated when all we needed were tools to help us realize our ability to live a fulfilled life.
303: Why do you think it’s important that women understand they can have it all?
SJR: Statistics have revealed that many of the corporations, systems, and structures that women must navigate are patriarchal in perspective. That paradigm has often seen the woman as less than, or even worse, not valuable at all. In order for us to effectively change those mindsets we must first believe it for ourselves. Every woman’s definition of “all” may be different, but each definition should be limitless.
303: One of the goals of the conference is to help women evolve spiritually through practical development. Why do you think the environment of sisterhood and community is essential for women to achieve the highest version of themselves?
SJR: On my personal journey, nothing has changed my life like recognizing that my fears and insecurities were not uncommon. I believe that in healthy environments of sisterhood we are able to become vulnerable enough to admit our fears. It’s encouraging enough to use our faith to overcome them. When our lives feel a void of faith, another’s woman story can help give us the push that we need.
303: What do you want to tell the women who are thinking about attending the conference but are having some doubts?
SJR: I truly desire to host an event where everyone feels comfortable being authentic, vulnerable and transparent. I recognize that those types of environments can be challenging if our current patterns don’t create many opportunities for this level of self-discovery. However, I know that doing so creates a level of confidence and freedom that changes our lives. If any part of you connects with the heart of what Woman Evolve represents, I would ask that you determine what that part of you is trying to communicate to your purpose and soul. Then ask yourself, ‘Will I allow doubt to stand in the way?’ As I prepare to host the conference, I believe it’s going to be so helpful for women to look around and see women who may not look like them. But have still found themselves in a place where they’re hoping to max out their potential. Life doesn’t spare it’s rod on any of us no matter where we’re from. The unexpected nature of life only has the power to make us shrink if we allow it.
All Photography by Cyndi Brown.