Style Icon: April Jones


Instructor and healer at Silver Linings, a sanctuary for the healing arts.

by Tracy Robinson

Photography by Chuck St. John

Dancer’s pose before the real dancing begins during a night on the town. Cherish tunic, Claire’s leggings, Niki Biki leg warmers, Guess peep-toe heels, vintage cuff, handbag, belt & scarf

It’s not everyday you hear someone include make-believe characters in their list of style influences, but April Jones’ self-described “predictably unpredictable” personal style was shaped by heroines of her childhood: Rainbow Bright (“for her vibrant color palette and crazy hair”); Miss Piggy (“for her gowns, gloves, rhinestones and frequent wardrobe changes”); Strawberry Shortcake (“who inspired earthy feminine wear”); Wonder Woman (“for her bad-ass boots and bangles”); and She-Ra, Princess of Power (“because she was just straight up sexy and strong”).

To represent the homecoming court in high school, April wore a pink vintage dress, vintage wool cloak and patent leather shoes. Vintage attire continues to be a favorite, and she has an ever-growing collection of clutches, gloves and parasols. April is known as the “thrift store queen,” although she prefers “thrifting connoisseur.” Dropping in local shops at least once a week, April’s rotation includes the Salvation Army on Green Springs and Highway 150, Goodwill on Green Springs, Mission Possible in Eastwood and Pinson, Big Saver in Roebuck, Alabama Thrift Store in Huffman and Planet Thrift in Center Point. She enjoys supporting local artists, thus much of her jewelry is purchased from art shows and galleries. And if she doesn’t have something that works, she’ll whip up something herself.

As a teen, April often threatened to shave her head, but that threat didn’t become a reality until 2005, when a friend began chemo treatments and April took the lead in support. After growing out her hair with her friend, this past June April decided it was again time to “relinquish the mane,” and a Mohawk was a look she’d always wanted to try. While to her mother’s chagrin, April discovered that most men find the daring hairstyle rather sexy, although she admits this may be more due to the fact that “when women think they are sexy, men think they are sexy, too.” As April points out, “You can’t hide behind a Mohawk. It takes a certain amount of confidence and self-assuredness to rock a hawk, and I feel I have a healthy dose of both.”

Not surprisingly, April’s favorite colors include the bold, full of energy hues of the sun: red, orange and yellow. But wardrobe selections are often dictated by her mood. Tired: jeans and a hat. Frisky: expect anything! The event, location, weather and crowd also factor in, as well as duration. Notorious for a wardrobe change, April usually has a back-up bag packed, “for round two of the evening.”

When it comes to trends, April says she doesn’t follow them, she starts them. “I was always the girl that was laughed at or made fun of for my wardrobe choices, but then watched others follow two to three years down the road,” she says. “I’m still that girl, and I’m OK with it.” That said, April is always mindful that she is a mother and businesswoman. When dressing, she considers the example she is giving her two daughters, Jade, 15, and Willow, 5. “Every layer I put on demonstrates what I consider acceptable and tasteful.” By the same token, she considers the message she’s sending a potential client or student. “It only takes a moment to send the wrong message, and I work hard to uphold the ethical boundaries of my profession, as well as the integrity of a confident and discerning woman.”

And quite a businesswoman she is. April is approaching her 14th year of teaching yoga in Birmingham and recently celebrated her 10th year practicing as a licensed massage and neuromuscular therapist. In the past three years, she created Healing Waters medicinal elixirs, opened Silver Linings, A Sanctuary for the Healing Arts on Southside, and became one of Birmingham’s first Level One Qi Gong instructors.

“I’m bold, I’m present, and I’m beautiful,” April says. “I say if you can’t step up, step off…or at least step aside.”

To learn more about April, including her suggestions for Optimal Wellness in the New Year, log on to Tracy’s Style blog at B-Metro.com. •

April’s Top 10 Things to do for Optimal Wellness in 2012

10. FORGET NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. Commit to New Year’s Intentions. Sit down & create yourself a list of 3 categories: Spiritual, Emotional & Physical Intentions. Keep it simple and realistic, but set your intentions for AT LEAST 5 THINGS in each that you can do to make a positive impact on YOUR life, and YOUR WORLD.

9. FIND A WAY TO GET CONNECTED IN SERVICE. There are A LOT of amazing community projects, ministries, and outreach services in CONSTANT need of man power, financial aide and volunteer support. It is INFINITELY rewarding to plug in and serve an organization you believe in and are passionate about.

8. DESIGNATE SOME DOWN TIME. It is easy to get caught up in the many demands that clamor for our attention and energy. We are busier than ever, and that often leaves no time for personal reflection and TLC. Make a date with yourself for a hot bubble bath, sip some hot tea, read a good book, schedule a massage, or make it to a yoga class. But take time out to TAKE CARE OF YOU!

7. MAINTAIN A DAILY TIME OF PRAYER AND/OR MEDITATION. Many people avoid these activities and think them to be irrelevant. I have found taking time to be still, express needs, reflect, offer gratitude, and set forth my desires and intentions can be most powerful and transformational to my attitude and awareness throughout the day. What’s even MORE powerful is learning to sit and simply listen…no talking …just listening and being present.

6. BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU CONSUME. This goes for food, music, and all forms of media. There is a constant stream of energy that moves through, in and around us ALWAYS, but not everything has a place within. If you find there are things you ingest that aren’t building you up and providing strength, then be assured they are most definitely doing quite the opposite, draining and tearing you down.

5. SORT, SIFT, AND PURGE. The New Year is an incredible time to sort through the MANY places we store our belongings, our attentions, and even our affections. Much like the food, music and media we ingest, the belongings we collect and store house energy. It may be there are things you’ve kept or collected that no longer serve you. If you haven’t used it, haven’t seen or, or don’t even remember having it, it may be time to let it go. Consider donating, recycling, or having a sale…just let it go!

4. PLAN SOME PLAY TIME. Now, I’m serious about the seriousness of how very serious we can be. Children laugh and smile because they PLAY, and you should to! Designate time in your day, your week, and definitely every month to disconnect and simply enjoy the things you love: your family, your community, your hobby. But PLAY-with arms wide open in complete, reckless abandon! Just play!

3. CREATE. Now, I can hear the many of you already say, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body!”  But I would press to argue that half-truth by saying we ALL have the ability to create. Many simply think of this as art, but consider gardening, cooking, model building, car renovations, wood working, organizing, or writing. Any thing to which you have a passion or interest for has room for creation. Free yourself of the idea of the outcome-just build, shape, and create!

2. CLARIFY & INVEST. Make a point to review where you are investing: your time, your money and your energy. Taking the time to honestly look at how you are spending your resources can provide you great freedom and peace. It may be you are financially, physically or emotionally drained due to the investments you’ve chosen. If you don’t like the current returns, then change the investments!

1. GET ACTIVE. Take steps every day to increase your activity. Simple things like a brisk walk in the morning or after dinner, a fun dance class, or even some type of group exercise class( MAY I SUGGEST YOGA?)  is a great way to get started.  If you are already active, but bored, try a new sport, workshop or boot camp! If you really want to vamp it up, join me for Momentum: A Yoga in Motion series ™ Activity requires effort, and effort takes energy. Increase your activity, and you increase your efforts. When you increase your efforts, you increase your energy-see how this works!?

ABUNDANT HEALTH, JOY AND BLESSINGS TO YOU THIS NEW YEAR! NAMASTE!

Learn more about April and Silver Linings, A Sanctuary for The Healing Arts at http://www.thehealingartscenter.blogspot.com/

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