If ever there were a time to remember that change is possible within ourselves, it's near the start of a new year.
As a female-led small business ourselves, stories of inspiring women entrepreneurs have helped get us through tough times. Today, we're proud to feature Jenelle Botts—veteran, renowned photographer, mom, wife, and BENDY shoes fan.
Jenelle is an award-winning and internationally published commercial and lifestyle photographer who tells thoughtful and authentic stories through her craft.
During her 13 years in uniform as an intelligence analyst (and two deployments one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq), she was able to serve as a warrant officer and work directly with soldiers.
Currently, her family—two kids named Henry and Madeline, plus her husband Seth, who she met on active duty—reside in Raleigh, North Carolina.
"They are the reason I have joy in my heart and a wine delivery subscription," Jenelle says about her beautiful kids.
But it wasn't a straight shot for Jenelle. With a successful photography career just over the horizon, she had some moves to make. After a storied career, she decided to submit her resignation and become a stay-at-home mom.
"After my daughter started to get older, I found that I had more time to think about myself again and what I wanted to do now that my army career was over. Photography had been something that I did for myself for a long time. One day a friend asked if I could take some family photos for them and the rest is history!"
Jenelle opened her business in 2018 while stationed in Germany, serving ex-pat and military clients.
Jenelle adds, "When I closed up in Germany to prepare for our move back to the states I knew I wanted to pivot to commercial photography so I didn't have to work on weekends! The pandemic kind of handed me product photography as an option when photographing people became hard."
Jenelle on her BENDY shoes:
I love my BENDYs! They are cute and stylish. It's the comfort of a sneaker with the style of a dress shoe. They run true to size for me. I'm a solid size 8, and the 8 is a perfect fit. They also breathe well. I wore them all day on a hot North Carolina summer day with minimal sweating! My feet didn't feel hot or stuffy.
I get lots of compliments when I wear them. They look great with shorts and skinny jeans and even a maxi dress.