Entrepreneurs and socialites Jordyn and Jodie Woods gathered at this year’s ESSENCE GU Disruptor Summit’s round table to dish about sisterhood, their growing businesses and climbing the ladder of success as a dominating duo in their industries.
The adored siblings sat with sisters and GU co-founders Rechelle and Sophia Dennis for an intimate Partner in Prime table discussion that began with Jodie sharing how Jordyn helps her navigate new life experiences as she grows up. “I realize now I am going through the same issues she was going through at my age,” Jodie, 16, says. “She is really the blueprint for me and always gives good advice.”
Met with heartfelt sounds of “oohs and aahs” from a packed audience, the Woods sisters recognized that the 10-year age gap does not impact the close-knit bond the pair holds. As an older sister, Jordyn is intentional about sharing her life experiences for guidance while also giving Jodie the space to make her own decisions.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 11: (L-R) Rechelle Dennis, Sophia Dennis, Jordyn Woods and Jodie Woods speak onstage at the Partner In Prime panel during the 2023 ESSENCE Girls United (GU) Summit on November 11, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
“I am not your parent,” Jordyn says. “I want to give you [Jodie] advice, but not in a ‘don’t do this or I’m judging you’ way.’ I just want to give you loving advice.”
Jordyn said that making the wrong decisions at times helped her learn what the right decisions are throughout her lived experiences. “I never learned something or became stronger or wiser by making the right decisions,” Jordyn says. “I had to mess up to learn what not to do.”
Jodie added: “In life, being teachable is everything. Thinking that you know it all is where you mess up.”
The power and value of sisterhood stood at the forefront of the conversation as Jordyn and Jodie explained how their sisterhood extends beyond their relationship and seeps into their other friendships.
“You can have a million friends you go out and party with,” Jordyn tells GU. “But when sh-t gets tough, ‘who is really there for you’ and ‘who is showing up?’ Those are your sisters. Those are your peers. It takes a village.”
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 11: (L-R) Jordyn Woods and Jodie Woods attend the 2023 ESSENCE Girls United (GU) Summit on November 11, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
As the social media It girl Jodie does not hold back from showing off her Instagram-worthy outfit photos and glimpses into her fierce personality to her 1.5 million followers. She credits her authenticity as the backbone of building a strong online community.
“Even though everyone is like, ‘you and Jordyn look the same,’ everyone knows my personality is very bold,” Jodie says. “We are the same but different at the same time.”
Jodie’s ability to maintain her identity despite being in the spotlight and surrounded by outside distractions is a testament to her standing firm with being herself in all aspects of her life. She said she does not let others speak fear into her goals.
Jordyn chimed in and said, “People struggle with their identity. It is okay to not be so sure of yourself at times. As human beings, we are always trying to figure out who we are, where we belong and where we are going with our life.”
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 11: Jodie Woods speaks onstage at the Partner In Prime panel during the 2023 ESSENCE Girls United (GU) Summit on November 11, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
“Even me, Jordyn continued, I feel like I have a plan, and when you make plans, God laughs. Things change, but I always tell myself ‘life does not happen to you; it happens for you.'”
Earlier this year, the businesswoman took her career to another level and released her size-inclusive clothing brand, Woods by Jordyn. She opened up about her struggles with finding cute, trendy clothes that fit her properly in the quality and styles she wanted. So, she launched her own collection to fill that gap in the market.
“That is a lot of my inspiration behind building my brand,” Jordyn says. “It is just making quality clothing, affordable pricing and very inclusive for all body types whether you are small, large or somewhere in between.”
Like her sister, Jodie’s streetwear brand, FRVR UNBOTHERED, is a fashion line of comfortable clothing designed to be unconventional and unique. The second drop of her clothing brand is the most recent release, with more to come.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 11: Jordyn Woods speaks onstage at the Partner In Prime panel during the 2023 ESSENCE Girls United (GU) Summit on November 11, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
While it seems their business pursuits happened overnight, that is not the case. Jordyn and Jodie recognized their mother as the source of developing their entrepreneurial mindsets by bringing them to work meetings as they grew up and remaining involved in their business decisions.
The radiance felt between Jordyn and Jodie’s sisterhood did not stray from how the siblings displayed their bond for the world to see. Their strong connection does not go unnoticed and is admirable as the siblings, most recently, were honored with the My Sister’s Keeper Award from Femme It Forward for their mutual support of each other.
Whether it is doing Halloween photo shoots together or joining forces to influence the beauty and fashion industries, the Internet’s favorite sister duo continues to break barriers while unapologetically remaining true to sisterhood.