The secret to Kelly Rowland‘s confidence isn’t an expensive beauty product or a chic item of clothing. In fact, the musician and mother of one says her self-confident glow comes from her son, 3½-year-old Titan Jewell.
“My son makes me feel confident,” Rowland, 37, told PEOPLE in a catch-up conversation in honor of her joining TJ Maxx’s Maxx You Project. “He’s just amazing. I’m like, ‘I did that right.’ ”
Rowland continues of her son, “He came at the most interesting time of my life and I had no choice but to be strong. I want him to be better than me, it’s just that simple. So I always like to make sure I’m doing right by him.”
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Now, Rowland is joining forces with TJ Maxx to help other women find their own self-confidence through the store’s Maxx You Project. The initiative seeks to inspire women to embrace their individuality in a world that often forces them to filter themselves in order to fit in.
To do so, TJ Maxx hosted workshops and networking opportunities with celebrities like Rowland and Debra Messing acting as mentors. PEOPLE sat down with Rowland at one of TJ Maxx’s workshops to talk more about motherhood, confidence and the female support system that inspires her.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of a project like this,” Rowland told PEOPLE at one of her workshops. “Especially when it comes to women embracing their individuality together. We don’t have to follow the crowd. We can actually do what we want and embrace our own flair, style and what we bring to the table.”
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Rowland also spoke about her support system of female friends – which the singer lovingly calls her “sheco-system” — who uplift and inspire her, from her family and friends to former Destiny’s Child bandmates Beyoncé and Michelle Williams.
“We always talk about our future, our family and the things that mean the most to us,” Rowland says of her friend group. “Or we have fun! I think that’s important to have too.”
Rowland hopes she can inspire other women to own their individuality. On Thursday, she announced a new initiative from TJ Maxx: a series of free online classes geared toward women. Taught by influencers and focused on topics from creating a “uniquely you” space to how to “slay your day”, the classes are meant to be a resource to women on their road to self-confidence.
“In a time where you’re overcoming the obstacles of finding and owning your individuality, the classes are just helping you navigate your way there a little easier,” Rowland says. “Log on, get excited about owning your individuality and have fun!”
The Whoa, Baby! author also emphasizes that the key to gaining self-confidence is realizing your worth and your individuality. “Don’t fall under the spell of being like others,” she says. “There’s a reason why there’s a you. There’s only one you alive!”