Janelle Carothers has been in the fashion styling industry for over ten years. Taken under the wings of costume designer Pam Perry Alexander and other celebrity stylists like Rashida Blalock and Misha Rudolph, she credits much of her success and opportunities to starting with other genuine people who were also working to figure the industry out and saying yes, a lot.
“I just feel like there are so many things – when I started, it was pre-Instagram, pre-Facebook, and all that stuff. When I started, it was some real training that went down. I mean hardcore- like blood, sweat, tears, feet to the pavement, figuring it out, because I didn’t have any of all that we have today,” Janelle says.
She went on to say, “I think that when you genuinely learn your craft- what you do and how you do it, the stars just start to align themselves with other genuine people who are doing it, and so the fluff that you kind of see today passes over, because you are among real people in the trenches, doing real shit, talking about real stuff. I think that is kind of how it happens. I just say yes, and just show up.”
However, Carothers says she doesn’t just have a passion for fashion but a love for styling. “I think I just had like a love for style. I enjoy watching people and seeing them do their own thing, how they rocked their clothes, and that is kind of how I was led to costume design through my people watching, just watching people and guessing what their story was. There are so many different stories, so many styles, and I think that is what I was passionate about, as opposed to the actual fashion itself. I am not one of those “Oh, it’s spring wear this color.” I’m more like one of those who like for people to just be themselves, and they just kind of rock out with themselves and they are more confident.”
Janelle has worked on movies like “The Perfect Match” and tv shows such as “The Game” and “Being Mary Jane”. While she did not work on set directly for “Being Mary Jane”, she shops for her clothing under costume designer Ruth Carter, and ships the items to Atlanta. She is currently working on John Singleton’s new show “Rebel”.
“I have started building her character, and I am super, super honored to have John Singleton entrust this to me, so I am continuing to pinch myself because I have looked up to John since I was a kid, and now I am standing by him and calling him John, I mean Mr. Singleton. It’s like I am constantly pinching myself because people that I look up to are entrusting me with their projects, their babies, their visions, and that is cool,” Carothers shares.
Carothers has also collaborated with Slate’s jewelry designer, to create the One Tribe collection. “I was fortunate that she wanted to do a collaboration with me. Through her jewelry line, she and I have a collaboration, and I did a collection kind of within her fine line of jewelry,” she gushed. “We did designs with solid gold and diamonds., but basically we have about six or seven pieces in the collection, and I think that we will just continue to grow it as we grow it through bits in pieces, but basically it is like modern interpretation of ancient African symbols, but they are very modern, simple, and sleek, and badass, but they have a lot of meaning to them. We poured a lot of energy into them and they are great conversation pieces.”
So how does Janelle balance it all, being bi-coastal and being a mommy? She attributes much of her peace to her support system. “I face-time a lot but one of my mentors, told me- I was having a typical mompreneur type of breakdown, and she told, me, “you know what? Do not strive for balance because balance is a myth, strive for harmony, because balance means things are 50/50 and just the science of it all, the math of it all -in a day, you can’t divide everything evenly. It mathematically doesn’t work, but it’s just kind of getting all the things that you know, the priorities, and things you have to do and to get them to work in harmony, that’s actually a goal that you can actually achieve. I strive more for harmony and quality over balance and quantity… I guess it’s what keeps me sane.”
Learn more about Janelle at www.JanelleCarothers.com