We had the good fortune of connecting with Domonique Janaya and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Domonique, what do you attribute your success to?
Maya Angelou once said, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
By no stretch of the imagination do I feel that my brand has reached it’s pinnacle. What I can honestly say is that I not only like what I do, I love what I do.
I’ve plundered through many business models, types, endeavors and so forth but fashion designing is truly where I thrive. No matter how long my nights get or how early my mornings can be, I still manage to get up each day to do it all over again. I’ve cried over my sewing machine and books, to my parents and friends to truly realize that there is some sort of breakthrough in what I do. The love for my craft is evident to each of my clients, and those around me, and that is what keeps my brand going. That is what keeps me going, the true love for what I do.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets my brand apart from others is the creativity and inclusivity that I provide. My clients and customers often speak on how they didn’t think that they could ever get anything custom due to their curves or particular body shape. We embrace all of that. I’ve done my best in creating a seamless process from start to finish. From the moment that an inquiry is sent, to the pickup and delivery of a garment, I want my clients to know that they are a priority and that their special event or day was at the top of our agenda.
I’m absolutely excited about what is to come for D. Janaya The Label. Of course, as any small business, we are growing and scaling. When things get to this point it gets real so there are particular systems and changes that have to be implemented. Not only am I excited about the scaling and growing of the business and administrative side of things but also the creative side! The challenges that come with fashion design and keeping up with techniques is a world of it’s own. I’m so proud of how the brand has grown and the recognition as well. Once I became, “OMG you’re the girl that makes those bomb dresses”, while I was out shopping I knew that things were getting serious. I’m just excited to grow the team and create opportunities for others as well.
Where I am professionally can be accredited to my upbringing and education. I am a 2015 graduate of Coastal Carolina University and my parents were so integral through my formative years. They made sure that we were well-rounded and gave us the freedom to try everything that we wanted. I learned piano And dance early on, had my first e-commerce business back when Myspace was popular and my first job was Chik-Fil-A, the customer service university of the world. When it came to learning sewing and design, I have honestly just immersed myself in the craft and took the risks. I did not attend a fashion design school or anything of that nature so what you all see is pure gift and talent. Not every garment I’ve made was perfect but I’ve fallen in love with the process of creating something out of nothing and I believe that’s what we’re ultimately here to do. Create.
Nothing worth having ever comes easily. I’ve quit just about every other week at some point due to frustration but contrary to popular belief, that’s what it will be. There’s no way that something that you love so much will ever frustrate you to the point of having to look at yourself in the mirror and deal with some things. (The people who get it, get it.) This is so much more than having a brand or business. This is pouring out your heart into something tangible and I think that is what has made overcoming the challenges a little easier. Knowing that what you’re creating is you in your purest form.
I’ve learned to be patient with myself and the growth of my brand. We live in a “popcorn society.” After 2:15 we expect things to be done and perfect. Otherwise we throw a fit and quickly move on to the next thing that seems to bring the quickest satisfaction and recognition. Learning to move with intentionality and strategy is a huge lesson that I have learned.
The world needs to know that I am literally just a woman that loves to create and share. Whether that’s dresses and gowns through D. Janaya The Label or sharing knowledge and insight to other creatives about business. I love to create and help others create. D. Janaya The Label is simply a part of my heart in tangible form.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Charlotte is such a fun city! Not too busy but just enough buzz to give you that big city feel with not too much clutter. So these are a mix of places I’ve been but also want to experience!
Brunch at Tupelo Honey
Some fine art at The Mint Museum
The Plant House for a coctail & some new babies for the living room and
Taco Tuesday at The Tipsy Taco
Mimosa Grill for brunch and mimosas, of course.
PaddyWax Candle Bar for a little candle making.
Restoration Hardware (RH Rooftop) for their furniture gallery and gorgeous rooftop
I love the city lights so a stroll in uptown catching a few pics is always a vibe for me.
Relaxing with a cute BoHo picnic setup at Freedom Park then
Sliding over to The Puttery for some indoor putt-putt golf
Shopping at SouthPark Mall and
Dinner at MoonThai right across the street.
Then finishing off the night at Members Only.
WE BRUNCH – Good Life At Enderly Park
Of course there are so many other things to do. I could definitely go on.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I dedicate this shoutout to God because without Him NOTHING is possible. Secondly, to my parents Derryl and Theresa, my younger sister, Dyanna & my heart, Asa. Also, of course to my family and friends that continuously support and love on me. I truly have the best village that a woman could ask for.
Instagram: @domoniquejanayaofficial // @djanayathelabel
Youtube: Domonique Janaya
Photos By JR – Rudy Jefferson 1 Click Photography – AJ Williams New Moon Visuals – Raven Brianne JR Roseborough Brandon Gathers SMiles Photography Kalonji Keita El