“In the beginning, there was simply a love of fashion and a need to create. Over the years, as much as I’ve tried to convince myself otherwise … there is no secret sauce – just relentless hard work, artistry, and purpose.”
– Janelle Nicole Carothers
I am super excited for this next feature of “Beauty & Brains” ! Have you ever wondered who is the mastermind behind creating the outfits and clothing from some of your favorite fashionable characters in television and film? Known for bringing her characters to life, Ms. Janelle Nicole Carothers is most definitely a force to reckon with in the fashion world, and a beast at what she does.
Ms. Carothers has been a Stylist & Costume Designer for many of your favorite celebrities such as Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good, Lance Gross, Morris Chestnut, Tia Mowry, and Ne-Yo, just to name a few. She has worked with some of your favorite television casts such as Being Mary Jane, America’s Best Dance Crew, and The Game. She also displayed her fashion brilliance in some of our favorite Chris Brown and Ne-Yo music videos such as Forever, Get Like Me, Take You Down, & Miss Independent. She also had a hand in the recent summer 2016 film, The Perfect Match starring Cassie and Terrence J. ( Cassie Featured in the Picture)
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Janelle Carothers and she was such a delight! From Television, Film, Commercials, Music Videos, Live Performances, Printed Publications and more, there really isn’t anything she can’t do, & hasn’t done! She was very open and honest about juggling her hectic work schedule and being a mother to a four-year-old son. I wish her nothing but continued blessings and success! Check out my interview with Ms. Carothers below, & see what projects she is currently working on! Enjoy!
Check out her impressive resume: http://janellecarothers.com/RESUME2016.pdf
1. Hello! Please let everyone know who you are! What is your full name?
Hello Everyone! My name is Janelle Nicole Carothers.
2. Where were you born & raised? Did your upbringing have an influence on the type of clothes that you wear and style?
I was born in Los Angeles, but luckily for me, I was raised in San Diego, California. San Diego was so laid back, so I never felt the pressure of always having to be dressed up that LA brings. I loved being able to wear comfortable clothes and go to the beach or the ocean and just have fun without a care in the world. It’s so important to live in your beauty. I don’t remember being “fine” when I was little. In this generation, all the young ones are worried about designer this and that, and they should just embrace their youth.
3. How did you get your start in the Industry?
My plan after obtaining my Psychology Degree was to become a Marriage Family Therapist or a Family Law Attorney. But as I started working towards that dream, I knew that career path was not meant for me. I have always had a love for fashion. I worked in retail while I was in college, but I knew deep down that was not the avenue for me either. Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to meet some stylists, and they really took me under their wings. I really learned a lot from assisting, and now have evolved as a stylist and costume designer throughout the years.
4. Who was your first “Big” Client, and when did you know you “Made it” in the Fashion Industry?
My first “Big” Client was Chris Brown when I worked as an assistant. But at the time, he was still new to the game and not as well known as he is now. I have had the pleasure now to work on several projects with Chris Brown including touring and commercials.
And I don’t think I’ve ” Made it” yet. Every day is still a learning process. The hustle is real and you can’t get too complacent or someone will take your spot. I am humbled and happy about the work that I’ve accomplished thus far, but I know there is still more work to be done. A lot of these productions are done months before people actually get to see it, so for me, it’s like on to the next. I know I have made it when I am retired living on the beach.
5. What are your daily essentials and fashion staples you must-have?
Since I am always on the go, no matter what I wear, I always want to be comfortable. I am used to dressing in layers, so it is easy to take off or add on whether I’m out shopping for a production, or at a meeting at school for my son. Some of my fashion staples are a pair of great fitted jeans, fitted t-shirt, leather jacket, fedora, shades, and sneakers and/or heels depending on what I’m doing.
6. What have been some of your favorite sets to style? Television shows, Movies, Music Videos, etc? Are there any types of productions you would like to work on that you have not done yet?
I love all the different types of sets to work on, especially television because it gives me an opportunity to help bring a character to life. Reading the script in advance also helps me visualize how I want the character to look. The Director also tells me the image they have in mind for the character, and I help execute that vision even better then they have imagined.
I also would love to do period pieces that incorporate styles from the ’60s, ’70s, & ’80s. That would be so awesome!
7. Congratulations on your One Tribe Collection Jewelry pieces from “Slate”. Can you please tell me where did the inspiration come from to start this venture?
The One Tribe Collection pieces are modern interpretations of African inspired pieces that help exude a vibrant artistic expression of the culture. These pieces are online made to order and feature white gold, rose gold, and chain customized lengths. Check out the two links below to find out more about the collection.
8. How do you handle motherhood along with a career that can require you to travel and be away for certain lengths at a time?
I honestly do not know how I do it. But I will say I thank God for blessing me with such an awesome and patient son. I, of course, would not be able to do it without the help of my parents, grandmother, sister, and baby sitter, which I love dearly. I try not to take jobs out of town for long periods of time unless it is the summer and I bring my son along with me. He has been traveling with me since that tiny age of 5 months. Even when I am on set for a long period of time, sometimes I have my babysitter bring him to set so that we can have dinner together. I cherish every moment we have together. One of my mentors told me, ” Don’t try for balance, strive for harmony”. My career is my job, and my son is my life, so it’s important to know how to intertwine the two and not be stressed.
9. What advice would you give someone trying to pursue a career in the Fashion World or looking to become a Stylist?
Don’t get caught up in what you think this life is “supposed” to look like. Everyone sees the glamorous side, but not the 5 am crew calls and having to sort out clothing and merchandise for a big production. It is also important to find and have a mentor to look up to. Find people who are doing what you aim to do, and see if you can get them to be a mentor. Show them that you are humble, hungry and looking to seek knowledge and wisdom from them. And it is important to have the right energy because no one wants to work with someone who comes off as a know it all, or having an attitude. Also it is important to learn your craft. Be knowledgable about the field you are trying to enter.
10. At the end of the day, what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind for people to remember you by?
I want to be remembered by my hard work and consistency. I want people to say, ” She was such a pleasure and easy person to be around”.
11. Are there any upcoming projects that you are involved in, that we can look forward to seeing?
I am currently working on a Television Series called, “Rebel” with Director John Singleton that will be featured on BET, which I am really excited about, so be on the lookout for that!
12. How can people get in contact with you via email or social media outlets?