JANET JACKSON- ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what people may not know about you?
I was born and raised in Toronto and have been in the industry for over 12 years. I am a 2013 Elite Master Hair Stylist Finalist, for the Contessas: which is like the Oscars for Hairstylists here in Canada. I am absolutely “in love” with what I do!!!
I enjoy continuously upgrading my craft, by attending different classes/courses in Toronto and the U.S. Over the years I have worked with many celebrities at the JUNO's, Much Music Video Awards and much more. I also have had my work featured in Elle Canada, Fashion, and Flare, among other print magazines. I enjoy being on set but love the old school feel of chatting with clients in my salon. My success motto has always been that the sky is the limit and ALWAYS shoot for the stars. This Moto has driven me to all my accomplishments and success today.
Community Service is a great aspiration of mine, I invest a lot of my time having Cosmetology students at my Studio, from different Schools and Courses. I also take any opportunity to go out and talk to students about my Career and Hair Care. I am open to help out any Community Service that would require MY help or Expertise. I enjoy giving back!!
What many people may not know about me is that I love to cook and entertain. Another thing people may not know is that when I was younger I loved to take part in talent shows and was always interested in the music/entertainment Industry. I guess that could be a huge part of the reason as why I ended up in the industry. I love the industry and enjoy everything about it, images and all!
What’s your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
Inspiration and Motivation for me….I believe in positive energy and like to surround myself with people who have just that. My family, friends, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook followers; of whom always send me inspiring messages, acknowledging my accomplishments. A lot of my motivation comes from different Hairstylists around the globe who do what I do and more. This keeps me focused and pushes me to do bigger and better projects. I read inspirational quotes from people like Maya Angelou and Iyana Vanzant, just to name a few…. BUT my Team and Clientele at JouJou Hair Studio are the ones who truly keep me inspired and motivated. It’s a great feeling!!
How did you get to where you are now and what more can you expect from you?
It took a lot of very long hours and sacrifice, to get to where I am today. A lot of Hairstylists inspired to do what I do, need to realize that it does not happen overnight. Through hard work and my background in Social Work, I feel that I am able to communicate and understand people easier in this industry. I also take pride in every project I do; so all the accomplishments just seem natural… I never usually noticed what a big deal it all is. I strongly believe in the saying “Find something you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” My Career does not feel like a “job” or “work” to me, I really enjoy it!
Moving forward in my career and what people can expect from me, is that I would love to have my own product line or simply become the Creative Director of a Product Company. I feel that we need more Hair products that focus on “Hair Care”, and I want to focus on that more than anything else. I also want to continue traveling the world spreading the word on “Hair Care” and do what I do best ... Hair!
What would you like to be remembered for?
As time goes on, I would like to be remembered as the woman that changed someone's life; making them feel great about themselves. Whether it’s a new makeover, hair care instructions or just giving great advise... there is a lot of counseling that goes on in the salon and on set. People usually see celebrities as 'perfect' ...but they too ask for advice. When I am working with a client/celebrity I enjoy connecting with them on a professional level, or personal level and just chat about life.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
Balancing jobs, owning a Business and personal life can be very challenging! I am a Boss, Wife, Mother, Sister, Aunty, God Mother, and the list goes on... LOL. I try to stay connected with loved ones and pay close attention to whether or not I have seen or heard from them. I make huge efforts to keep in touch. My family and close friends continually support what I do and understand how busy I can get. The fact that they admire me and what I do; is a great feeling!
To remember and keep track of loved ones, I use a planner for birthdays, parties, or special occasions. One way that I make sure to see family, is that I have Christmas dinner at my place every year, so I can see everyone; and I mean everyone!! My Christmas dinner is usually more than 100+ people; My Family is HUGE!
What’s your favourite food, music, book and movie?
I enjoy cooking in my free time, and one of my favorite dish to cook is oxtail. I am pretty decent when it comes to cooking Oxtail, and I am usually the one who cooks it for family gatherings. While working on the Project Runway Set years ago, I had mentioned how great my Oxtail was to Iman the Super Model (who was the Host at the time); I was her personal Hairstylist, for Seasons 1 and 2. Iman then asked me to cook it for her, because She too loved Oxtail and it was a favourite dish of hers as well. She also said she would have no problem telling me whether it was good or not...LOL So I cooked the Oxtail with Rice and Peas for Iman…and she had given it her stamp of approval… and the OK to brag about my cooking!!
For time I enjoy watching movies and will watch whatever is out there. I am a huge lover of all music. I love attending concerts, shows, theatre, etc. These are all things that I really enjoy, and gives me the opportunity to spend time with loved ones.
What’s your experience as a Black person in Canada?
My experience as a black person in Canada has been great, there is a lot of opportunities here to take advantage of. Over the years though, I have had obstacles and struggles. But with age and experience, it has gotten better. Once you have the knowledge and education nothing and no one can stop you. Follow your dreams!
Should & Do Black Canadians support black music, events and businesses.
We as Black Canadians, do support our music, events and businesses; but there is always room for improvement. You can never have too much support!
Some claim that we have musical artist and talents in Canada that are as good as or better than those in the US.
Canada definitely has opportunity. We are so diverse; that the opportunity for Blacks in Canada to produce role models like Obama, TD Jakes, Tyler Perry, and Institutions like BET may “seem” impossible.
In the US there are many large black support groups/companies, which I believe is important for opportunity and growth. In Canada, we need larger and/or more support groups. The US has many support groups and a variety of opportunity for people of colour. This would lead one to believe that the opportunity in the US is greater than here in Canada. But at the end of the day Opportunity in Canada exists!
We have so Many Great Role Models here in Canada, and we need to continue to educate our Black Canadians about them, and have them more “Visible” in our Communities and Education. Let everyone know that the opportunity is here in Canada, we just have to utilize it.
Mention a few of your black favourite Canadian Artist?
Some of my favourite Black Canadian Role Models are people like Lincoln Alexander, Harry Jerome, Donovan Bailey, Divine Brown, Keshia Chante, Kreesha Turner….and the list can go on forever . These are “some” of many great people; that I believe Canadians should read and learn of their “road to success”.
What’s your understanding of black history in Canada?
I think as Canadians we kind of get pushed aside in terms of OUR Black History. I believe that “our” understanding and celebrations of Black Canadian Leaders and Role Models needs improving. I truly believe that many Canadians, including myself; are unaware or do not know “Canadian” Black History. My understanding of Black History seems to be a lot of US history….and not that the US History isn’t important, but there are plenty of Black Canadians that have done great things in our history. For example; Nova Scotia's Carrie Best who was a poet, writer, journalist and activist. She founded The Clarion, the province's first black-owned and published newspaper in Nova Scotia in 1946 and in 1952 she began hosting The Quiet Corner radio program which would run for 12 years. Best was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979.
And…Anne Cools, who was the first black person to become a Canadian senator.
Reading about these Black women was inspiring, and great for the soul…Thank God for the Internet…lol. Black History should be 365 days of the year and not just one month. Young Canadians need this In order to recognize Historical Black People and learn more about them. This too will help create MORE Black Role Models!
Taking the time to answer these questions has taught me a lot, and I thank you for this experience.