Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
Originally from Farmington Hills, Michigan. I’ve been in Houston and the surrounding areas since I was 3; Houston is home.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have a daughter, Mia, who is 14. Can’t believe she’s about to start high-school!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
Funnily enough, I’m actually a quiet person who loves quiet time. When I’m out of the house, I am “on” and no one would guess. When I’m home, I love being able to regroup in the peace of my family.
Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
Time is hard to come by. When I’m not in the salon or traveling to teach, my number one priority is my daughter. We absolutely love scary movies, museums, and festivals – whether music or art. Houston also has some great breweries and distilleries for mom’s night out.
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
Mexican Food is my jam. Can’t get enough of Escalante’s fajitas – and a couple of margs.
What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out?
That’s a hard one. I honestly don’t get a night out often but if I do, I like to go to The Tasting Room. It’s a great place to meet other moms that have too much on their plate and like to vent about their crazy teenagers.
For pampering, well, the team at my salon is fantastic. I’m really lucky to be able to highlight my hair on the day I realize my roots are getting bad, or put in pink extensions for an event. Recently Rhonda brightened me up for summer and gave me a lob (a long bob). We’re always trying out new techniques on each other.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Where to start?! My dream of having my own salon came true almost 2 years ago when I opened Janelle Alexis Salon. I jumped on the opportunity to buy a well-known Tanglewood salon, changing many things up and turning it into a thriving business. I will be honest, some days have not been easy.
But I love learning new things – from people management to marketing and social media to keeping up with the latest beauty trends – so the challenges only help me become better. In bettering myself, I’m also finishing my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Houston Downtown. Go Snakes (Yes, we have a different mascot)! Taking courses online gives me flexibility – something we all can appreciate, right? My weekend nights are usually spent doing homework. It’s not glamorous, yet I’m proud that I’ve stuck with it (and ecstatic that I’ll soon be done!).
Passing on what I’ve learned is a huge part of my life. We have junior stylists in the salon who are about to finish beauty school. Seeing their growth is just amazing! Love my girls! And as a National Educator for Babe Hair and Lash Extensions, I’m able to meet amazing stylists both locally and across the globe. It’s hard for me to say “no” to new adventures. So if someone needs me to be involved, I usually find a way. For instance, I recently worked with The Perfect Face Cosmetics, doing hair and makeup for the Sum Like it Hawt! event benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (https://afsp.org/)
Last, Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday! Getting creative with make-up, with no limits, is so much fun. That’s given me the opportunity to do hair and make-up for my daughter’s middle school productions like The Wizard of Oz and Lion King.
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are
It’s all about the people you know! I’m blessed to have an amazing family, group of friends and clients. I have lived inside the Loop since I was 19, and my mother and stepfather had a salon on Kirby. At that time, I met one of my very good friends who was the head of a modeling agency; I started getting into modeling but really my passion lies in making people look and feel beautiful. 25 years in the beauty industry. Wow, I cannot believe I just put that into words.
Houston is home and as I have grown older, many amazing connections have helped me along the way. My apprenticeship was at Jose Eber and Ceron. When I moved to Norris, it was such a blessing. I not only got the confidence needed but met people who gave me the fantastic opportunity to be an educator for hair extensions. Friends are essential – for moral support and
business efforts. And last, clients who keep coming back while referring their friends has absolutely helped my business grow!
The art, culture, history, diversity, and hospitality of Houston are what makes it so unique. When people ask where you’re from, you immediately tell them Houston, Texas – with a huge smile on your face.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
Take a time out, either in the morning or at night. I take mine in the morning while I work out. It’s my time to regroup, reflect, and resize any situation. Everyone I work with knows this routine and thankfully, they give me that precious time I need to be 100 percent.
More importantly, with all the things women juggle each day, we all must realize we make mistakes. That’s what makes us human. If something hits me by surprise, I have to stop, take a step back, and think of the best way to handle it. Once I have a game plan (and calm the feisty- ness down), I know I can accomplish anything. Usually first reactions are not what people want
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
Drive fast. That’s what I do. (Sorry West U police) 😉
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
The pre-child me envisioned being the type of mom who is so calm, cool, collective. I thought nothing would bother me. Hello??? Was I delirious?
I’d tell her that isn’t a possibility. And to take it day-by-day. Time is a funny thing. It keeps going, and one say your teen looks at your and says something like, “OMG you are so uncool. Why don’t you know what that means?” with that typical teenage angst. Yes, your teen will not appreciate what you do. But that doesn’t mean I can’t think I’m cool?