10 years and two blog name changes later, allow me to reintroduce myself.
My name is Shayla Janel.
When I first began my journey to “make it” in the fashion industry, I had no clue that life would take me down this incredible path of self discovery. In fact, when I created my first blog, I was laying on my best friend’s dorm room floor with her laptop; a small beginning, far from the glamour of making it in fashion.
Between then and now, I’ve created two blogs, been featured in reputable publications, hosted pop-up shops (inside my home, outside of restaurants, and at garage sales), created an entire movement (Slay for a Change) and created a documentary about how I went viral during New York Fashion Week in 2016. I even had the opportunity last year to speak MORE about my movement in a TED Talk, hosted by University of Houston. Outside of my business pursuits, I’ve traveled the world just to people watch, learn from the culture, and soak up the style with grace.
Why I Started Shayla Janel
For almost 10 years, I worked in high end retail just to feel like I was in the fashion world. And after ONE year of walking away from my “high end retail” job, I am now the proud owner of an online store that’s projected to bring in my first six figures by the end of the year.
I went from looking for inspiration to becoming an inspiration.
I had been chasing my dream for so long (and the pursuit is still heavy!), that it never dawned on me how I would actually feel when my reality caught up to my dreams. Random&Chic and Slay For A Change are opportunities that I’ve created with a purpose to serve, but Shayla Janel is who I am.
Leaving me to ask myself, what else do I want?
Finding My Place
Through many conversations with myself, I realize that I wanted to create something for me. Something authentic and pure, and something to share my journey and my story to inspire. I remember all too well the frustrations of being a black woman who loved fashion, but couldn’t seem to figure out where I belonged.
The response I get when I share my truth is evidence enough that my story serves as an inspiration to others. At this stage in my life, I feel strongly that it’s my responsibility to share my trials and triumphs in the most transparent way possible with anyone who cares to listen.
I want to inspire and motivate the next woman, specifically the next woman of color who is navigating herself through this world of fashion. And even more specifically, speak to the millennial woman looking to find her voice. In all transparency, if my ass can do it, so can you sis.
According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, “Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.” Meaning anyone can master a skill with 10,000 hours of practice.
With ten years of dedication, pursuit and practice with all things fashion, I’ve given roughly 90,000 hours and I’m finally in a space where I feel completely confident to share my insights. To call myself an expert and be a beacon of light for those on their own journey to the success.
Because it’s so possible for you; just like its been possible for me.
Shayla Janel is practically my virtual diary and my creative release. A safe space to create without expectations from myself. I don’t have a format or content calendar. I’m simply writing from my heart.
One thing I know for sure — nothing is accidental or a coincidence. Any journey I have embarked upon or any challenge that’s presented itself to me, the outcome has always been a beautiful learning process meant for my growth. So I look forward to all that’s to come of this chapter entitled, Shayla Janel.