There are no rules for the modern day entrepreneur. If you have a passion and if you are willing to put in the time and work to start a new business venture you can.
Janis Tello is the Founder, Creative Director and Head of Design at Just Enaj. Just Enaj is a new online fashion boutique with a mission to provide “Fashion of high quality and still be affordable.” The Just Enaj woman likes to be stylish with clothing that will take her from day to night.
Tello did not take a traditional route to get into fashion. She is a modern day entrepreneur with a diverse portfolio of business ventures. Tello shares how she got her start in the fashion business and the new Fall 2014 Just Enaj and Femme Collections.
Q: Do you have a background in fashion design?
JT: No, I do not have a background in fashion design. I have a background in law and medical management. I worked at another online business and I decided to leave and start my own company. I had a store where I carried other fashion brands and I decided to start my own collection.
Q: You are breaking the rules that you must go to fashion school to be in fashion. Were you afraid?
JT: No, I just decided to do it. If I decide I want to do something I do it. If I fail I consider it a learning experience for me and if I succeed it’s even better. I have a great team with me at Just Enaj. My assistant has been with me with my legal, medical and marketing ventures and now here with me in my new fashion business at Just Enaj.
Q: When did you launch Just Enaj?
JT: We launched in March 2014 and I came out with the first summer collection in July. We now have our Fall 2014 collection available. I wanted to start a line with classic pieces that you would want in your closet for awhile, that you can mix and match. This is all new for me and we’re six months in business.
Q: When you are sourcing items for each collection what inspires you?
JT: I follow Instagram and the trends. I have a very simple style design and I like clothes that accentuate the body and the curves. I like clothing for all types and body sizes. I want women who have curves and booty to be able to rock Just Enaj clothing. You don’t have to be a size 2. I cut the designs so it can be body conscious, but you can pull on a blazer and still make it wearable for day. I like my clothing to be able to be worn during the day and then transition it into night with a few simple changes. I look at the trends and I decide on the cut and we change it up each season with the color and fabric. I go for the traditional cuts, which is what our Fall 2014 collection is based on.
Q: What is Just Enaj’s size range?
JT: When we first launched our customers were a size 0 to 4. Now that we have grown we have branched out to accommodate our expanding customer base with sizing up to 16. We want to go up to a size 18 on the classic collection and have a broader size range. For women that want custom pieces in larger sizes, we are able to accommodate them too. When their friends see pictures of them on Instagram or Twitter in our clothes they in turn reach out to us. We want to have clothing available for women of varying sizes.
Q: Just Enaj is stylish and from the social media buzz for the “real woman.” How important is that?
JT: We want to work with women of all sizes because they see pictures of their friends or other women on social media in our clothing. They will send us a picture and comment how nice the individual looks and can we work with their body type. If you’re confident about how you look, it doesn’t matter about your shape or size. What’s important is how you carry and present yourself, no matter what size you are.
Q: Many people tend to give up when launching a business if something goes wrong. What’s your advice?
JT: I never give up. If something goes wrong, I get feedback from my team. I can’t rest until I figure out a way to address the issue. If there is a problem with design, production or customer service we determine a way to approach it differently.
Q: You have a diverse career with varying business ventures. Why is it important to not put all of your eggs in one basket?
JT: Well, I definitely don’t put all of my eggs in one basket (laughing). I like to branch out and be involved with different things. If someone comes to me with an opportunity that I have no knowledge or experience in but it sounds interesting I’m going to go and research it to learn about it. Whatever you do you should know every aspect about it. In the beginning I learned how to package and ship products. I learned how to run the systems. You have to know every aspect of the business I believe, in order to be successful. If you go and just hire a bunch of people and you really have no clue as to how your business operates that’s a road to disaster.
One of the basis for success is that if you’re going to do something try to learn everything about it and then keep up to date so that you never stop learning and developing. If you do it just because it’s fun that’s one piece, but remember that everything that’s worth something in business takes a lot of hard work.
Q: How did you come up with the name Just Enaj?
JT: I have a lisp and when people would ask me my name I would say Janis. I became self conscious because they couldn’t understand that I was saying Janis so I would just say “Jane” which is Enaj backwards. So people started calling me “Jane Enaj.”
When I was coming up with a name for the company people suggested I use Enaj but with something to go along with it. My style is simple yet I can funk it or glam it up quickly and I decided “Just Enaj.” We came up with the Femme Collection because I have a lot of French and Middle Eastern friends. They try to teach me French and I think the language is so sexy. The word “femme” in French means woman. The Femme Collection is a lot sexier and more body conscious.
When I launched the first collection the pieces were not your everyday items. The fall collection is a lot more simple, yet fun for day or night. I hope our customers like it. Just Enaj and our Femme Collection are for every woman no matter what size or shape.
Q: What’s next for Just Enaj?
JT: Well we just launched our handbag collection which I call “The Big Bag.” It can be your weekender bag or carry-on bag. We’re branching out into shoes. I just previewed our Halloween collection. Shoes, handbags and accessories we’re branching into. Like every woman I’m a big handbag and shoe person.
Just Enaj will be developing an app for iPhone and Android phones. Fashion is a new venture and I want to grow my team and the company. We’ve been successful the short amount of time we have been in business. A lot of negative things happen when you’re starting a business venture, but you let it play out and keep forging ahead.
I have a great team and my Assistant who is so amazing even though she’s about to be a proud new mother any day now is a tremendous asset to Just Enaj! I work closely with my Creative Director who helps me put my ideas into action and who was a tremendous assistance in helping me launch Just Enaj.
Q: What is your advice for budding entrepreneurs who look up to you?
JT: My advice is to have a passion for something and go for it. Even if you fail you learn from it so that you can pick yourself up and “get back up on that horse,” as they say. Try again because life is all about chances. One day you can have everything and the next day nothing and vice versa. It all depends on the work that you put into it. Some people may have luck where they may hit the lottery but that’s just not the norm. You can do anything today with technology and the accessibility to information we have now that is readily available at our finger tips. Go for it!
Most people don’t realize that they have the resources just by reaching out and asking for assistance. If you’re looking for advisers or investors they are out there, especially in Los Angeles. If they believe in your product and in you, you can make it happen. You have to believe in yourself first.
To shop and learn more about Just Enaj and the Femme Collection fashion, shoes, handbags and accessories visit their website.
Follow Just Enaj on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.