Janette Ewen is many things to many people – interior stylist, television personality, product designer, friend... To me, she is all of that and so much more. She's one of those people who upon first meeting them, you feel like you've already known each other for a long time. We first met a couple of years ago and in all the times I've seen her and talked to her since, she has never failed to be anything less than warm, funny and wonderful. She's the most down-to-earth, kind, loving, gorgeous, fascinating person you could ever meet, with a larger-than-life personality. It's an honour and a pleasure to introduce you to the Janette that I've come to know.
Janette is a true creative – she co-founded creative studio Parker Barrow, designed a furniture collection for Mobilia, and frequently appears on television for her expertise as an interior stylist; and these are only a few highlights from a long list of projects and achievements. Where did her inclination to pursue a creative career come from? I was curious to know what the young Janette was like, and I learned that she hasn't strayed all that far from her childhood and teenage self. Janette grew up in Burlington, a small suburb of Toronto, and to this day she still identifies with the geeky, crafty, book-loving, artistic child that she was, as well as with the fashion- and beauty-loving young adult she grew into, poring over the pages of Vogue and Allure (the latter of which she still has her collection of back-issues!), who idolized Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, and who constructed an Oscar de la Renta knock-off dress herself to wear to her prom. All of this combined to make her the downright cool person that she is today.
Janette's career has led her down many paths, but the one that's had the most impact, in my opinion, would have to be that which first led her to LA to film Inside the Box with co-host Ty Pennington, mainly because that's when she got her first taste of LA living and has since made it, quite literally, her second home. She instantly gravitated to the culture of “cool creatives” and has frequented California ever since, these days hanging her hat in West Hollywood whenever she returns. If you have plans to visit LA, you can check out some of Janette's favourite spots – for shopping, she loves Barneys of Beverly Hills (followed by a trip up to the rooftop for lunch), Elizabeth and James and the TASCHEN bookstore in The Grove, and she enjoys hitting up shops in the Sawtelle district, particularly Giant Robot. She's also a girl after my own heart – she's very fond of Jonathan Adler. When going out to eat in LA, Janette favours restaurants from the old hollywood era like Sunset Tower, Golden Bull, The Musso & Frank Grill and The Dresden Room. It's not hard to see the appeal these places have for her, and the influence they have on her design aesthetic.
When she's back home in Toronto, her friends joke that you'll most likely find her in a Michaels art supply store (there's the crafty kid in her!), but usually she's busy with work engagements, or spending time with family and friends. She also makes time to engage with charitable organizations, work that is incredibly important to her. She's presently an ambassador for Plan International and passionate about helping girls go to school. She's a huge animal-lover and often gives money to sea lion rescue agencies; she's also participated with PetSmart Charities of Canada, helping animal shelters across the country. Janette is passionate about getting involved and is a charismatic leader, encouraging others to give back too.
I can't gush enough about how amazing Janette is – she's the perfect mix of quirky & elegant, humble and kind, sassy and sinful. It's been a pleasure getting to know her and I look forward to future adventures with her. ...And I expect those adventures to be nothing less than exciting, coming from someone who grew up watching WWE, has a collection of more than 50 Ugly Dolls, enjoys racing rally cars and, if given the chance at a different career path, would endeavour to be a plastic surgeon. I told you she's fascinating!
Want more? Here's what We Want To Know about Janette:
I can't start my morning without...well this can go two ways, most days I am running to a TV station for a segment, in that case I can't start my day without ten pounds of makeup and a cold kombucha... when I don't have TV I can't start my day without a Lean Cuisine Chicken Carbonara-- don't judge I am addicted-- and I always watch a realty TV show, my fave being RHOBH... then I'm off and running.
I have a weakness for...beautifully constructed clothing and accessories. I am addicted to quality construction in anything. It doesn't have to be a fancy name but if it's made well, I have to have it. That and art. I'm going to end up on the streets in a gorgeous Balenciaga coat, velvet Jill Sander slides... pushing a cart full of artwork.
Most people don't know that I...cry (hard) over YouTube videos involving animals- especially sea lion or goat rescue videos. I also collect stamps and rocks.
Currently reading...I'm an avid reader and I am currently without a book. It feels like a best friend is missing, I just asked my mom to get me a pile of books, she selects the best ones. I did just finish Darkness at Noon last week, it's about the 50th time I have read it. I like to read things over and over again.
I want...to be 5 again, and have a day with all my Grandparents, mom and dad. It would be the best day. We would swim, bbq, read Munch Bunch books and then watch the Muppets.
Many, many thanks to Janette for participating in #WeWantToKnow!