Handy Ma’am: The Woman Who Does It All
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Today’s woman is a busy woman. Janell is a wife, mother and a mult–talented performer who’s even toured internationally for two years. But Janelle’s favorite role is being a Handy Ma’am around the house. You’ve seen her on shows like The Steve Harvey Show and the Today Show, showcasing her tips to help women live and manage their lives better by using every day items in better, creative ways. Being busy and handy around the house comes second nature to Janell since it started when she was just three years old.
How did you start out being the Handy Ma’am?
My mom. She was into crafts and that’s what I did growing up. My mom wouldn’t allow me to hang out at the malls with my friends. I could never spend the night over friends houses because she didn’t trust their rules. So I stayed home and learned to cook, do hair, sew, paint and so on. Every summer my mom would make us paint the wooden fence in our backyard and outdoor furniture which I hated but something about it must have stuck. Growing up I saw my mom do a lot of things herself to save money; her hair, make clothes, paint, etc. Then on the flip side I saw how frustrated she got when she asked my dad to do something (honey-do-list) and it would never get done or not get done right but either way it was with an attitude. Because he didn’t really want to do it. I could just see the look on her face now…“I wish I could just do it myself!” Well, I guess that stuck also. The seed for me to be able to do everything was planted. The older I got the more I would do.
During high school, it started with cooking and styling my own hair because my mom didn’t believe in spending money at the hair dressers. In college, I made money doing others peoples hair and nails and then started decorating once I moved off campus. Once I got married and we bought our home, the creativity and skill set started to soar. Small projects turned into medium-sized projects and are now full blown master pieces. I have gone from painting fences as a little girl to building fences as a grown women. With 3 kids I can’t just build a fence and that’s it. It’s important that I multitask; build a fence, give a spelling test and bake cookies all at the same time. Otherwise, there would never be a real sense of accomplishment. And the quickest way to get things done is to be innovative. ‘If you don’t have it, you’ve got to use what you have and keep it moving.’
That’s my story up until I get an email from a good friend. Actually it was a few friends that sent me the same email. It was about a casting for a mom who could do it all. Many of my friend for years have told me, “Girl, you need your own show.” Well, this was it. This casting had my name written all over it. When I responded to the casting I simply told them in a nut shell, “Look no further because I am your girl!”. They brought me in for an audition and I am sitting in the lobby having an amazing conversation about all the things that I do with a young lady who was going in to audition before me. They call her in…then it’s my turn. The first thing the casting person says to me is, “The lady who came in before you said to us before she left that you were an amazing person and thought you were the perfect person for the job…you’re going to love her…who does that” And here I am today.
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Now the show started out being about me being able to work with tools while multitasking with the kids and cooking and gardening all at once. But they soon realized that yes I could do that but it would be difficult for me to demo a closet and put it back together in 2 hours realtime by myself. So we went in the route of “Life Hacks”. Which has changed my life forever. To be able to reach so many people who are on a budget, who want their lives to move easier and are inspired to try something different to achieve it has been a blessing. To be able to do this and…