Janet Valenza is the Founder, President and Designer of GOGOgracious™, a women’s wardrobe brand. For 20 years, Janet created and sold clothing lines for clients in the design firm she founded; and during that time, dreamed of launching her own women’s clothing label. In 2016, Janet made her dream a reality and launched GOGOgracious™, a versatile and functional line of women’s clothing known for seven easy pieces that go from travel to business to evening. Every morning, Janet feels jazzed to get dressed for the day in the right outfit. Over the years, she has learned how to do so simply. She enjoys sharing what she knows to help dynamic women save time without sacrificing style. Janet has shown us that it’s never too late to start your own business – and to do so in style!
Meet Janet Valenza!
What do you love most about having your own business? It’s the opportunity to develop myself. I think that’s what I love most; and the opportunity to create a business and a life that I love. Those two things are really what drove me. When I say the opportunity to develop myself, what I mean is when I started, there were so many things I did not know and did not understand. When I realized I needed to develop myself, to become a leader, to lead myself, develop communication skills, develop relationship skills, and develop speaking skills, key things to growing a business, it had a positive and profound effect on my life.
What is the most challenging thing about running a business? For me, the most challenging thing is understanding my priorities on a day-to-day basis. There are always more things to do than there is time and knowing which ones are critical to do first is quite challenging, especially when you are intimately involved in managing such a diverse array of projects and tasks. Getting that right could mean the difference between success and failure. Not everything has to be done today, but some things must be done today in order for the business to thrive. Figuring out the difference between the two on a daily basis is a key challenge.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments? My proudest accomplishment is a client that says, “I feel like 1 million bucks in the skirt I got from you” or “I get so many compliments on this outfit from you.” Or, even more important, “Here’s what you said when you were speaking, and here’s what I learned, and here’s how I applied it to my own wardrobe and it really helped me.” Those are the things that feel the best to me and make me feel satisfied and fulfilled. Helping dynamic women who appreciate fashion look and feel great easily is what makes me proud. Sharing what I’ve learned over 20 years in my own wardrobe to help others is my passion. I have everything I need to look and feel great for every occasion and climate in my lifestyle and I don’t have a lot of clothes. It’s simple and versatile and I unlock the secrets for others to do the same. We call it our SimplySmartStyle™ consultation. It’s virtual and right in front of your own closet.
Where’s your favorite place to get work done? My favorite place to get work done is anywhere that’s quiet and where I have the tools. I like quiet because I feel calmer and I can think better and that’s where I perform my best and if I have my phone and my laptop I’m good to go.
Do you have a favorite podcast? I listen to a lot of podcasts briefly at different times and while I can’t say I have favorites I do appreciate lately Andy J. Pizza’s Creative Pep Talk. I’m a creative at heart and I find that he does a great job explaining how to improve your creative process in a substantive yet entertaining way.
What is a quote you live by? I like “to know that even one life has breathed because you lived is to have succeeded”. It’s my version of a phrase from a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson and I love it. Although we look to help many people through our business, I know that it’s about the positive impact I have on even just a single life that really counts.
What’s something you do every day to take care of yourself? I have an early morning routine that begins with spirituality and a nutritious breakfast. I also drink lots of water and exercise at least briefly almost every day.
What is the one book you would recommend other female entrepreneurs read? I can’t really name one book. I’m a big reader and a big believer in self-help and self-development and stories about how businesses succeeded. I recommend reading books about various topics ranging from speaking to negotiating to understanding more about your views on money to understanding your inner child. These are just a few of the topics that I’ve read about recently.