Secret Gardens

Photography Janelle Clements
Talent Leslie Tetteh & Fransheska Perdomo
Shot on location in Central Park, NY
From the founder
As the founder of Jonesy, I frequently receive inquiries from women all over the US looking to shoot, model or otherwise collaborate on something creative for the brand. I don’t answer all of these messages (sorry, but I’m old school and don’t bother with super generic emails… and I also procrastinate ;), but something about Janelle’s email caught my eye. As a 30-year-old going on nine years in NYC, I struggle daily with battling weariness or cynicism in a city that is always on a mission to one up itself. Janelle’s email, simple and professional as it was, took me back to what it felt like to be young, hopeful and on the brink of something new. I love her mission to celebrate beauty and faces from within her community and I am excited to see her vision & work grow as she evolves.
I think what’s both exciting and scary about this age is that I’m on the cusp of adulthood. The person who I am supposed to be, her wings are growing in me, I can feel the feathers settling in and the bones extending. I say that because its both a beautiful experience and incredibly painful. I’m getting tired of some things, cynical even. I’m removing things out of my life, moving on from my past. I’m developing love for things I used to hate as a child, even as a teenager. I’m noticing my mom and her role in my life a lot heavier. It’s exciting to become the person you have dreamed of, the thoughts you have had, since your childhood, are starting to make sense.
Janelle Clements (age 20)

What has surprised you most about the phase of life you’re in?

J - I was surprised by the amount of uncertainty. I didn’t think I would be in a state of unknown. Or maybe I did, because I’ve always pictured my life being this dramatic sequence of events out of a movie. I think everyone is given the same story about how your life is supposed to happen. Go to school, get a degree, get a job. Become apart of the current. Live your life.

I was so sure in high school what I was going to do, the type of person I was going to be (mostly because I had tumblr-ed and pinterest-ed myself into a moodboard). Two years later, I’m not that person. I’m not even close to that person. And that is both scary and wonderful. Because of how naive I was back then meant I had to be incredibly brave now. To recognize that I was going the wrong way and that my major and my school was wrong for me. To make decisions and listen to them. I am surprised at myself for going against the current and coming back home to become an artist. It means everything to me.

What’s a fear that you have?

J - I think my biggest fear is settling. I am terrified that one day I am going to wake up and be in a space I don’t belong in. To wake up in a office job and hate waking up every day. To be a bad person, to be distant from God and my spirituality. To not be constantly working on myself. This stage I am in now, growing and growing every day is so so so so so important to me, and I always want to be like this.

Who or what inspires you as an artist?

J - I am inspired by people who are passionate about their craft. Anyone, no matter what field or ability, who dives into their work, whose goal-orientated, whose building themselves from the ground-up; they inspire me. They push me to get up off my ass and do something for myself.

I see women, particularly women of color, who continue to prove how badass they are, and that fills me up with love and pride. The black and brown women around me are so motivated because they aren’t just lifting themselves up, but the people around them. They are providing for their families at the same time they are building their dream. They are more creative, more passionate, and more driven than any other person in the room. And I know they inspire because all I want to do is make them proud.

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