Monday, December 15, 2014

December Woman of Style: Janine Mitchell of J9 Design

Janine Mitchell, owner of J9 Design, exudes great style.  She always looks pulled together whether she is shining in a cocktail dress or gown or is wearing a pair of jeans and crafting.  I absolutely love that she focuses on being comfortable in her own skin rather than keeping up with the trend of the moment.  And it shows - Janine is confident, stunning and clearly owns and loves her personal style.  I met Janine when she served as Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen, which is part of the Miss America program.  When many people think of pageants, they think of a cliche type of style.  Janine's great style couldn't be further from cliche and cookie-cutter.  Her style is authentic, fun and captivating, as you can see here.  And her personal style translates into great designs for J9 Design.

What's wonderful about what Janine does through J9 Design, is she makes people feel happy with her adorable creations.  She refers to it as nostalgic homemade happiness!  Janine designs and hand-crafts items including headbands, Christmas ornaments, stockings and even craft beer label coasters.  Her great personal style translates into great style for all of her creations.  Her work graces mantles and coffee tables at homes around the country.

How do you define your style?  
My style definition is ever-changing. Instead of sticking with one style profile, I tend to allow it to change with the way I'm feeling or the stage of life I'm in. For instance, in the past year I've focused more on comfort in my own skin than being sure I have the top trend at the moment. I think women radiate when they're comfortable - with themselves and in their clothes. Oh, and I also love to be barefoot...

What inspires you with regard to style?
I'm a pretty impulsive person, so many things inspire my style. I'm inspired by my feelings on any particular day. I'm a typical Gemini, battling with two sides to my personality. So, in relation to style, I have one side that's super trendy, on-point and intentional. On another hand, I like to wear jeans, a t-shirt and my hair in a ponytail with Chuck-Ts.

What do you usually wear for the holidays?  
For holiday season, I'm mostly in jeans and t-shirts, while spending time with family and friends. Then, if we go out for drinks, I'll just slide some red lipstick on and call it a night. But, for a few select holiday parties, I'll bring some glam with a cocktail dress. I love dresses. In the summer, they're just so easy to throw on a dress. In the winter I carry it over, but with tights and cardigans.

How did you get the idea to start J9 Design and have you always been crafting?  
I've been making things since I was a child. I'm a kinesthetic learner, so doing things with my hands or body not only helps me learn, but it's the way my mind works. I started seriously thinking about bringing my creations to the next level in June of 2013 when I bought my first domain name,, and again in summer of 2014, when I opened my Etsy store.

What is your favorite item to create?  
It's impossible for me to pick a favorite. Everything I create comes out of a feeling I've had, an urge I needed to fulfill or a challenge I wanted to meet. I love to sew, but it's not my favorite. It just feels good and nostalgic. After my mom passed away, I was given her sewing machine. When the needle beats I can remember hearing it from her room all the way from my bedroom when I was a kid.

What has been your most popular item?  
By far my Cork Angel Ornaments, then my Mock-Bow Headbands for winter. For year-round products, I've found a niche with the craft beer drinkers with my Craft Beer Label Coasters. I get orders from all around the country requesting Boston/New England area craft beers like Smuttynose, Harpoon or Woodstock.

How do you come up with your ideas?
I don't sell anything that I wouldn't use or wear in my day-to-day life. It's really hard to keep my hands off other people's orders sometimes! I'm like, "Oh I like that!"  

How is your personal style reflected in J9 Design?
My crafts are a lot like my style in that they're always changing. I call it "Craft A.D.D." I don't like doing one thing for too long. Last Christmas I made like 50 stockings, this year I made a lot of hats, infinity scarves and headbands. Last summer I made a lot of clutch bags, this year I made craft beer coasters.  

When can people order until and what is the easiest way to order?  
People can order year-round on my Etsy store, find a link at at, and expect periodic everyday additions as the holiday season wraps up. The last day to order for Christmas delivery is Dec 17!

Thanks, Janine for sharing your style with us and giving us an inside peek at J9 Design!

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