Thank you so much for visiting our online cosmetics boutique.
I’m Janice Ross, the founder of JANICE CAROL COSMETICS.
You may be wondering how I became interested in creating my own line of skin care and cosmetics, and it’s a good question! Let me share some background with you so you can get to know me just a little bit better.
Majoring in art, design, business and psychology was my path right into my years at the University of Toronto, graduating with my Bachelor of Arts degree.
I LOVE HELPING OTHERS FEEL Wonderful ABOUT THEMSELVES
Little had I known then, that upon my graduation from university, the owner of the Shoppers Drug Mart I worked at throughout school would reach out to me to return as the Cosmetics Manager at age 22!
This was such a compliment but was also a huge challenge. You see, the ladies whose boss I would be were the same ladies who watched me grow up and worked alongside for many years!!
He literally handed the department to me and said this is your store inside mine. I was to oversee staff, quotas, buying, dealing with head office and cosmetic accounts, merchandising, and more. I was also offered a cushy job in a spa downtown but decided to take the tougher route at Shoppers, as it would teach me so much about not only business but about management. Guess what; it did!
I am so grateful for those years; it wasn’t easy, but I loved it from every angle – even the not-so-clean job of organizing the basement stockroom for inventory!
I absolutely loved training the girls in the stores and helping management with business ideas and promotions. As high-powered as this was exciting! Travel was not something I wanted to do much of when I began to have a family. My heart was with them and didn’t want to be in Halifax seeing clients if I had a baby at home. Clarins even offered me a regional training position, but I declined as we were starting to want a family.
This was the turning point of my career; I went from the corporate world to the entrepreneurial one.
Each point along the way, I can see now, was a steppingstone; from my need to be a mom at home, to being a creative businesswoman with her very own business.
Have you heard of the phrase:
Life Happens ?
I’m sure you all have and have all experienced life’s twists and turns while we think our plans are rock solid.
I became a single mom of my two amazing sons; this was my reason; this was my why, every day! To be honest, that never changes, but now I know that I too deserve to be valued.
While keeping my foot in the cosmetics world by continuing to do makeup for special events, I took other jobs to survive. Keeping in mind that I needed the flexibility to be there for my boys, I learned new skills (became a high-end closet designer) and worked with creative agencies in various retail positions.
I always knew I wanted my own brand of cosmetics, but not until I saw the sign saying:
‘Do you know what’s in your lipstick?’ on a billboard, did I really put my thoughts into action.
I knew that I wanted my line to be healthier.
I still represented other lines I believed in until all my work was done. JANICE CAROL was finally launched in my own beautiful boutique in Toronto called: THE ARTISANS’ ATTIC. I loved supporting other entrepreneurs and this little store quickly became the cutest ‘COUNTRY STORE IN THE CITY’.
My passions were realized by launching my line (still a no-name until I knew it was liked), selling handmade artisan jewelry, cards, Manitoulin Island jams, mustards, and more!
All of this in a shop where I made coffees, lattes, hot chocolates, and teas for clients and even created a service for the surrounding hairdressers; I took coffee orders and delivered them! If my kids needed me, I could lock the door and go.
Life then happened again.
I truly see all of this as the natural course of what had to be and how it affected me as a woman, an entrepreneur, and my direction with it all.
My mom was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and passed away a month after her surgery. My sister and I then decided to have gene testing done; she tested negative, and I tested positive for the BRCA2 gene. This gene predisposed me to much higher risk (up to 80% at the time) of getting either Ovarian and/or Breast Cancer. My decision to have a full bilateral hysterectomy was immediate and easier to make at that time, as I was already 52 years old and had my beautiful boys. Of course, having the surgery wasn’t easy and I realized that as much as my shop was wonderful, I needed to close it to look after myself.
My brand was already adored by my clients, and I knew that I would continue pursuing my passion of growing JANICE CAROL COSMETICS. Considering, my recent discoveries about the BRCA2 gene, I felt a strong desire to create a healthier cosmetics line by firstly eliminating all PARABENS.
From products like lipsticks, moisturizers, cleansers, toners, serums, shadows, and more became a clear necessity. Parabens (a synthetic preservative often used in cosmetics) were discovered in cancerous breast tissue.
For four years, I continued to go to Princess Margaret Hospital for high-risk breast screening and dealt with top oncologists; I felt okay with this. However, my amazing boyfriend (who is now my amazing husband!), came with me for an appointment. He asked some crucial questions I hadn’t thought of: “Do you miss it?” “What type of cancer can a gene carrier get?” The answers were: “Yes, we can miss it” and “Aggressive”. The next phase of my journey was decided at that moment.
I decided to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction in order to save my life. This was not an easy choice, however for me, it was an obvious one.
Time to heal, time to reflect, and time to grow. This is what I did following my surgery. It became even more important to me to pursue my dream of having my own brand of cosmetics to help others feel wonderful in their own skin.
Janice Carol’s first real website was born the year that followed my surgery.
Exactly one year after,
I married my best friend and the love of my life.
Life is about growth, being able to change, taking risks, and believing YOU CAN!