Below is the second of three Aesthetic-led conversations with inspiring women who are carving out a career for themselves and their art. Every conversation is centered around a different theme, but each conversation will hopefully enable you to find your own art-infused application. For more on this collaboration, check out our first post here.
JANET JAY is the founder and voice behind Golden Hour, a daily acupuncture and wellness bar. With several years of experience in hospitality and health, she saw an opportunity to apply the idea of preventive wellness to traditional Chinese medicine. Her new endeavor presents old ideas in a new context, encouraging wellness as an act of self-love instead of a reaction to ailments. Her honest sense of care is apparent in conversation and we trust you’ll feel the same.
AES: Where did your passion begin and what made you take the plunge into pursuing it as a career?
Janet Jay: My passion may have began as a young girl watching elder relatives practice their ways of daily care. My grand uncle from China lived in our home and would care for my sister and I. A beautiful older cousin would use crushed pearl regularly in her facial care regimen.
I later fell into the beauty industry in product development and marketing as a career but always thought of my relative’s wonderful and traditional ways of self care.
Returning to the US after living in Japan for 6 years I wanted to create an experience that incorporated traditional Chinese and Asian medicine. I had already developed a line of soaps that incorporated activated charcoal and crushed pearl called Pearl+ Luxury Soaps. They are in all ACE Hotels nationwide, offered in rooms and at retail.
I loved creating Pearl + but now I wanted to create an experience. Besides clinics, there were no real options for practicing TCM for whole body wellness, beauty and daily care. At clinics it was always offered as an add-on after you were treated for illness. TCM can be so beneficial both physically, emotionally and spiritually when practiced routinely for wellness, beauty and preventative care. GOLDEN HOUR, A Daily Acupuncture and Wellness Bar, is so timely when self care is more important than ever.
AES: Are there specific people who pushed you to be who you are today?
JJ: Family is key to appreciating the beauty in my Chinese heritage, tradition and embracing the unique views of our past. There were wonderful mentors in my career that were strong role models. Interestingly they have been mostly women. I love and have learned so much from Diane von Furstenberg, who is a strong, nurturing, truly successful woman who champions all women.
AES: Do you feel satisfied with yourself (your work)? Why or why not?
JJ: This is just the beginning of what I hope GOLDEN HOUR can and will do for so many in the way they view of daily care. I’m happy I’m taking this step to make it happen but wouldn’t say I’m satisfied with myself or work yet.
In many ways we are introducing a concept that hasn’t been done before, and yet taken from philosophy and practices hundreds of years old. I feel the practices of TCM can help us all and want to grow it in a way that incorporates it into our wellness routine, very much like we do with yoga.
AES: How often do you find time to rest in your week? What does the act of leisure look like for you? How do you separate it from your work?
JJ: I don’t have much rest time these days, but I schedule and pace myself to be realistic on what can be accomplished in the week. This tends to keep chaos at bay.
Leisure time is spent at home. I love interior spaces so enjoy creating environments. I enjoy vintage shopping and finding unique objects and products for home and Golden Hour. I’m fortunate I don’t need to separate leisure from work as it seems to meld into time spent enjoying and creating something beautiful.
AES: If you weren’t in the field you’re in now, what would you be doing?
JJ: I love the field I’m in but can see other creative pursuits in interiors and the arts.
AES: How do you navigate forming authentic relationships with other artists/individuals without a competitive edge or the feeling of being used? I feel like it’s a tricky industry to navigate and judge strangers’ intentions upon first meeting.
JJ: I think my instincts are strong about people. Authentic relationships take time to foster. Competition can be healthy and should make you better at what you do.
AES: Is there any advice you think the next generation of entrepreneurs need to hear, that you wish you would’ve been told when you were first starting out?
JJ: Be patient to learn who you are and your uniqueness. Connect with people and take in as much as you can from those you respect and admire.
When in Portland be sure to visit Golden Hour, located at 410 Southeast Ash Street, Portland OR 97214. Open by appointment only.
Images via Aesthetic