Virginian of the Week: Janie Medley
By Keya Vakil
August 7, 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Virginian of the week. This week, we interviewed Janie Medley, a Richmond-based fashion and lifestyle blogger. Her work can be found on her website, and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from originally?

I was born and raised in Lunenburg County, Virginia in a small town called Kenbridge. When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a fashion model. I would sit for hours looking through magazines and thumbing through the Sears and Roebucks catalog, daydreaming that I was one of the models in the pictures. Needless to say, I didn’t become a model and move to New York City, or go to Paris. Looking through those magazines and the Sears catalog gave me a chance to pretend, it was my escape and my “happy place”. Years later, I’m actually modeling for my fashion blog. Being photographed by real photographers and being featured in magazines and online for all the world to see. Dreams do come true!

You live in Richmond, correct? What brought you there and what made you decide to stay there? 

I moved to Richmond back in the early 80s for work. Being from such a small town, you really had to move in order to find employment. I didn’t want to move too far away from my family and Richmond was the perfect place! It was only 1 1/2 hours away from my home town and for me, although Richmond is a city, it still has a “small town charm” about it.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Richmond and what are some of your favorite things to do there?

I love the location. I can get home to my family quickly and I can also hop on a train to DC for the weekend. There are so many fun things to do in Richmond. One of my favorites is shopping, of course. I love all the little boutiques and I love visiting Carytown. I also love going to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. One of my all time favorite exhibits at the VMFA was focused on Kehinde Wiley. I also love visiting all the quaint restaurants here in the city.

You’re a fashion and lifestyle blogger. Tell us a little bit about how you got into that line of work.

I’ve always loved fashion and while I was working retail part-time, so many of the women who were 40+ years young would always say that they couldn’t wear certain things because of their age. That statement, “because of my age,” really bothered me, especially when I would be wearing the look they were referring to. So, I decided to take my love of fashion and passion for helping others and combine them, and Medley Style was born. 

My blog exists to encourage women to be the best that they can be and in doing so, I share my journey of life’s ups and down while serving fashion along the way.  

What’s a typical day like for you?

I get up around 5:30 or 6:00 each morning.  I start my day off with prayer and while I’m getting ready, I also listen to something that is inspirational to get me ready for the day. Then I start getting ready for my full-time job at the Virginia Society of CPAs where I work as an Employer Outreach Specialist. That starts at 8:00 and ends at 4:00.

I get home around 4:15 and I answer my emails and do a little bit of social media for the blog. I get a quick workout in for about 45 minutes and then I have dinner and start working on my blog posts. I try to write most of my blog posts and newsletter over the weekend but it doesn’t work out all the time. There are days when I’m shooting content with the photographer and I’m starting to film, as I am also getting ready to launch my YouTube channel. I normally start getting ready for bed around 10:30 or 11:00 pm.

What’s the most exciting thing about your work?  

Getting to create content for the blog. I love doing the photo shoots. Yes, it is hard work. I see why models get paid so well. I also enjoy getting to meet new people and hearing their stories. The most rewarding thing about my work is when I get an email from a reader letting me know how inspirational I’ve been in her life. I’ve gotten emails from women sharing how they had given up on themselves and let themselves go, and how they are now turning their lives around after reading one of my blog posts. I always want to make a positive change!

What’s the biggest challenge? 

The biggest challenge would have to be time. There’s so much I want to accomplish and trying to find balance between work and self care is tough.

What’s your number one fashion or lifestyle tip for people? 

To be authentic and “do you”! Step outside of your comfort zone and don’t let your age be the factor that stops you from trying a new look!

Do you have a personal or professional accomplishment you’re particularly proud of? 

I was featured in the 2018 June/July issue of Essence magazine. I have been reading Essence magazine since it launched in May 1970 and to be featured was truly an honor and Janet Jackson was on the cover, which was an added plus!

What do you do when you’re not working? 

I spend time with my family and friends. I also love catching up with the girls over brunch. It’s a great time to find out how we can support each other.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Best book: The Crushing by T.D. Jakes

What is the best TV show and/or movie you’ve seen recently?

Best show:  Queen Sugar

Best movie: Shaft 

And finally, the best song you’ve listened to lately?  

Happy by Mary J. Blige. It’s one of my favorite songs.

This interview has been lightly edited.

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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