Janay A Mallela: Here Comes the 21st Century Bride

November 1 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Give a Little Love

Whether you’re married or unhitched, tying the knot or looking to mingle, there’s one constant many of us hope to experience in life: love, and in a way that’s more significant than the overstated versions of the day, like, “I love that show!” or, “I love your hair!”

Sure, most of the time when we use the word “love,” it doesn’t refer to the passionate stuff of romance novels. But by simply stating you love this or love that, it shows that you’re an optimist who appreciates her life. Today, find a way to say “love” a handful of times, whether in reference those you care about, or just to show appreciation for the good things in your life. I, for one, am starting with this pumpkin spice latte. I love you, PSL!


Anyone who has been married can tell you weddings are extremely expensive. From boutonnieres to the wedding cake and everything in between, so, if you’re planning to walk down the aisle, you better get that checkbook ready. According to The Knot, the average American wedding costs about $31,000, and the average amount spent on wedding gowns is $1,357!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Janay Andrews Mallela, Designer and Owner of Janay A Eco Bridal

Twenty minutes into the reality show Say Yes to the Dress, will get you stressed. Women have opinions, y’all, and their families have even more! Going shopping and not finding exactly what you want can leave a girl feeling mega-defeated. That’s why many opt to have their once-in-a-lifetime gowns handmade. And that’s where today’s Woman to Watch comes in.

Janay A Mallela is the owner of Janay A Eco Bridal in Kansas City, Missouri, and for the past decade or so, she’s been working with brides throughout the country to create one-of-a-kind looks for their wedding days.

Amazingly, her process is fairly straightforward, if not a bit intricate. First, Janay draws a sketch for the bride. For those living in a different city, it’s no problem. Thanks to Skype, brides can tell Janay their deepest wedding-dress desires, and she sketches up a design right then and there. After picking some fabric samples of the eco-friendly variety, like organic cotton and silk hemp, Janay and her small team of local seamstresses get to work.

A lifelong stitching maven, Janay has been sewing since she was a kid. When she was a teenager, she started making patterns and, by the age of 18, she had created her own clothing line. Before she launched her company, she worked in wedding-dress sales for five years to garner a keen understanding about bridal requests.

These days, Janay hosts pop-up shops throughout the country to reach even more brides-to-be. And she’s part of a wedding-dress designer collective called Wed/Altered, which hosts a show at New York City’s Bridal Week every year.

In addition to using organic materials and custom designs, and employing hand-dyeing, Janay also reconstructs heirloom wedding gowns, a unique service in the wedding industry. If Aunt Ethel insists you wear her 1980s wedding dress that has enough poofiness in the sleeves to make you fly, Janay can beautifully hand-modify the design to create a more updated gown that pleases both assertive relative and bride alike.

Janay says one thing she learned throughout the years is that following what is customary in the fashion industry, such as unveiling new designs every season, just doesn’t work for her. Instead, offering customized, handmade designs gives her a desirable edge, and keeps brides coming back time and again, falling head over heels in love with their own personalized, handcrafted wedding gowns.


A lovely wedding dress is definitely a plus, but when it comes to a bride’s beauty, she needs look no further than within. As Italian stunner Sophia Loren put it:

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us!

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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