I've been asked many times "How did you start all this"? So--here I am writing my first ever bio, outlining the journey--so far--always a work in progress! Carrying out a mission to bring fun and affordable activities, for all ages and abilities, Zaney Janey and her crew, have been bringing pizzazz, in some shape or form, to special events for over 20 years. I am excited to see what the next decade holds for De-vine Designz and Zaney Janey.
I must say I chose a good moniker 30 years ago, when I coined myself as "Zaney Janey". Living in Oshkosh. WI at the time, I discovered how much I enjoyed volunteering to provide all sorts of fun activities at special events. I was at that time starting a career in social work and raising my young kids.
Always one to be "green" and frugal, l created a face painting and field game set up to reflect my "Girl from Wisconsin" look. I splat-painted my Oshkosh B'Gosh bibs, cow spotted (who can't paint cow spots?) much of my inventory and branded myself as Zaney Janey. In the early 90's, I also did contract work, for a large event planning company called "It's Your Party" based out of Madison, WI. It was then I decided to branch out and start an official business, all the meanwhile integrating my traditional work (running group homes) with building a name.
With a drive to be innovative, enterpriZing, and persistent, I got myself "out there"! These qualities I knew would serve me well in building a business as a quaZi" (on-the-go) Activity Director". In the beginning, my children were able to be involved, AND I was able to engage clients as well, so the business became a win-win. for all.
In the early 2000, with a move to River Falls WI, I continued to be Zaney! For a time, I moved into a managerial role as the River Falls School District Kids Club Coordinator. During this time, I also decided to rent a location in downtown River Falls. I called it an "Activity Center" (aka the costume shop). I began hosting kid's theme parties, taught Spanish for Kids, and partnered with others who used the space. I moonlighted many weekends building the identity of Zaney Janey, and what a blast it was! (well for the most part). I felt support from my family, my friends, and the local community, as I grew into the party girl!
As the henna part of my business grew through the mid 2000s, the "De-vine Designz" name/logo was adopted (although most people still remember Zaney Janey). During the rise of my title to "henna artist" I was fortune to be a part of creating a community of henna artists, many who are stellar artists. I was hooked, although a bit intimidated at first! I never really considered myself an "artist". The support and comradery of this group was instrumental in helping me establish myself in this new wonderful world of henna.
These days when someone compliments me that I'm so artistic, I still have to chuckle. Do I have some artist inclinations?--perhaps, but I truly believe I built the skill by throwing myself into it. What I really consider myself is more like a clown (minus the get up, because we all know kids are often afraid of clowns-lol). I've always loved to see people laugh, and I'm just now discovering that I have a unique niche in this entertainment world. My art is creating an environment where people are engaged, smile and have light-hearted fun. Henna fits the bill, as does some of the other services and products. My "art" is how I make the experience, and not necessarily the actual end product (although I hope for that to be of decent quality (inside joke).
There are many fine henna artists and face painters out there, and most of us love when the customer leaves with a pampered feel good feeling ---and takes that vibe out into the world with them.
These days you'll find me offering classes thru community education, libraries... to inspire others to try new art forms. I also continue my strong connections to the YMCA and the local Special Olympics organization. These partnerships certainly keep me in the face of the public. I am old school when it comes to advertising my services and I hope to keep it that way. I am launching this (new and improved) website in 2023, and hope it gives (potential) customers a better understanding of my business. I still will rely heavily on word-of mouth advertising, and thank you for your referralZ and recommendationZ
I appreciate those who have supported the biz over the years. It's so true--there is nothing like a good referral.
Reliability, Affordability, and FUN is my guarantee!
Thank You for putting your trust
in my bsuiness. ZJ