WBM/AUTR – Fashion – Volume 1 – February 2013 

With international appeal and strikingly exotic features, all of the elements that make the Caribbean unified, yet uniquely diverse, come together in Janeisha John.

Where are you from and how has it influenced your career?

Many don’t know, but I was actually born in Jersey, however I’ve lived on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands all my life– since I was six months old actually. My mother is originally from Puerto Rico and my dad is from St. Lucia. So the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands, is my home, it’s what I know and what I represent. Representing my islands has given me the opportunity to compete in a national and international pageant arena (Miss Universe & Miss America) as well as giving me a chance to host various television shows to include Cross Caribbean Countdown on TEMPO Networks, who is ironically based in New Jersey (laughs). The Caribbean has given me culture, and the courage to be myself and to work towards any of my dreams. Overall, I’d say that my home has built me to be a strong fish in a small pond, who isn’t afraid to venture into larger waters.

How long have you been modeling and how did you get your start?

I started out modeling for fun around 8 years old at the C9 International Modeling Agency on St. Croix, which was led by Griselle Soto-Mitchell. I NEVER thought I would be actually be doing any kind of modeling years later, but I picked it up again shortly after competing for Miss America in 2008, and realized that I truly enjoyed it. So I started working on my own portfolio and have done a number of works with Caribbean/International designers, photographers, fashion shows, commercials and music videos. Being a television host and former beauty queen is more the titles that I bear, however, being a model on the side surely has its perks.

Why does what you do matter?

What I do gives me a Voice. It’s my outlet to express myself creatively. I also think that what I do gives other young girls from the Caribbean with dreams of being on television, of modeling, of being a beauty queen, some inspiration and the ability to do it better. I see my story as a map or guide for them to use to learn from my mistakes and to grow from my accomplishments. Not to mention I get to represent my home, the US Virgin Islands. It’s a small place on the map but I think the more people like me continue to represent it in a positive light, the more exposure and appreciation others will have for those four small dots on the map.

This article is part of a series of excerpts from our first edition digital magazine. Read the full interview HERE.