Alumna Sylniqua Janay creates originals

Photo of CEO of Janay Atelier, Sylniqua Janay in her handmade graduation outfit. Photo courtesy of Familythatfilms, Rome Rene

Sylniqua Janay, a FAMU alumna, is a full-time research associate and fashion designer from Miami.

Her brand, Janay Atelier, consists of handmade fashion. She sews each piece.

Her brand name is Janay Atelier; Janay comes from her middle name, and Atelier means “workshop or studio for an artist,” which ultimately she calls her “brand workshop.”

When asked how she gained her passion for fashion, she said, “I have always had a passion for fashion since I was a child; I would use my bath towels to create different silhouettes. I would sketch designs on line paper and watch shows like “That’s so Raven” or “America’s Next Top Model,” which fueled my passion for fashion.”

Janay was accepted into a magnet high school, Design & Architecture Senior High School, in Miami, which helped hone her sewing skills. She learned the fundamentals of fashion design, pattern making and sewing.

Moving from Miami to Tallahassee was a big change for Janay, and this benefited her greatly. In Tallahassee, she was able to have her own space to sew and create. Her resources were limited to a dorm room and she didn’t have the proper tools, but eventually, progressing in life, she got an apartment and then a studio apartment where she is now able to create and sew.

She gained a liking for entrepreneurship by making alterations to clothing for students and friends and making clothes for herself. She gained the confidence to pursue entrepreneurship when her friends wanted some clothing made or at the request of others, and the feedback she received was overwhelming and appreciated. This is how she got started.

Troi Bennett, a fourth-year student at FAMU from Miami, says she was impressed with how her bathing suit came out.

“I am impressed with the design and how it came out. I feel confident and sexy in it and will be returning.”

Janay says a lot of her ideas come right before she goes to sleep or gets inspiration when she has a trip coming up because she likes to have a new wardrobe for the occasion. All of this makes her clothing unique because it’s original and it comes from her.

She shares what she thinks is hot with others.

“Current consumer fashion, like Shien and Forever 21, gives every customer the same thing, but what I do is something different, something unique.”

Janay has future aspirations of participating in New York’s Fashion Week with the world’s top designers and opening a boutique.