Meet Janice McDonald

In honour of International Women's Day, Grayes will be dedicating the month of March to celebrating women. We will be posting a series of interviews featuring inspiring Grayes women driving change.

Tell us about your career journey.

My career started in the music industry. I cofounded music retail stores beginning in 1991 while I was finishing my first graduate degree. It was a fun time to be in the industry because I had the opportunity to work with so many artists - both established and emerging. I heard regularly how important artists felt it was to get recognition and support from their home country ... and I think this is true of fashion designers too. We have to support our creatives with our dollars. My TEDx talk is called: You Have SuperHero Powers: Use Them. I talked about how each consumer can use their wallet, values and smartphone to make sure that the companies they love can thrive. This is what I want for Grayes: for more women to invest in their beautiful, timeless and well-made pieces.

Am super excited to be launching my new podcast: Fearless Women! I encourage everyone to subscribe where podcasts are available to hear inspiring conversations with the unafraid. Episode One features the Honourable Mary Ng - Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion and launches on IWD. Minister Ng will share insights on what the government is doing to encourage Canadian women entrepreneurs to be bold about business. She will also talk about her life as an immigrant - she came from Hong Kong. And about growing up in the family restaurant business ... and more! Tune in to hear her inspiring story.

Tell us about your personal style and how it has evolved over your career.

I love fashion! I wore a uniform in high school and because of that, there are some classic suits and dresses that are timeless and I tend to think of as a uniform. My time in the music industry and in startups means I am comfortable in casual chic clothes however, I love to dress up and do so for board meetings, galas and events. Fashion is fun!

What's the best style advice you've ever received? What's the most important piece of style advice you would offer young businesswomen?

Pick signature pieces that you feel good in and are the best quality you can afford. Accessories can change and update any outfit and well made clothes are always worth the investment.

What items of clothing or ‘looks’ make you feel the most powerful and like your most authentic self?

My wardrobe is made up of hardworking, well-made pieces. I believe in investing in my clothes. I may supplement with some fast fashion items on occasion, but mostly, I have a collection that is steeped in quality...just like Grayes!

What do you love most about the Grayes brand?

All elements are important to me. If we want to have more Canadian fashion, we need to support it. 

What is your favourite Grayes piece?

I love Grayes! Whenever I wear the blazer dress, I get so many compliments. It’s versatile, packs a stylish punch and is Canadian made - which I really value. It also travels well. When I was invited to speak in Australia last fall, Grayes went with me!

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