For our first installation of Local Portrait in 2016, we are so excited to introduce to you a local #YEG style icon, Janis Galloway. After starting her fashion blog, Dress Me Dearly, in 2009 and being voted Edmonton's Best Fashion Blog by Vue Weekly readers three years in a row, Janis has now opened up Alberta's first PR agency specializing in fashion and lifestyle brands. Apart from running her own business, Janis also is a wardrobe stylist, freelance writer, and the Edmonton Simons Fashion Ambassador (phew). But instead of letting us tell you all about Janis, we thought we'd just let her introduce herself.

PS: Is this is your first time reading a Local Portrait article? Head over to to our first post to catch up and check out what this series is all about! Click here.

New Classics: Can you briefly tell us your name, age, and occupation?
Janis: Janis Galloway. Very freshly 30. Publicist and Founder of Publicity Room.

NC: Tell us a bit about Publicity Room and how it came to be?
J: Publicity Room is Alberta's first public relations agency specializing in fashion and lifestyle brands. Basically we connect amazing brands and people with writers, producers, bloggers and editors who can help share their stories in magazines, newspapers, online publications, TV and radio segments, blog posts and more.
I'm a PR graduate from MacEwan University here in Edmonton, and I've been working in marketing and communications for almost 10 years. After a successful career working in non-profit and some incredible collaboration opportunities through my fashion blog, Dress Me Dearly – I realized there was a huge gap in the market here in Alberta. No public relations firms here served the fashion community nor had the networks and knowledge I had in this area. Ding ding! Publicity Room was born. There is nothing I'm more passionate about than seeing brands and creatives I admire get the attention they deserve. 

NC: What do you like to do in your free time (if you have any at all?)?
J: I love to socialize (a classic trait of a publicist), so I spend a lot of time at events and hanging out with friends – checking out new restaurants, chatting over cocktails or coffee. I'm also an unashamed Netflix addict. It's the easiest way for me to decompress after a busy day. 

NC: Do you have any favourite local businesses you like to shop at?
J: I adore perusing the skincare and makeup at Lux Beauty Boutique – a beautiful shop on High Street with amazing staff. I'm also a big fan of Poppy Barley, Bamboo Ballroom, Coup Garment Boutique, Shades of Grey and Gravity Pope. 

NC: Being a local #YEG style icon yourself, who or where do you find yourself turning to for style inspiration?
J: Is it too obvious to say Instagram? I follow a ton of stylish women! I also find inspiration from leading ladies in TV - the edited wardrobe of Claire Underwood from House of Cards, the sexy vintage flair of Joan from Mad Men - they all inspire me.

NC: Random fact about you?
J: I'm a farm girl - born and raised. I grew up on a cattle farm in rural Alberta for 18 years before moving to the city.

NC:  What is your #1 guilty pleasure?
J: Back to back episodes of Netflix.

NC: Where can we find you on Instagram?
J: @DressMeDearly (for now - It's changing to @JanisLGalloway soon!)

NC: Are you a cat or dog person?
J: Cats all the way. Even though I'm super allergic. I still love them.

NC: What are your top 3 favourite places or venues in Edmonton?
J: Bru Coffee & Beer for meetings and working, Bar Bricco for decadent Italian eats and negronis, Cafe Mosaics for sunny brunch dates.

NC: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear "Sustainable Fashion?"
J: Simply less waste. The madness of fast fashion actually gives me a migraine – it's beyond out of control. The first world needs to consume less of everything in my opinion and clothing is a great place to start. 

NC: At New Classics Studios, what we hope to do is change the way consumers think about their clothing. Rather than buying disposable pieces that will only be trendy for a few weeks, we encourage others to invest in high quality clothing that will last them years. Does or has this shopping mentality ever resonated with you?
J: Absolutely, the older I get the more I realize that "stuff" doesn't make you happy. At one time, shopping at massive fast fashion stores gave me the ultimate high, scoring deals left and right and getting a major "haul" of the season's trendiest styles. Now it's actually painful to walk into stores where the brand itself doesn't even care about the clothing – mountains of cheaply made, disheveled garments piled high that will last one wear. It shocks me to walk into some of these stores and the clothing is already falling apart on the hanger. I have no interest in a bursting closet full of junk. 

NC: How do you plan to #WearTheChange?
J: I do not purchase garments that will last one season. This past year I've been carefully curating a thoughtful, streamlined wardrobe that is well made and timeless. I notice I appreciate my clothing more and take better care of it when there is less of it and I've invested more money into the quality. I consign or donate anything that no longer serves me, so that others can enjoy it. I've also become much more conscious of the ethical practices of some of my longtime favourite brands – a few won't be getting my business again. I look forward to educating myself more on what happens behind the seams. 

JANIS' PICKS

Sustainable and ethical women's clothing from New Classics Studios (Canada). Worldwide shipping available.
SVILU
Cropped Wide Pant
Sustainable and ethical women's clothing from New Classics Studios (Canada). Worldwide shipping available.
BASE RANGE
Pyrenees Coat
Sustainable and ethical women's clothing from New Classics Studios (Canada). Worldwide shipping available.
PRIORY
Osa Dress
Sustainable and ethical women's clothing from New Classics Studios (Canada). Worldwide shipping available.
SUZANNE RAE
Honeycomb Sweater
Sustainable and ethical women's clothing from New Classics Studios (Canada). Worldwide shipping available.
SHAINA MOTE
Nara Jumpsuit