Meet Janessa Molina, event planner and mastermind behind FLYGRLS LA, a benefit dance party in Downtown Los Angeles. Janessa wanted to create an event all-female based that gives back to the LA community. This past May, FLYGRLS starred bad bishes like singer Maxine Ashley, DJs Suga Shay and Eden Hagos, and many more. Giving back to the community is a must for Janessa; read the full interview below to learn more from this amazing BISH.
Tell us a little bit about FLYGRLS, and how the idea came about to create this movement.
My boss wanted me to curate an event series for Spaceland using The Regent Theater in DTLA. He gave me the creative freedom to come up with my own ideas, theme, and choice of talent. I told him that if I'm going to do this and be passionate about it, I want to showcase a female-only lineup with DJs, dancers, singers, rappers, designers, and activists all on one stage, and give a portion of the proceeds to a non-profit in LA that supports our community. He was down with the cause.
Knowing that the vision was bigger than me, I needed to form a crew to create and start this female movement. So I reached out to my girls Linda and Tammy from LOVEMADE who helped me build the concept and come up with the name FLYGRLS. Once we got that part down... everything came into place.
Currently, FLYGRLS is in LA, any thoughts on expanding?
I've been projecting out a FLYGRLS Fest into the universe--possibly a FLYGRLS Tour. We definitely got big dreams.
You’ve done benefits to help raise money for the Downtown Women’s Center, how important is it to give back to your community?
Giving back to the community and serving those in need is the fuel that drives my purpose in life. I believe that if we as a human race can serve each other more rather than taking for ourselves, our future will be a whole lot healthier for the next generations. Plus, I feel like generous people are way better looking.
FLYGRLS recently celebrated its one year anniversary, what challenges did you and the team face in the first year?
Our team definitely has experience in throwing events, but not a dance party benefit in a venue as big as the Regent Theater. So filling the room in the first year was challenging for us. We also didn't have experience working with dancers; we learned quickly about the politics in the dance world.
What drew you to enter your current field of work?
I always loved a good party and I got really good at throwing them. Once I realized that parties and events can be profitable it only made sense for me to become a professional party thrower.
"I believe that if we as a human race can serve each other more rather than taking for ourselves, our future will be a whole lot healthier for the next generations."
Take us through a typical day in the shoes of Janessa Molina…
I guess it depends on what day it is. Every day is different and catered to the priority on my to-do list. It might consist of getting coffee, eating, meetings on meetings, eating, attending events, eating, producing an event, eating, stretching and breathing, and then probably eating again. But first before anything, even before I put my feet on the floor, I read a bible scripture and thank God for another day of life, because without Him, I wouldn't be here.
What would you like to have accomplished in the next five years?
If I could look back five years from now and say, “Wow! I can’t believe we threw FLYGRLS Fest all around the world and helped the people in need in the towns that we visited.” That would be one of many accomplishments.
What do you love about being a woman?
I love that we have the ability to give life. That we can wear many hats and be stronger than many men, and I don’t mean physical strength. I mean the strength to rise above the inequality and discrimination that women face every day. I love that we as women can go deeper and reach more vulnerability in relationships where most men have never gone before. I love that we can be a boss and a lady at the same time.
When you get a little down time, what do you like to do?
Go to the beach, get a massage, volunteer at church or an awesome organization, have a picnic, do yoga, eat and eat, binge on my favorite shows, go out dancing, spend time with my real ones and live the day like it's our last.
What are three hidden gems in LA?
If I told you, they wouldn’t be hidden anymore. But here are a few of my favorites that I’m willing to share:
1. Mamitas is the best Peruvian restaurant in LA, tucked away and snuggled in between car dealership after car dealership on Brand Blvd. in Glendale. I highly recommend you order the Yuca a la Huancaina, Lomo Saltado, and the fried tilapia. You’ll thank me after you take a food nap.
2. Oeno Vino just looks like a regular beer and wine storefront in Atwater Village. But when you go all the way to the back of the store, you’ll find stairs that go down to the basement where you’ll find the cutest wine cellar tasting room and bar that you’ll ever come across. They have bomb charcuterie and wine pairings. Oh yeah, and they have Esthero playing in the background. This is definitely the perfect date spot with your boo or BFFs.
3. The Echo Park Lake is a given and not hidden, but absolutely one of my favorite places in LA. It’s the best place to picnic, play with your pup, take a nap, go jogging, do tai chi, play chess, drink wine on a paddle boat, stand on your head, read a good book; the list can go on and on depending on how creative you get.
What does MISSBISH mean to you and who is your MISSBISH?
MISSBISH to me means a more refined female with a little hood in her. She’s educated and street smart. She’s a boss and takes initiative in her own life. She knows who she is but knows that she still has a lot to learn. She’s always evolving, always growing, and always powerful.
My mama is the MISSBISH in my life. Here’s to all of the mamas out there giving life everywhere!!
Photographer: Ja Tecson