If you were to look up the definition of a superwoman, Janet Jones' name would be next to it. The founder of South Florida's most talked about fitness program for women, Vixen Workout, has built her reputation while being surrounded by elites. Prior to launching Vixen Workout, Jones began her career as a professional dancer for the Miami Heat, and has also worked with famed musicians like Jennifer Lopez and Diddy. Her passion for dancing has created a safe environment for women who are looking to feel good and do good, a statement we live by. We had the opportunity to speak to Janet, who spoke about her thriving business and how she juggles being a businesswoman and a mother. Check out the full interview below.
You've accomplished so much with Vixen Workout and now you're getting ready to open a studio in the heart of Miami. Congrats! Can you tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur and what it's been like for you to create a movement that improves people's lives?
When I started, my intention was to create an environment where my friends can let go of the roles they play everyday. There was never a plan to build a big business or create a movement. That's what makes it magical - by simply trying to make the people around you better, you can really leave a big mark.
What motivated you to create Vixen Workout?
I left my career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher after convincing myself that my dreams were ridiculous. I got a corporate job and started my climb up the corporate ladder. The urge to check off my "before I hit 30" to-do list was real: Corporate job, benefits, marriage, and children. I quickly realized that the steps society tells us to take to reach "happily ever after" is trap for a muted existence.
My motivation to create Vixen Workout was that I desperately needed to feel alive again, and I needed to help others feel alive too.
Can you walk us through the process of creating a dance workout plan for a class?
I was a choreographer and worked in a lot of concerts & productions as a dancer. Theres a certain momentum that happens during a show. An exciting intro, a build-up, a climax, bringing the audience down from that high, and an amazing ending to tie it all together. When curating the Vixen playlist, all of that is taken into consideration. We have over 150 routines in our repertoire to choose from. The routines have full body workouts and toning exercises hidden in the choreography, so women are surprised when they start losing weight since the workout is so fun. Vixen is completely inspired by pop culture and what's happening in music. If there's a song thats poppin' in the clubs and people are reacting to, I'll definitely add it to our playlist.
Being Dominican, how important was it for you to incorporate your Latin culture into the workout routines and give back to the community?
My mother is Dominican and my father was Cuban. I was born and raised in Miami, but I spent a lot of my childhood in the Dominican Republic with my mother's family. I am first generation Latin American, so although I consider myself Latina and lord knows I love my "mangu & salchichon" I am also very much American. I love hip-hop, I love pop and dance music, but I also love my merengue and bachata. Being American, I feel hip-hop more than anything else. Hip-hop is what makes me move and what makes my creativity flow.
“That's what makes it magical - by simply trying to make the people around you better, you can really leave a big mark."
What is the secret to balancing motherhood, being a wife, and having your own business?
There is no secret and there is never really a balance. One of the three is always off balance and that's okay, as long as it's not off balance for too long.
For example: The beginning of December is when I do my planning and train my master instructors for the year. I am very focused on my work during this time and when I do that, my work yields great results. Once I'm done however, my team knows that I need to take a step back and focus on my family. During this time, I'm absolutely focused on them. I need to trust that my team is delivering my mission while my attention is on my family.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you have down time?
People think that I'm an exciting person based on my Vixen persona but I'm actually a shy introvert. I love reading at home. If I had a week off and had the choice to do anything I wanted, I would just stay home and read. My daughter loves going to bookstores with me, so I'm really enjoying watching her start to love reading.
Do you have any advice for women who are wanting to develop a healthy lifestyle?
Don't be so hard on yourself and don't be dramatic about your lifestyle change. When someone who loves burgers and fries says, "I'm never ever eating a burger again and I'm only eating fish and veggies for the rest of my life," they are usually the ones ordering two Big Macs and fries at 3am a week later, only to end up sulking in guilt.
Make realistic changes that you can keep long term. If you've never exercised before, don't join the Spartan seven-days-a-week training challenge, because you will probably quit and never want to work out again. Start with something approachable and fun.
What are some of your favorite songs to workout to?
It depends on my mood. If I'm feeling saucy, I like to workout to my girls; Bey, JLo, and Rihanna. If I'm feeling angry or a bit aggressive, I'll workout to Meek Mill, DMX, or Jay Z to get some of that energy out.
Name 3 hidden gems in Miami.
1) Blue Collar Restaurant. It's a tiny spot located in a motel - the epitome of "never judge a book by its cover." They have the BEST food.
2) I love Margaret Pace Park in Edgewater. It's a park on the bay with beautiful views and the cutest dog parks.
3) I love Wynwood. There's so much art and culture. You can just walk and discover so many amazing little shops, artists, and places to eat.
What can we expect from you and Vixen Workout in the future?
I want Vixen to grow into a global lifestyle brand for women through merging music, dance, fashion, culture and health.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
MISSBISH is a collective of strong-minded women who are unapologetically themselves and in owning who they are, they've found their power. Through that power, they inspire others to be better and do better.
Photo: Danielle Margherite