We had the good fortune of connecting with Janelle Luong and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Janelle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
As a child I have always found joy and peace in being able to express my creativity through crafts. I carried the love and passion for crafts into adulthood through nails, makeup, balloons, artful posters, and items that were aesthetically pleasing to me. During the beginning of the pandemic, Crafted by Nelle was an outlet to share my crafts with friends and family, before I knew it, I began gaining a lot of traction within mutual friend groups inquiring about purchasing my crafts. I was stoked! I love helping others bring their ideas to life through collaborating and sourcing materials. I didn’t think that my love for crafts would extend to creating balloon garlands, personalized items, and event planning. My first balloon garland was for a family friend and I remember clearly thinking how I would never want to do another balloon garland installation again! It was a great learning experience and even though my fingers were calloused and bruised – it was well worth the pain! I began booking more events through friends, family, members of the community, even my alma mater reached out! Which has been my biggest installation so far! It was very rewarding! Being able to craft with love through all my projects has driven me to focus on my business.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am currently enrolled in classes at The University of Texas at Dallas as a full time student and I also work full time at a car dealership here in Dallas. Balancing my full time school schedule, full time work schedule, and my “buzzing” social life was already challenging on its own, and I often felt as if life would always go on no matter what. Now, on top of my career/school, I had to learn how to balance my business, Crafted by Nelle, through learning ins-and-outs of party services, while being a new, albeit a very young entrepreneur. My journey has definitely been challenging, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love being able to work while obtaining a higher education and to be able to share what I love doing with my community has been an extreme blessing. The road to my own personal success has not been easy, but my favorite lesson was learning that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and everything that is meant to be, will be. I am excited to see what else is to come for Crafted by Nelle.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I was born and raised about twenty minutes away from the heart of Dallas in Garland, Texas. The mall is always a staple for me when I travel, so North Park and Galleria are a must stop. An activity such as bowling, top golf, or the arcades is something we would engage in. Maybe all three. I am a major foodie and love trying new places to eat. A must stop is my favorite taco place, Taqueria La Banqueta, for some amazing tacos. I would also take them to Pho Bac who has the best Kobe Beef Pho in town. We would have to get boba at Ding Tea. If it’s crawfish season, we would definitely visit Crab Station. There are many bars in Dallas that we would frequent as well, and there are always new bars/restaurants popping up that we could try. I believe Dallas is a wonderful city for anyone to come visit and it would be a great place to fulfill a foodies heart.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My sister-in-law and my significant other have been a major part of my journey. I am forever grateful for the two for always pushing me and reassuring me that I am right where I am supposed to be and that I am headed towards the direction that I dreamed of for myself. Thank you to Elizabeth Mu for being my personal Public Relations team and promoting me when I was too shy to do so for myself. Thank you to Victor Cortes for always believing in me and being the extra nudge that I needed to believe in myself.

Instagram: @craftedbynelle

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.