Monday, January 25, 2021

INTERVIEW: Janet Montgomery - From My Big Eyes

When you meet an Atlanta blogger, you can pretty much bet that you will hear some interesting stories. Keep in mind that not all bloggers are reporters, but all bloggers are indeed storytellers. And each blogger is passionate about their chosen niche. It's made for some fascinating reading since the cultural phenomenon of blogging first came about in the late 1990s.

Especially in the last 10 years, since I launched wanderlust ATLANTA in August 2010, I've had the great honor of meeting quite a few Atlanta bloggers, one of those being Janet L. Montgomery, author of From My Big Eyes.

From My Big Eyes | Janet's ensemble inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama
From My Big Eyes | Janet's ensemble inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama

I first met Janet when I worked for a company that was promoting private events at the Fox Theatre. I hosted a group of bloggers for a behind-the-scenes tour and Janet was one of the guests, and a highly enthusiastic and engaging guest at that! We've followed each other on social media over the years and I'm happy to now share an interview that she so graciously granted me recently.

wanderlust ATLANTA: Please tell us a little about you. Where are you from? What bought you to Atlanta? What’s your profession? 

Janet: I am from the small country town known as Newville, Alabama, which has a population of only about 500. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science I left historic Tuskegee University and moved to Los Angeles for job opportunities. The Aerospace industry was booming in California and I wanted to experience and gain exposure to the big city life. I earned a Master of Management Info Systems (MMIS) from West Coast University while there. 

My parents weren’t big fans of flying to California to visit me. After 10 years, I decided I wanted to be closer to my family, so I headed back South, to Atlanta, Georgia. Professionally, I'm an IT certified Project Manager with more than 30 years of IT experience.

I'm also a freelance writer. My first nationally distributed published article was in Upscale Magazine. “The Godfather Quincy Jones: The Life and Legacy of a Music Giant". I'm also a content creator, working with campaign managers to promote various Georgia brands and businesses. 

Janet attending an Atlanta Tuskegee University Alumni scholarship event
Janet attending an Atlanta Tuskegee University Alumni scholarship event

wanderlust ATLANTAWhy did you start blogging?

JanetI needed a platform to share information and things that I wanted others to know about — to inspire, inform, and influence. Blogging is a passion. It started out as a hobby, but now, it’s turned into a small business used to help fund my son’s college educational needs. I am a single mother and he’s my WHY! 

Janet on the red carpet
Janet on the red carpet

wanderlust ATLANTATell us about “From My Big Eyes”, please.

Janet: I launched the blog on May 15, 2016. It was my birthday, so it's a date I can easily remember. It's a lifestyle blog with the tagline "Sightings of People, Places, & Things". You'll find posts about celebrities, places, products, home, money, fashion, beauty, travel, and entertainment! And even more! My website just underwent a redesign to include additional topics. Please let me know what you think!

Janet meets actor Tony Cox
Janet meets actor Tony Cox

wanderlust ATLANTAYour logo is fabulous! Tell us about that? 

JanetMy logo was created from my own eyes — they're "my" eyes! I wanted something unique, different, and original. I wanted something that could help people easily remember me and my brand. I worked with a graphic designer and that's where the blog gets its name, From My Big Eyes. I write from my perspective and about my life experiences. 

From My Big Eyes | Logo

wanderlust ATLANTAWhat have been some of your favorite blogger experiences?

JanetShortly after I started blogging, in 2016 I went to New York City and was in the audience of Good Morning America (GMA). Meeting Robin Roberts, Michael Strahan, and the GMA team was absolutely incredible. Experiencing all the behind the scenes was unforgettable. 

Janet on the set of Good Morning America
Janet on the set of Good Morning America

Janet: Also, opportunities to attend amazing red carpet events in Atlanta and opportunities to meet and interview A-List celebrities, movie writers, producers from Tyler Perry, to iconic and legendary Civil Rights leader John Lewis, Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg, sports figures like Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Strahan, and R&B singer Kelly Price, and so many more.

Janet with Congressman John Lewis
Janet with Congressman John Lewis

wanderlust ATLANTAYou shared with me one of your bucket list items – to be an actress! Tell us about that experience.

JanetI decided I wanted to work on the set of a television production here in Atlanta. It happened! I was an extra for two episodes of Saints & Sinners on Bounce TV and I also worked as an extra (clip) on the tv show American Soul.

Janet meets actor Mark Wahlberg
Janet meets actor Mark Wahlberg

wanderlust ATLANTAWhat’s one person, place, or thing that Atlantans must not miss? 

Janet: The Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View! The view is the perfect place to really capture 360° of Atlanta, and also the Jackson Street Bridge for Atlanta’s picturesque Skyline.

wanderlust ATLANTA: Immediately after my book was published, "111 Places in Atlanta That You Must Not Miss", Janet and I partnered on a giveaway of a copy of my book and one of her "From My Big Eyes" t-shirts, which come in at least 26 colors!

Janet on Jackson Street Bridge | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Janet on Jackson Street Bridge | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

wanderlust ATLANTAWhat pearl of wisdom would you share with someone considering starting a blog? 

JanetConsistency is key, so show up everyday. Brand yourself.

Janet on the red carpet
Janet on the red carpet

wanderlust ATLANTAWhen you have spare time, what’s your favorite Atlanta tourist destination and why? 

JanetThe National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Such a great place filled with history that every American needs to visit just to see how far we have progressed and also to help understand how much work there is still to be done in terms of Civil Rights in America. 

Janet on the red carpet
Janet on the red carpet

wanderlust ATLANTAWhat’s something I’ve not asked that you would like to share? Something Atlantans don’t know about you.

JanetIn my early twenties, I attended the John Robert Powers Acting and Modeling School in Pasadena, California. My dream was to become a fashion model one day. Now, I model outfits at home using my driveway as the runway for fun and to showcase fashionable styles.

Janet Montgomery - From My Big Eyes
Janet Montgomery - From My Big Eyes

Janet Montgomery has big eyes and big dreams. She treats life as an adventure, enjoying so much of what life has to offer, and then shares her experiences with us! Check out her blog, From My Big Eyes, and like and follow her social channels as her adventures continue...


Gwen Gottlieb said...

Fabulous interview! Loved learning more about Janet, whom I've gotten to know through social media. Janet is genuine, professional, and passionate, and I look forward to her blog posts. I'm so happy for her success -(way to go, my friend!). Thank you for such a terrific glimpse into Janet's behind-the-scenes world.

CookieSweetCookieLane said...

Awesome interview!!! I learned so much about my compadre and Skegee classmate’s wonderful new adventures and driving passions! Janet is a true example of ‘creating the life you desire’! Wishing you continued success Jan! Along with love, peace & soul! ❤️💛✌🏾✊🏾

CookieSweetCookieLane said...

Marvis Sylvers

Lakeitha Grey said...

Well done! Learned a few more fun facts about this amazing woman I met about 5 years ago :-) I applaud you on following your passion - not everyone has the courage to do so.

S. Hines said...

Wow, what an amazing journey you have taken us on. We have watched your concept transform into reality, as you walk fearlessly into your dreams. Keep on inspiring others to do the same. Proud of you friend!

Michael Angelo Chester said...

Dynamic interview with a Dynamic Sista

Soror Donnetta D. Pearson said...

This was an awesome interview. I love the pictures. I think you are doing great things and I am so proud of you. Keep the Faith and the Enthusiasm you have for your business Good Work!!!

Unknown said...

Awesome article! I remember when Janet was reviewing ideas and designs to launch her blog - what a blessing to see the growth and impact of her passion and hard work! KEEP SOARING!!!

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