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Find Your People: A Profile on Janci Sonet Dempster

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Surrounding yourself with people who love you, don’t put a cap on your capabilities, and respect you and your personality is important regardless of who you are.

It’s important that you find people that protect and preserve your authenticity as opposed to trying to alter it or make it more fitting for whoever’s standards. Friends who are not fixated on “aesthetics” and are more interested in you as a real person instead of the person those around you want you to be. Friends who thrive off of the differences found amongst each other instead of basing their love for you off of a “middle ground” or commonalities. These are the people you should call friends. 

My biggest muses consist of the young women I call my friends. They are a constant source of inspiration for me even in their most idle moments. I take advantage of every opportunity I come across to praise them and the women I’ve watched them continue to grow into. With this being said, Janci Sonet Dempster is a force. A moment. She’s just “that girl.” Janci is a 20-year-old entrepreneur from Brooklyn, New York who allows no restrictions when it comes to her self expression and laughs in the face of conventionality.

Being basic just isn’t her thing and she doesn’t allow anyone or anything to change that. In a world where being a prideful, expressive, and creative black woman makes you an automatic target for judgment and emotional torment, Janci moves through life with grace and confidence refusing to allow herself to become a product of any social constructs.  

When asked why she’s so unapologetic about who she is she says, “There is no one like you or me and there will never be another. From the way I walk, to the way I talk, to the way I choose to live life, etc. it’s how Janci wants to. I’ve never lived for anyone or thought about doing so because I always knew it was my life to live.”  

She’s just Janci and while that may sound simple, her complexities and individuality make it so that it is impossible for anyone to force any relation between her and the idea of simplicity.  

Most girls remember playing with dolls as children. For me, dolls were simply a rite of passage. Getting to dress them up and play in their hair was what I found fun when I was younger. For Janci it was more of a creative awakening. Janci recalls discovering her love for doing makeup and hair at an early age, “From the time I could remember I always loved cosmetics or anything “girly”…I used to watch YouTube tutorials and recreate hairstyles on my dolls. To be honest it came naturally to me and I always found joy in doing it.”  

Passions hit us at all different stages of our lives. For some, it might happen later but for Janci, it happened much earlier. Her doing her doll’s hair soon turned into her taking on the task of doing her own. Along with the fact that she had a love for the craft she says, “I started doing hair mainly because I was so tender headed and it didn’t seem impossible to box braid my own hair at thirteen. So I did it and I’ve been profiting from the skill set ever since.” 

Along with knowing how passionate she was about it, her own circumstances made her want to start doing her own hair. For a lot of black girls, including myself being “tender headed” made the process of getting your hair done a nightmare. However, Janci looked at it as an opportunity to continue learning and perfect her craft. Her dedication to learning about hair types and how to tend to them responsibly and effectively is a perfect display of true artistry. Since then Janci has started a business and has been doing hair for years now. She has and continues to exhibit how much love and devotion she has for her craft. 

However, there is no sunshine without rain. Janci speaks of moments when she just felt detached and simply unenthusiastic about her craft. “When I don’t get as much money or bookings as I desire I easily get turned off from my brand. I really just believe that business is a gamble but if you don’t put the work in and believe in it, it will never succeed. Another thing I just started using as a coping tool is breathing and telling myself it’s ok. Don’t let that darkness take over, take control of your life and be intentional with your goals.” Clearly she has her ups and downs, her moments of discouragement, but still through it all she continues to put on a “brave face” and thrive.  

She speaks of the love and support she’s received from multiple people during her journey including her aunt who she says met her when she was five and has been there to guide her in the right direction in cosmetics since. “She owns the shop near my house and as my skills progressed she even allowed me to help out in the shop. Watch, take notes and practice. I will forever be grateful for her input on my cosmetic journey,” she says.  

Not only does Janci receive love and support from family but Janci also mentioned receiving words of encouragement from someone she met in school. “While I was away at school I was talking to another creative being who reminded me that me doing hair is still considered art and I never looked at it in that way. But now that I do I have a greater respect for my creative side,” explains Dempster.  

With the support of her aunt and her love for cosmetics of course, Dempster sees obstacles for what they are. Obstacles. She has found peace within her journey and what it takes to continue and has come to respect her craft even more. 

As mentioned before, finding the right group of people to call your friends is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Through them, you find inspiration, comfort, love, etc. all of which distract you from a lot of the hardships of life. For Janci, one of our closest friends, Aniya Thomas’ dedication to her art impacts her greatly. “I have one friend that’s also an artist that inspires me as well. How confident she is with her artwork makes me want to touch into illustrative art more frequently,” she says.  

Along with support, this is what your friends should offer. Differences force you into versatility. You should thrive off your polarity, not neglect or be ashamed of it. Differences make a friend group. “In my friend group we are all different…from our aesthetics to our lifestyles etc. but we all love each other for ourselves. We don’t try to change anyone, instead, we try to continue to water one another,” says Dempster. 

Through this interview, I wanted to highlight the life of a black girl who inspires me. A friend that I’m super proud of because of her unwavering ability to continue to impress me. Her talent is absolutely undeniable and her commitment to staying true to herself while pushing her peers to do the same makes me so proud to be able to call her my friend. In addition to that I wanted to highlight how important it is to find your people.  

People who are just as devoted to your dreams and aspirations as you are. People who add to you. People who keep you grounded and inspire you to be a better you. My friends mean the world to me simply because of how much they’ve added to my life and supported me. I couldn’t imagine writing about all of them at once because I’d be overwhelmed. Although I focused on one of them in this piece, all of them water me in so many different ways.  

They’ve made significant contributions to my confidence, interests, and work. I’m forever thankful for how much they’ve helped me find myself and become my own version of  “that girl.” So again, I cannot stress this enough, find your people. 

Temple University 2025 Journalism Major Writer for the Fashion and Beauty section for Her Campus Temple IG: @wynterryvette