There’s no balance in the word “life”

by Jenesis Brun, Staff Writer

     The hum of the crowd surrounds Janice Laguerre as she stands to the side of Warehouse 7 Venue in Paterson, New Jersey. It’s twelve am and the wedding event that she has been orchestrating for the past three months is slowly coming to an end. It is Laguerre’s second year owning this space, planning and executing hundreds of events. As she looks around, overseeing, she thinks about all that she’s been through in her life; From having a child at a young age, to deciding a very drastic career change, she has always stayed confident and comfortable in herself and this has helped keep her happy in where she ended up.  

     Janice Laguerre was born in Brooklyn, NY, she was the new addition in a family of 8; 2 brothers, 3 sisters, mother and father. “Oh, my childhood was amazing. I definitely didn’t want for anything.” Laguerre gushes as she speaks about her youth. At the age of 7 she moved to Glen Rock, New Jersey and started first grade at the nearby elementary school. Her mother, Roseline, was a nurse at Valley Hospital and her father, Jean, is a property owner in New york. When asked about her parents, she excitedly moved her shoulder length, dark brown hair to one side and spoke about them with a smile on her face.

     “Coming here, to this country, with a dream [for a better life], and being able to truly make it and fulfill those dreams,” she commented on how inspired she was. 

     “I think it was just inspiring to see this woman with English as her second language, my father as well, just being able to really take hold and live with what they saw is the American dream.” There was childlike wonder in her warm brown eyes when thinking about her parents’ journey.

     “Growing up it was really just the examples in the household and watching my parents [set examples] with perseverance and hard work.It was clear that Laguerre saw her parents as her idols. At the age of twenty-two, a few months after graduating from college, she had her first child in October of 2007. It was a big challenge for her, throughout her whole pregnancy, there were many people in her ear, making her feel uneasy about how her life would turn out once having a child. But once her daughter was born she knew she was always going to be happy. Laguerre took a long break from her initial goal of following in her own mothers footsteps and becoming a nurse. 

     For 6 years, Laguerre worked among various companies and really started to take a dip into the event business, but she still wanted to continue her main focus. In 2013, she went to Caldwell University and studied family medicine. Once graduating, Laguerre found a job in home care and for a few years she worked with various elderly people. It was a big challenge for her, having to leave her child who she’d been around almost constantly for her whole life. When asked about this, Laguerre compares her feelings and thoughts from then to now. “I don’t feel like there is a balance [anymore], it’s always different priorities on different days, and where I am now in my life, I’m trying to be comfortable with knowing that, you [don’t need] this perfect balance of kids, and family, and work.” 

     Even though she had gone through years of schooling and had a job that incorporated well in her life, Laguerre still felt like she was missing the true enjoyment that should be felt in your career. She would still take the odd job in catering or help companies with planning and staffing events.  By 2016 she had made a definite decision that nursing wasn’t what she wanted to do in life. So, she slowly made her way out of it while starting to create her own business. 

     “I think it’s amazing how things have changed in terms of like the limit being removed on things and what people can do. You know, it’s not the same avenues anymore,” she explained with passion. Her hands moved around softly as her feet uncrossed and she stood up straighter.  

     Create & Crown Events was established in 2017 and Laguerre finally felt the complete joy that she had been wanting. It took a long time, but eventually clientele started to build up and the word of her business was spread, specifically in Paterson, NJ. When asked to explain her job, you could see the excitement on the woman’s face and she moved from leaning against a counter, back to her seat. 

     “I’m a business owner, I own a venue as well as an event planning company. So what I do for a living [is] make people happy. I celebrate their life and life’s moments, and the organization slash coordination of all of that too. Very simply, I make people happy, it’s one of the best jobs in the world.” 

     A big part of this journey was the help she received from her father and the rest of her family. When starting up a business it is very hard to have enough money to pay for whatever fixes need to be done and to be able to pay employees every week. Luckily, for Janice, she has a very supportive family who do what they can to help her. Her brother, Stanley, who is a licensed welder and just very savvy when it comes to mechanics, did a lot of the fixes around the old warehouse space and was there for her to talk in a type of language she didn’t know. Her sister, Kristina, was and still is the biggest supporter. Even though she has her own job as a doctor working in Pennsylvania, she comes down to New Jersey almost every weekend to help with events and managing of the venue while still maintaining her own life.  

     “I’m a very family-oriented person,” Laguerre explains. “I love my family, even the ones I butt-heads with often,” a soft chuckle escapes her. “I would do anything for them, the same way I know they would do anything for me.”