A sneak peek at Janelle Manahan's designs as illustrated by her friend Megan Pillos. It seems that the former actress has found the best way to carry on with her life after the tragic incident that happened to her and boyfriend Ramgen Revilla. She is set to launch her first collection of summer dresses this March.

Photo: Noel Orsal

"Parang doon nabu-boost iyong passion ko nga; kasi before, parang sarili ko lang iyong dinadamitan ko.

"'Tapos doon din nag-start iyong, halimbawa sa pinsan ko or mom ko or yung sisters niya magtatanong ng tamang damit, so sabi ko, 'Puwedeng negosyo ito, ha?'"

Janelle began her entrepreneurial endeavors by re-selling imported ready- to-wear products through her Facebook page.

"Meron kaming supplier from China, 'tapos meron din akong pinagkukunan sa States; pero iyon kasi medyo mahirap kasi kailangan naka-Balikbayan box, so doon ako nag-concentrate sa China kasi iyon yung pre-order stuff.

"Kaso hindi ko siya nagustuhan kasi yung models doon [sa catalogue], Chinese talaga so parang wala siyang personal touch, kaya hindi ko siya pinatagal.

"Although until now may contact pa ako sa suppliers, yung mga blazers doon, kumukuha lang ako sa kanila ng mga two or tatlong blazers, tapos ipapa-customize ko kasi minsan iba iyong style.

"Saka ko siya ibebenta pero nag-start sa friends ko, friends ng friends, 'tapos nagpatulong ako, 'O, paki-market naman 'to.'"

OWN FASHION LINE. The online import business did pretty well for Janelle for a while but somehow, she found herself wanting to do more.

She wanted to explore her creative side and design her clothes.

"May vision kasi ako ng type of clothes na gusto ko.

"Kasi siyempre kapag bibilhin mo na ready, iba iyong design or iba yung tela, ganyan, so gusto ko yung sarili ko talaga."

Janelle had no background in fine arts and sketching, so she sought the help of a friend, whom she hired to draw for her and bring her creations to life.

She started out with a few pieces, but by March this year, Janelle will come out with a full blown summer collection.

Last Saturday, February 11, she did a pictorial with several model friends for her catalogue and campaign ads.

Her yet untitled collection will showcase her personal style, which she thinks suits majority of women who, like her, are looking for versatile pieces.