She was the talented and spunky South African on "Project Runway's" second season who just missed that season's finale. Regardless, Kara Janx went on to sell hundreds of her signature kimono dress made famous on the show and she has been designing under her own label ever since.
And while her pieces have found their way to the retail public in boutiques and major retailers like Bloomingdales, Janx found herself struggling with how to take her business to the next level. Enter ELLE magazine's Joe Zee. Janx appears in the second episode of his new Sundance reality series, "All on the Line."
"I don't know if Joe needed to kind of save me," Janx tells Zap2it of the experience. "But I felt I had to get myself out there again in terms of being in the public's view."
"It was just a huge milestone for me," she adds. "And it really helps now with other sales. So, it wasn't a do or die situation, but it was definitely great in that it was such a crucial turning point for me."
We spoke to Janx about why she'd return to reality TV and what it was like to get Zee's fresh take on her business.
Was Joe Zee all that you expected him to be or were there some surprises?
I didn't know Joe Zee too well. I just knew him through ELLE magazine, just primarily through his work. I didn't see him on 'The City.' You grow together. It becomes like a little relationship that you have, because you go through this journey. It's just you form this great kinship, because you've had this experience and it's really, really just been great. And it's really copasetic, like we really worked well together. I was thrilled. There was nothing that surprised me. In the beginning, I thought he was really insincere. But as you get to know Joe, you realize that he does his best. He really means well and he really wants to come out and help you. So, it was so refreshing.
How did you feel once shooting completed?
After I finished shooting, I sort of felt like, not reinvented, I just felt like I got to the next phase of where I needed be. It felt like a major turning point in my life, in my career. I just felt like it was a meant to be situation, like it was meant to happen. Joe was meant to come in to my life and this whole process was meant to go down. And now I see in hindsight how all the pieces are falling into place, because of it.
Why would you do reality TV again?
It's all in the premise of what they're presenting, like I don't just want to be on reality TV. I think reality TV is so a part of our pop culture right now. I don't really care if there's an opinion about it or no opinion. I think that if you choose the right kind of things that highlight what you personally want, it's just phenomenal. I just felt like this was a reality show which has sort of embraced my creative process again and would help me again. It was the right reality show to do. I don't want to do everything on the planet. This turned out really, really great.
Did you worry about how this may affect your business if things didn't go well?
I just know that with reality TV, there's a consequence to your actions. I went into it knowing there was so much exposure and it can be very damaging and it can be insightful and it can be very helpful. You never know what you're going to get out of it. I just know I sort of had a sense of maturity going into this, that I'm not trying to be smarter than Joe or better than Joe. I'm just trying be like, this is Joe, and this is what I need to get from it. This is what he's giving me. This is how we need to run with it. I felt like I was savvy to the program and I didn't want to screw it up. And maybe I'm portrayed differently or whatever, but everything is a cycle. And in the end, it came out fantastic. I'm really thrilled with the results. So, I hope that it's going to be received well. The motive for the whole thing was to go on as a businesswoman and I hope I walked off as a businesswoman.
Watch a preview below:
"All on the Line" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on the Sundance Channel.