INSPIRED by A Leap of Faith for Passion
I've always been fascinated by gowns and beautiful princess dresses.
I even have a pinterest board dedicated to gowns.
As a designer of everyday statement pieces, I was very excited to find another designer that follows my business model, but makes gowns for special occasions instead.
Slow fashion is rising and quickly becoming something of a norm, and it's beautiful. Business models that benefit everyone involved, from the supplier, to the maker, to the buyer are growing. And I think it is very important for those on the same mission/boat to stick together and support each other.
Not only do I love Jacoba's designs and brand, but I also give her my full support and hope to watch her brand grow.
- THE BRAND -
"Jacoba Jane is a small collection of cocktail dresses with an emphasis on luxurious fabrics and feminine details. I line every dress with silk because I believe it should feel as good as it looks. The premise of my collection came about because I was searching luxury retailers for a dress that was lined with natural fabrics as that's what my skin likes. I couldn't find what I was looking for, so I thought I would pair that need with my love for bringing dresses to life. My philosophy is "what's inside matters," and I believe that can be applied to more than just clothing."
-HOW IT STARTED-
"A part of me has always believed I'd have my own label one day, but the timing was never right. When it was the right time, I knew it. Things fell into place, and I took it as a sign to start chasing my dream. You could say the odds were against me. I didn't go to fashion school, so everything I know has been self-taught through trial and error. I met my husband in a small seaside surf town, and we stayed here, so I don't live in a fashion capital. Networking and meeting people in my industry has happened solely via the Internet. I couldn't have asked for a better age to grow my business than the internet age we're living in now. You can do anything from anywhere.
A big motivation for starting my brand has been my appreciation for how designers use clothing to tell a story. Fashion is an ongoing narrative that is so closely intertwined with what's happening in the world. For example, the rise of birth control in the 1960's can be directly associated with the rise in hemlines during that time (the miniskirt). Fashion is fundamentally a reflection of history. I hope to contribute to that story in my own way."
-HOW IT EVOLVED-
"In the beginning, I would overthink every detail of my business---as if a certain shade of white on my hangtags would make or break my business. I'd analyze minor decisions for weeks. I'm constantly growing and being pushed as a person through my business, which I love. Now, I make a decision quickly and follow through. Knowing when "done is better than perfect" is crucial to moving a business forward."
Q: What is the designing process for you? And what does designing clothes mean to you?
"Once I have an idea for a style, I then draft the pattern. Often, the style will come out different than what I originally envisioned. I like to keep an open mind and let the design take on a life of its own. Once the pattern has been finalized, I choose a fabric that will bring it to life. I then make a mockup of the design in a fabric that has a similar drape to the final fabric (so if the final fabric is a silk, I'll probably use a lightweight polyester) to get an idea of how everything fits together. Then I sew my sample in the final fabric and get it ready to photograph.
Designing clothing --like many other creative pursuits-- is my way of speaking to the world. I have such lofty goals for my company and I take it so seriously that I sometimes have to remind myself that it isn't open heart surgery. I'm just trying to serve women in a way that makes them feel special and beautiful."
"I began sewing after finding my mother's machine. It was buried in storage, but it still ran. Sewing curtains was the extent of her knowledge, so I was largely on my own regarding sewing clothing. I was obsessed with Vogue as a child, and I attempted my first dress at age 12, probably inspired by an editorial spread I had just seen. I've always had a bit of a rebellious streak, so I thought "I don't need a pattern, I'll just take my measurements and wing it." The skirt of the dress was literally a tube of fabric, straight up and down. I learned through that experience that the body had curves. I still laugh about that memory to this day.
Over the years, I considered other career paths besides fashion. My parents, with all their good intentions, wanted me to be a nurse or choose another career one might call "stable." So I dabbled in accounting because it appealed to my technical, logical side. But ultimately, fashion always called me back. I like to say it is my north star. Ten years after that first dress at age 12, I decided this couldn't be something I only wished for. So I began designing and sewing, learning everything I could about pattern making, fit, fabric, business (accounting came in handy here), e-commerce, marketing, you name it. It's been an amazing journey despite the ups and downs. I hope my story encourages others to do what they've always wanted to do, regardless of the odds."
Q: I love that you write poetry as well. Looking through your website, it seems we actually have a lot in common. I have chosen to bestow my poetry upon the clothing that I design. How much does your poetry effect your designs, do you think? And what is the place of poems in your life?
"I think the part of me that loves design is the same part of me that loves poetry. Its purpose is to invoke emotion, and it may not always mean the same thing to everyone. It's up to interpretation, the same as fashion. I like to explore how feelings can be both so personal and so universal in their nature, both in my writing and my designs. As a girl, I would write poetry the way most girls would journal. It's always been a part of my life, but I've never shared anything I'd written. Maybe one day I will!"
Q: What kind of woman would you say you are designing for?
"I design for a woman who still recognizes and appreciates a sense of craftsmanship in her clothing. I release a very limited number of pieces in each style, so she also appreciates something that others don't have. She has a strong sense of who she is and a love for small details."
"What some view as a problem with slow fashion (usually the higher price tag) is something we have to retrain our thought process around. Shopping, consumerism, pricing--these are all things we have to change how we view. Regarding slow fashion, I've heard it been said that "instead of asking why something costs so much, we should be asking why it's so cheap." The fact that there has to be a special adjective like "slow" to describe something that's ethically made is absurd. Hopefully our children will know a world where slow fashion is just fashion."
-A BETTER LIFE -
Q: So here, I’d like for you to give a ‘tip’ to my readers. A tiyö. The word tiyö (name of the brand) means tip that comes purely from experience. Not just because people say it will work and the books say it’s right, but because the person giving tiyö experienced this exact thing and knows for sure that this will be the way to succeeding at whatever you’re doing. So it’s kind of guaranteed to work. Can you give a tiyö to readers? It can be about absolutely anything. Health, love, life, mindset, work, anything.
Just something you’ve learned from experience you’d like to pass on.
"I have a favorite quote that's gotten me through countless failures. When a pattern that just isn't doing what I want it to do, or a new technique that doesn't deliver the results I envisioned, I always tell myself "the master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried." It reminds me that the master crafters and seamstresses and designers I admire didn't get there by doing nothing, they got there by failing and failing but always getting back up."
-A BETTER WORLD-
Q: And finally, how do you think we can achieve a more gentle world?
"I believe that as business owners and entrepreneurs, we can't lose sight of the fundamental purpose of business: providing value to the world. When our business and life revolves around people, money is just a pleasant side effect of a life dedicated to serving others."