A note from J+J
Recently, Jamie + the Jones was featured on Darling Magazine's website -- EEK! You can peruse the article here.
We wrote about the topic of Slow Fashion, and how we accidentally stumbled upon this movement, but actually believed in this way of running a business ever since the thought of J+J back in 2008.
In the article, we talk a lot about how we got to where we are now and the advancements in technology that began a few years after we conceptualized our brand... From website building platforms, to simple e-commerce, to social media - Hello, Instagrammers ;)
But we want to elaborate on something else in this article:
We spoke on the trend of Minimalism and how we, as designers, are not minimalists. In fact, our greatest joy is sending out marbled and dyed garments to the lucky few who can nab them before we sell out. (Heck, our dream is to follow through with a fully marbled pant suit.)
You see, slow fashion is not minimalism. We never saw it as that. Both of us have been collectors ever since we can remember... We choose to keep the items that mean most to us in life and the journeys we have embarked on. Smart + simple design is an art, but so is the process of developing textiles - from embroidery, to weaving, to marbling. Each piece we focus on, even in our simplest fabrics, tells a story. If you don't love it... Why wear it?
We want even our simplest silhouettes to be held on to and worn until they are tattered. To remember a time in your life where *this garment* was your absolute favorite. The garments you must patch + repair because they have been through a life with you and you can't seem to give them up.
And yes, Slow Fashion is all of the things that are SO important as well: Fair working conditions, wages, + reducing mass production + waste. We wholeheartedly believe this is how businesses of ALL kinds should be run.
But it should also be just as it is described: Slow. Thoughtful. With Integrity. Without forgetting the 'Fashion': Risk taking, bold, + with the intention to push the elements of design. Something we cannot wait to show you as we once again unveil our textiles, one embroidered stitch, paint splatter, + weave at a time.
From Hannah (The Jones):
The most meaningful item I have is my collection of charms -- I have one to represent each member of my family, down to small keys + gadgets from my grandparents that all somehow fit - a little wonky - on this large silver chain. Every time I go somewhere exciting or experience a meaningful drift in life, I try to find a charm that best represents that aspect of myself + journey. Some of them have tiny moving parts, others rattle or make little noise. Some were given as gifts and others just seemed to find me in a significant time in my life. I recently discovered, after my mom made a great move from her home of 10 years, these tiny trinkets I collected when I was a little girl. Small glass animals, beads, + notions that had some sort of meaning were housed in a tin Christmas box, wrapped perfectly and waiting for me to unveil in my later years in life (Good move, tiny Hannah. Good move). They are now waiting to fill plants I now collect for my home. I have always loved the beauty in the tiny details, and that comes in to play with how I see Jamie + the Jones.
My job at J+J when not fulfilling daily tasks is focused on the details that make up our branding. One of my favorite things to do is illustrate, which you see in our Swatch Kits we send out, in our logo, newsletters, and anything that looks like it probably came from a comic book. I love the idea of something artfully + thoughtfully done, especially when it can be simple + lighthearted. I don't want to take this job we have been given too seriously, and I hope our customers can see that in the garments we send out + the way we represent Jamie + the Jones.
The details are why I love marbling, embroidery, even a heavily textured woven because even in the simplest design there is dimension + detail + elements I want to continue to explore. There is something easy + fun about the beauty these create that also have a little life of their own. Deep conversations have been had over throwing paint across the marbling bath with Teresa. Storytelling podcasts played while Allison's loom was clacking away as she created our first woven run of Chroma T Sweaters (remember those?!). And now we get to invite our best friends from college into our little world as one knits, one embroiders, and another begins to craft custom treats for our upcoming Halloween Studio Party.
Now that I am approaching 30, I have learned to start letting go of items that just don't affect me emotionally. The ones I hang on to tell a story, even if I don't wear them daily... The J+J garments that bring me the most joy - and that I just can't get rid of - are those that are marbled, embroidered, or dyed. Maybe it is stemmed from my childhood nostalgia, or maybe it is because they just make me really dang happy to look at.
I have always been a collector. When that word "collector" or "collection" comes to mind though, it brings forth images of a lot of things, a hoarder of sorts. Yet, somehow, even as a child, I have been a very calculated collector. It has always been easy for me to pair down and only keep what felt necessary. If it didn't have a place in my head of where it was going to go, it wasn't chosen.
I would say it started with my rock collection. I carefully chose rocks and gems, found or bought, into my own personal curated (and color coordinated) stone collection. As I grew up, my love for collecting only grew from rocks, then to beads, to admittedly Archie Comics, and eventually, as life led me to some awesome travels, I collected shells and trinkets I picked up from each country along the way. Each stone, each piece has meaning to me and a memory attached.
I love taking ordinary yet beautiful things and giving them their own designated place. As Hannah and I have stated before, we didn't seek out to be fashion designers. We didn't seek out to be slow fashion or minimalist. Our lives led us here. These tiny childhood quirks led us to design, led us to find our voice in this world. It just so happened to be expressed through clothing. Looking back, it all makes sense. Our eyes are drawn to beauty, to unusual textures. We feel the need to set them apart by making them our own.
Looking through it now I can see all of the colors I wear (as that's how it's organized), and I see the pieces that stand out, and I treasure most. First, a hand marbled triad dress from our first collection. It has been to numerous weddings, parties, Sundays at church and simple days spent at the park or beach. Second is my Papa's short sleeved button up. This has been with me on every trip and country I have gone and has served as a coverup, a towel, a pillow case and even sometimes a shirt! My closet and design philosophy has always been an extension how I treat all of my collections, carefully chosen pieces with a purpose and meaning. And often I go through and pair down my closet to rid myself of things I have no longer deemed special enough.