Our Mothers

 Photography by Brett Warren

Photography by Brett Warren

THE STRONG WOMEN BEHIND US

This Mother's Day, we sat down to reflect on what our mothers truly mean to us and how they have contributed to our growth personally and in our business. We are products of STRONG women and we wanted to take this time to celebrate them.  We are lucky enough to call these two women our mothers and we know this company would not exist without the love + support of them both.  Recently, we had a fun photoshoot with them and reflected a bit on what they mean to us as well as asked them a few Q+A's below.  

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JAMIE'S MOM

Lynnea Joy Wiese. That’s my mom. She is a mother of four, a cancer warrior, a Grandma to ten (!), and one of the strongest willed and loving women I know. She put herself through college and had a career as a school teacher, yet after marrying my dad and settling down, made a decision to stay home to raise my two sisters, brother and I.

Growing up, she was the ultimate homemaker and teacher to us. She taught me everything before I even went to school. She also instilled the importance of family in me and has always been a fierce advocate for her children. She fostered and supported my dreams, and found ways to help me get there- from music lessons, to buying my first sewing machine and helping me get through design school. And now, while running a business and growing a family of my own, she seems to always know what I need before I can even say it. Sometimes it's box of diapers sent to my house, a double batch of homemade cookies or a simple note letting me know she's thinking of me.

A trait I so admire about my mom is her strong faith. She never wavers in her beliefs, but she is also never pushy or judgmental. It’s just how she lives. I’ll never forget what she said to me growing up. She would say, “I don’t care what you’ve been doing. If you’re in trouble or feel unsafe, I’ll be there no questions asked.” My safety and trust in her was more important than anything I may be doing wrong. That spoke volumes to me.

She instilled a crazy work ethic in me to be reliable, dependable and detail oriented. She was always extremely organized and constantly thinking. I too am constantly thinking, and find myself writing notes on notes the way she does. When I was little, if I couldn’t sleep I would go downstairs to find her also awake. We would sit, sip hot tea and just try to rest our minds.

My mom LIVED for her kids, what I now know is the ultimate sacrifice of oneself. Being a mom myself, I see how extremely difficult that is. Yet she made it seem so easy, like that was the only way. She completely gave of herself to her children. That in turn made us into confident and capable adults. I can’t take full credit for my successes without acknowledging she played such a prominent role in making them happen. Now I look at my children and can only hope they feel the same love, trust and comfort I feel from her. She gave me all the confidence, tools and resources to achieve even my wildest dreams. And believe me, they have been wild! She made me believe I could quite literally be or do anything I wanted. I now know this is rare, I know she is rare.  - Jamie

 

Q+A WITH LYNNEA

What's your funniest fashion memory? Any outfit that you felt was bomb dot com at the time, but didn't really seem to age well?

I lived in the original body suit, hip hugger era during my early High school years. I remember wearing a psychedelic short sleeve lacy body suit with purple low riding hip hugger jeans and a wide belt. Just imagine that! And then later sometime in the 80s I recall wearing blazers with the padded shoulders and permed hair. Kind of like Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally”! It’s a good think we can laugh at ourselves. 

What's your favorite way to relax?

I love to soak in hot bath with bubbles and a great book and some 70's music playing the background. 

Who or what are your biggest style inspirations?

My Nonni (my grandmother on my dad's side) was a big influence on how I dress. She didn’t necessarily dress in what was all the rage, but always wore what looked perfect on her. I always try to wear the styles and colors that I feel look good on me instead of what’s in or trending at the time. And I don’t mind spending more on a piece I love. 

Did Jamie have any funny fashion phases - P.L.E.A.S.E elaborate?

When we lived in the state of Washington in the early to mid 90s the popular style was the Grunge Look. Jamie loved the huge pants and oversized t-shirts. She still loves roomy and overflowing styles as evidenced in J+J. And for Halloween one year she wore orange leggings, a rainbow brite (80's doll) twin flat sheet as a cape and something wrapped around her head. And a big smile! I’m sure there wasn’t another costume like it that year or any year to follow. 

Do you have any stand out mother's day memories? Macaroni Crafts that will forever be on your refrigerator

I can’t remember how old the girls were, probably 4, 5 and 7 and they each made me a plastic heart medallion necklace. I still have them in my Jeweley box. Such sweet memories of my little girls. 

What do you see in your daughter that you recognize in yourself?

Persistence, a good reader of people, sensitive (moved by acts of kindness or a hard luck story), tenacious, ...but I don’t believe I can take credit for her creativity. 

What is your favorite J+J Garment?

My favorite go to J+J piece is the original black silk crepe Pocket Box Top. It can be worn with anything and makes me feel beautiful whether I throw it on over bedhead hair or after a shower and blow dry. It’s always my go to piece!

Favorite J+J Color?

I can’t decide! I thought my favorite color was Emerald. But now I’m in love with Ink. What’s a girl to choose?

 
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HANNAH'S MOM

Sheila is my mother.

As I get older, the word “mother” starts to sound so minimal to what my mother is to me. Even the word “hero” is not strong enough to explain her as a human.

She became a single working mom to me and my sister when I was in 4th grade. I often wonder how this wonder-woman put dinner on the table every night and never complained once about why she was chosen to take on the role of a single mom. I have a hard time getting up every morning to walk my two dog-children ;).

My mom sacrificed every single day to provide comfort + love to us as kids, and even now in our 30’s, she makes sure our happiness is the most important. Yes, some days were filled with burnt cheese toast for breakfast, but every second of that was followed with laughter and shrugging off the small stuff.

She never yelled, but when Sheila brought out “the look”, you knew to walk yourself up to your bedroom and sit there until she was ready to talk to you. My sister even had a habit of grounding herself first, so she wouldn't have to see it (didn't work).

I am no longer naive to her path, but my mom never let us see her broken until she thought we would be ready. She never let us see her mad until she thought we would be ready. And she never once complained about her life in a way that would make my sister and I feel *her* hurt, pain, and anger. She let us walk our own paths, pushed us, encouraged us, and instilled strength and determination to us as individuals...Those of you who don't know - My sister and I are almost identical in looks, but opposite in brains. She is a Science and Math genius who is now a Pharmacist, and I am now The Jones of a women's clothing brand who favors visual concepts and doodling.

We talk now about all the hard stuff. I tell her that I don’t understand how she did it all… A Single. Working. Mother of two girls. Getting us through puberty (yikes!), and all the rickety roads of childhood, youth, and adulthood. The last time I told her this we were at the beach, at a little house by the ocean that she bought all by herself. When I expect her to say “Nah… I just did what I had to do”, instead, she grinned and said to me, “Yep. I did that.” in the proudest, most accomplished tone that I have not heard before.

My mother is the one who taught me that it’s ok to cry, then you put on your big girl panties and move forward. She taught me to laugh when every waking moment seems like you are getting whopped in the face (The Jones Girls are prone to “accidents” and have bits of time where falling, dropping, and breaking anything in our path becomes a small routine).

She teaches me now to fight like hell to just show up, especially for yourself. To put one foot in front of the other and walk your path. Be open to change. Accept it. Fight for it. And most importantly, to not take it all too seriously.

Sheila is my mother and she is also a warrior. (That *almost* explains her…)

 

Q+A WITH SHEILA

What's your funniest fashion memory? Any outfit that you felt was bomb dot com at the time, but didn't really seem to age well?

My daddy picked out a pair of bright orange gaucho pants for me when I was in college. I. Wore. Them. Everywhere. Nobody asked me to borrow them (which says a lot), but because my daddy picked them out, I wore them until the seams fell apart.

What's your favorite way to relax?

With my girls and the fam and the gbabes, preferably at the beach (and of course with my gals extreme specialty drinks or Miller Lite).

Who or what are your biggest style inspirations?

Actually J + J, you guys have forced me out of my “business work clothes” box and dared me to be different - now everybody wants my stuff!!

Did Hannah have any funny fashion phases - P.L.E.A.S.E elaborate?

Hannah's phase was "NO WORDS OR PICTURES" on any of her clothing as a child. One time I pulled a shirt out of the dryer that had a patch over where an obvious logo would go - Low and behold I peeked under the patch and under it was the familiar alligator logo from Lacoste!

Do you have any stand out mother's day memories? Macaroni Crafts that will forever be on your refrigerator?

Every single hand made card I have ever received where I can so clearly see the love that went into it warms my soul... yep, I can tear up with just the thought, along with anytime, any hour, any day I can spend with my girls on momma's day.

What do you see in your daughter that you recognize in yourself?

Strength and knowing that we can overcome anything, even if sometime it takes a little wine ...

What is your favorite J+J Garment?

My very first natural T DRESS! I am on my second one!

Favorite J+J Color?

Citron, Emerald, Natural, Oak...shall I keep going?