In all my work leading up to launching my brand, a single message kept ringing through:
Be honest and transparent.
The modules I was working through in my accelerator program and in all the co-working sessions we had with other “students” trying to build their brand kept coming back to that same message. It’s important to be transparent so that your target market sees what you are trying to accomplish and understands the message you are hoping to make resonate with them.
Being transparent is easier for some than it is for others. I see constant reminders of this on social media as people are “TikToking” within an inch of their lives or posting every waking minute of what is occurring in their households. I understand the validity in the open communication people enjoy having with their followers and subscribers, but for a private person like myself, that is the opposite of how I feel comfortable operating. Plus, no one needs to see my Elaine Benis dance moves. :)
So, the constant dilemma for me as I work on building my business has been, “How do I build a transparent brand without sacrificing my need for privacy?” I’ve asked friends and family if they think it’s possible to have both, and all have said, “Just be honest and share whatever you feel comfortable sharing!” Honesty has never been a problem for me. I tend to share my honest opinions sometimes to a fault, and I’ve always appreciated the same from those around me. Authenticity and honesty are character traits that should both be admired.
In starting JOLA, I have strived to be authentic, honest, and transparent. I would love for this brand to be 100% sustainable, but I also hope my customers realize this isn’t always achievable for a new business. Finding the perfect organic fabric dyed with sustainable dyes made in the most eco-conscious factory shipped to me in recycled packaging on an airplane that doesn’t use fossil fuel is impossible to find. And at that point I haven’t even had the fabric made into a shirt yet!
I’m learning that I need to control what I can and hope my conscious-minded customers are okay that JOLA is a work in progress. I will do my best to make transparent choices and continue to move forward trying to find suppliers who are being as sustainable as possible. Please be patient with me as I give all my effort to make JOLA be everything for its customers that I hope it can be. I will make mistakes along the way and will value all of your feedback as it is given to me. It is with your support that I will be able to bring sustainable color to your lives and your closets!