Introduction to JOLA
For a fairly private person, writing about myself makes me start to sweat, for lack of a better term. But, I appreciate knowing the who and the why behind products I purchase, so I will be forthcoming with some personal information about the road that led me to start JOLA.
I’ve always loved fashion, color, and putting looks together. Growing up, I was critiquing women’s shoe choices as they walked past my church pew on Sunday mornings and was drawing clothing designs in my basement “office” in elementary school. My mom would take me uptown to shop with her on Saturday mornings, and I would sit in the dressing room watching her try on 80’s jumpsuits with wide elastic belts. She had tons of oversized necklaces and earrings, and I lived for helping her accessorize her outfits. In high school I was constantly thrifting for vintage unique looks as we lived in a small town that had limited shopping options. Trips to the malls in Des Moines were a big highlight, and going to the Mall of America for the first time with all the store options it had was mind blowing.
I desperately wanted to leave the Midwest to study at Parsons (now the New School) or FIT in NYC, but after a modeling stint on the East coast, all I wanted to do was come back home and go to school near my family. So, I enrolled at a local university and studied fashion and fashion merchandising. It quickly lost its luster as I wasn’t studying high fashion or any type of fashion that interested me, so I transferred and ended up with an art history degree. Fast forward to getting married, having 4 boys, and 20 years later my mind has never wandered too far away from designing clothing.
I could not get the idea of designing my own line of clothing out of my head. It literally set up camp in my brain and would not leave. I didn’t know where or how to begin, so I enrolled back in school for over a year and took as many online classes as I could in design, marketing, and social media. Teaching an old dog new tricks isn’t easy, but I stuck with it and completed 6 classes. Then I was accepted into an online accelerator program that helped me navigate through everything else I needed to know to launch my brand. It’s been a whirlwind, but I’m thrilled to be able to present a line of shirts, created from quality materials and made for busy gals who love color and the emotions emitted from them. And speaking of color, stay tuned for an upcoming blog post about ROYGBIV and how the color spectrum can bring energy to your closet!