Meet Jacquleyn L
Q: What strengths do you admire most about the women around you? / A: There are oh so many. I am proud to say I surround myself with women who keep it about as real as you can get. Dependable, independent, humble, genuine, thoughtful and authentic. I am in constant awe of the women around me. Friends who make mom’ing to multiple mini humans while climbing that corporate ladder and making it look easy, friends who start their own companies, switch careers later in life, go back to school, move across the country or globe to start over. I have some bad ass women surrounding me.Q: What does a day-in-the-life look like for you? / A: Lots and lots of meetings. Leading the product team over all means showing up for my team, listening, organizing, strategizing and at the end of the day; rolling up my sleeves to get sh*t done. And that said sh*t can change from day to day. Toggles from meaning my headphones are on and I’m deep in a spreadsheet, on the phone negotiating with a vendor, presenting hats in a line review (the best part) or re-doing the GTM calendar for the 10th time. My goal is to create a culture where everyone’s ideas are welcome, people feel valued and want to show up every day.
Q: What has been one of your favorite designs you’ve seen come to fruition? / A: Hard to pick just one so I’ll go with my original which is London Sparkles. It was the first hat I created in 2014 when I had been with the company just a few months and was on a development trip in NY. A wide brim natural straw boater with a forest green hatband at the time but has evolved into a variety of different hats with different materials, trims and names through the years. (The first photo below is from 2014 wearing the London Sparkles the day the sample arrived)Q: What details of a hat are you drawn to most? / A: Definitely the trims. They can make or break a hat design so easily. It’s so easy to completely transform a hat with the change of a band or the addition of a little accessory. The trims can turn a hat from an accessory to a story on your head.
Q: How often does the design of the hat change from initial sketch to final product? / A: Pretty often. These days it’s mostly due to supply chain issues of some sort and no longer having the gift of time. Going with the flow, passing creative reigns to a colleague or a trusted vendor to reimagine your initial design has become the norm. I think we have all come to appreciate the process and often times I think the hat will turn out better than we originally imagined.Q: What keeps you inspired in and out of the workplace? / A: So many things that I’m likely not thinking of- but- travel is probably number one; whether I’m doing it for work or for home décor and architecture. I love wandering flea markets, craft fairs (West Coast Craft being a favorite). Anything art related that is woven, knitted, intertwined, interlaced always catches my eye as does geometric art or anything with line work. Also, the youth. I am always amazed and inspired by the movements and achievable moments young people today have created.
Q: How does it feel to be a woman in this field? / A: I feel proud for where I am today knowing how hard I worked to get here. The fashion world generally speaking can be predominantly female. It’s so important to always build each other up, work together, listen and big things can be accomplished. Always know your worth, speak up when you believe in something and say it again for those in the back that weren’t listening.
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