IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
STORY + VIDEO EDITING BY RACHEL SCHWARTZMANN – DISCOVER JONESY – PHOTOS + FOOTAGE BY BRIDGET BADORE FOR THE STYLE LINE
Rachel Jones of lifestyle intimates brand JONESY
proves that perseverance never goes out of style when it comes to building a successful contemporary brand. As you may remember in our initial story with Rachel, she candidly shared the inspiration behind her then one-year-old brand along with her experiences in bootstrapping a business in one of the most challenging cities in the world. Despite this, JONESY has seen immense success since then, and Rachel has continued to hone in on the brand’s distinctly casual-cool aesthetic. Yet while JONESY is slowly making its mark in the industry, our featured interviewee knows that there’s more to come. Luckily, there are incredible resources like Squarespace that aid small business owners and empower them to build a best-in-class website on their own terms.
For those who don’t know, Squarespace is an industry-leading all-in-one platform that enables users to build websites with longevity. With its highly-acclaimed customer service and user-friendly experience, the platform also hosts a broad assortment of templates and provides essential marketing tools that help users understand and engage their audiences. Technical aspects aside, we love Squarespace’s ongoing commitment to fostering its global community, which brings us to today’s story (and the second installment of our Made in Style interview series).
Without giving too much away, discover how Rachel continues to use Squarespace as a tool to enhance her business along with her thoughts on the contemporary design community and why she’s building a brand for ALL women. Also, enjoy exclusive photos (and footage!) captured by our lead photographer Bridget Badore for The Style Line.
I am Rachel Jones, the
founder, and designer of JONESY, an NYC-based undies line. I’ve been bootstrapping the brand (fancy word for wearing a lot of hats and trying to build the brand with little money) on my own since I launched the line back in 2015. If 2015 was all about finding the confidence to think of myself as a designer/founder and 2016 was about figuring out what kind of company I wanted to build, 2017 has been an altogether different journey as I’ve thought a lot about and wrestled with how to grow the company to a more stable place.
In some ways, not a lot has changed (I still wear many hats and am learning as I go), but in other ways, there are big things to celebrate. JONESY has grown 100% organically year over year in sales and I feel more confident in my vision for JONESY and what I want to accomplish. The question of how to get there is a bit more mysterious!
As an emerging designer who has launched a digitally native brand, how has building JONESY on Squarespace enabled you to cultivate an online community and provide context around the JONESY lifestyle?
When I started JONESY, I felt a lot of pressure to hit certain markers that I believed would establish the line as a “legitimate” brand. One of those was wholesale. After spending hours on outreach to boutiques and retailers and then worrying myself crazy over fulfilling wholesale orders, I realized that business model wasn’t adding enough value to my bottom line.
Removing wholesaling as a dominant part of my business model was hugely freeing and allowed me to focus on what matters to me most: figuring out what is working or not working for my customers and understanding what is selling well and what isn’t. As a direct-to-consumer brand, Squarespace gives me the digital “backbone” to make that possible and gives me a bird’s-eye view of my inventory and analytics, markers that are far more revealing into the state of the brand.
We use personal style as a lens to tell our stories. With that said, how would you describe your approach to personal style as a design entrepreneur and your personal style when it comes to designing JONESY’s site? Would you say there are any synergies between the two? How do you think Squarespace helped you realize that vision?
I gravitate towards style that borders on quirky and fun, so am always looking to bring that same playful spirit and intimacy to the web. Squarespace’s platform gives me the flexibility via its CMS and admin tools to inject that same spirit into the site.
“JONESY makes it easy for your undies and bras to feel both stylish AND comfortable.”
– RACHEL JONES
“I hope JONESY is a brand that humanizes the faces and stories it tells and casts a wider net over what it means to be a woman in 2017.”
– RACHEL JONES
Obviously, things have evolved since we first got to know the brand. With that in mind, walk us through your current day-in-the-life. What is one thing you’ve come to love or have learned the most since the brand’s inception?
I definitely have learned the most about myself: what I’m strong at, what I’m weak at, interests that I’ve come to explore that I didn’t know I had. Since I juggle other work on the side, I’ve had to learn to rely on others to help me realize my vision for JONESY. Asking for help is tough and can feel risky, but it is ultimately one of the most rewarding parts of what I do.
A typical day for me involves checking emails and managing follow-ups with photographers or talent that have reached out, mapping out my social calendar for the day with Planoly and refining any final posts and stories, and running errands to the Garment District in NYC to check in on samples or pick up materials and trims. Oh, and shipping out product! I feel like I’m always behind, so prioritizing is key!
As we head into the end of the year, what are your hopes for New York’s collective independent design community for 2018?
I hope for more transparency and openness from brand founders. I feel like a lot of the fashion world is a mirage. It may sound cliche to say that nothing is as it seems, but I certainly find that to be the case in fashion, based on my experience.
Since the medium is highly visual, no one wants to pull back the curtain to reveal what’s going on behind the scenes. And, I’m probably guilty of that too. Instagram and social makes it easy to project an aura of success, at the expense of a richer and more balanced story.
How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and how do you hope JONESY plays a role in this?
Creativity is about finding new ways and mediums to tell stories, in order to move us to new perspectives (and hopefully deeper empathy). I hope JONESY is a brand that humanizes the faces and stories it tells and casts a wider net over what it means to be a woman in 2017. Maybe that’s an ambitious goal, but that is the hope. We all want to be inspired by the brands we see and follow, but we should also feel seen and acknowledged.