Spotlight ˚1: Jenny from Frances Jaye
So today, I'm releasing another new series on the blog. Spotlight is going to be a series featuring the the purveyors of locality, the entrepreneurs, and business owners that I meet and or have conversations with. I'll be sitting down with a lot of people in the next coming months but let's start out with a store that holds a huge place in my heart. As you all know, I love Holland. I try to go there at least once every other week to just enjoy the ambiance and the coffee too. I have my spots that I frequent but Frances Jaye is honestly where I begin my day. They carry my favorite brands ( Mollusk + Scotch and Soda). It's located in downtown Holland in the middle of the most beautiful strip of shops, restaurants, boutiques, and more. I sat down with Jenny, the owner of Frances Jaye yesterday and interviewed her on how she started this wonderful shop. Let's get to the interview shall we?
We went to 205 Coffee for the interview, Jenny got a charcoal lemonade kombucha (starlight post anyone?) and I got my usual cortado. We grabbed a table top seat and talked about our current happenings and we worked our way into the interview.
Ty: Tell me about yourself?
Jenny: My name is Jenny and I'm the owner of Frances Jaye, business woman, cat lover, Disney geek, and lover of the little pocket that I call home (Holland).
Ty: Where did you start your career in fashion?
Jenny: I worked in retail my entire life. My mother owned a clothing store and I started with unpacking boxes and such at a young age. I then moved to Chicago to work at Urban Outfitters. I began as a seasonal associate, then I worked my way up to district merchandiser. I worked there for 10 years.
Ty: Who's Frances Jaye?
Jenny: *giggles* and says "Everyone thinks it's me. I get emails from people all time saying, "Dear Frances". Frances was my grandmother's name and Jaye symbolizes the names in my immediate family. My name starts with J, my husband's name starts with a J, and my aunt's name started with a J. She was very influential to me.
Ty: Why Holland?
Jenny: I think that downtown Holland is very unique. There's such a focus on local here. I think that it's really rare to find a small town to be full of independent businesses. The community here also has a huge support on downtown and the culture.
Ty: What is your favorite brand right now?
Jenny: *points to her dress* Hackwith. When I began Frances Jaye, and my husband can attest to this, I dreamt of carrying Hackwith in the store. On our recent buying trip in New York, we went to specifically meet Lisa. We saw the showroom and let's just say we went nuts and bought everything.
Ty: What's your favorite thing about fashion?
Jenny: I love the creativity and the way that people can express themselves.
Ty: What's your least favorite thing about fashion?
Jenny: I dislike the overall industry and the idea of how people should look. But I do think things are getting better and overall big brands are starting to tailor to all body shapes.
Ty: What's your favorite city that you've traveled to?
Jenny: Uhm... that's a hard one. I'll give you my top 3: Sydney, Capetown, and Havanna. They're all stunning!
Ty: Where do you see Frances Jaye in 5 years?
Jenny: I would love to have more space and I would love to introduce more home goods to the shop. I'd also love to carry kids clothes. There are some cute kids clothes out there. But, I want to stay in the business and be apart of the culture because I love what I do.
Ty: Finally! What's your favorite cocktail?
Jenny: Gin & Tonic. I remember going to an Hall & Oates concert and my family all drinks gin & tonics. So we asked the bartender if he could make a pitcher for us and he did.
Thank you for sitting with me Jenny! If you guys are ever in Holland, MI, go check out the shop. You can also buy from their online shop. Check it out Here !
talk to you soon