Today we’d like to introduce you to Jean Jones.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I have always been a maker. Some of my happiest memories from growing up are from quality time spent with my mom and dad teaching me how to make things. With my dad, among other things, I remember fondly making an elaborate dollhouse that started from a kit, complete with fairly detailed furniture. With my mom, I cooked and baked and learned to sew at a pretty young age. They both shared all their tools and knowledge, and both taught me to see in my mind’s eye what I wanted to make, and then to figure out how to make it.
In college and in my early adult years as a newlywed, I learned handweaving. After apprenticing for a production handweaver, I started my own business making and selling handwoven accessories under the label Jean Jones Handwovens. I was 25 when I started my business.
In the 25 years that have followed, my husband and I have raised three children, and our family has lived in several unique places in the US and in England, and we have also spent a lot of time in Europe. Through these years I have developed from being just a maker to also being a fashion designer. I have studied patternmaking and couture garment sewing, and for several years I worked under the label, Jean Jones Couture. Now, finally, after moving to Austin 8 years ago, and developing my own garments based on fit and fine details, I have landed on my maker-influenced, ethically made, contemporary womenswear collection, Jean Jones. I am 50 this year.
Please tell us about your art.
I make the very best women’s clothing that I possibly can. I am REALLY driven to make quality clothes. I think there is a lack of quality and the handmade touch in the world, and that people truly want meaning and to know their clothes are made by human hands. This is what ethically made means to me…that your clothes are made by happy humans who are paid a fair wage and want to be making your clothes for you.
In addition to being truly the work of the heart and the hand, I am proud of the changes I have made in the past year to work with as many sustainably sourced materials as possible. I’ve worked hard with my suppliers to ensure that my fabrics are natural, breathable and pure, and I use as many fabrics as possible that carry the OEKO certification for environmental sustainability.
We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
As artists, we tend to stay in our comfort zones. It’s comforting to create in the safety of our own worlds. But no one will see what you have to share if you don’t put yourself out there.
I think that social platforms, and specifically Instagram for artists since it’s mostly visual, are the best place for networking and showing the world what you are up to.
But beyond that, we can draw so much inspiration from others and even make some real flesh and blood friends by going to meetups and networking events.
I recently attended the Create and Cultivate event in Austin that was part of SXSW, and was so inspired by both the other creative women I met and by the speakers’ panels. Literally, it was like the speakers in the panels were talking directly to me – all about authenticity in branding and how to tell the world who you are and what you have to say, in an authentic voice.
I will continue to look back on that specific event as a turning point for me as an artist and maker. That day I really was inspired by the sense of community to show the world my point of view and more about my own story.
To think that I almost stayed home to putter in my studio that fateful Sunday. It was life changing!!! This photo of me with the big ATX is from that day. Hello World!
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Instagram and jeanjones.com are the #1 places to find me and what I’m doing. I maintain my site and Insta on a daily basis. Instagram stories are the place where I’m going to start showing more behind the scenes details, show items that have limited availability, and show items that I’m running on sale.
I do pop-ups and other events around Austin and beyond. When those come up, there is always a mention in Instagram stories. See you on the gram!
- Website: jeanjones.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @jeanjonescollection
- Facebook: @jeanjonescollection
- Other: pinterest: @jeanjonescollection