What is your product(s)?
JOLA is a line of colorfully conscious and sustainably made women’s blouses and shirts. All fabrics used are sustainably made with Tencel, modal, bamboo, and organic cotton when available. Three out of the five styles of shirts are made from Standard 100 OEKO-TEX® fabrics. Two styles use TENCEL™ Modal fabrics. The PJ Top is made with corozo buttons, which unlike plastic buttons, will eventually biodegrade over time. The Vest is made with buttons from upcycled horn that has been discarded naturally.
Consciously selected notions are used along with recycled labels and hang tags. Dutiful pricing reflects the selection of superior materials, ethical sustainability standards, and a commitment to quality fit and tailoring. Made in small batch orders, JOLA is doing its best to keep firm tabs on quality control, eliminate waste, and manufacture with common sense principles and standards.
Where were you with your idea or business before joining Factory45?
I had sketches drawn on paper and lots of ideas in my head, but I had no idea how to organize and coordinate it all together. Also, I did not know where to find fabrics, suppliers, or manufacturers. I joined Factory45 to give me the direction I needed to get JOLA moving in a forward direction as I felt like I was just going in circles up until then.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
Factory45 gave me the game plan to know exactly where to start my business and the steps I needed to follow in the correct order. I had a mentor (Hannah) who I was able to check in with when I had questions that may not have come up in the modules. She was also there for support and guidance to help me keep going too when I was frustrated or discouraged. Also, from the mentorship opportunity I was able to connect with other fellow “students” who were going through the program, and I gained insight on how they were conducting their brands as well.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
The most valuable part of being in Factory45 for me was the community and the supplier/manufacturer databases. From leads I took following advice other members in the community gave me, I found so many other sources of valuable information in terms of how to keep my brand moving forward after the program was finished. I felt like all the resources in the databases were “vetted” for me, and I felt much more confident using them rather than just random companies I found doing internet searches on my own.
What were some big or small milestones that you hit after going through Factory45?
I was able to get my line manufactured within a year of finishing the program. The fact that I went from sketches on paper to a line of 5 shirts in 3 colorways each in a year felt like a big milestone to me!
Please describe your business after Factory45.
Each week I spend most of my time on getting the word out regarding JOLA. I just started selling the line and am working on getting it into retail stores now. JOLA is currently selling on Wolf & Badger and will be featured in three upcoming issues of British Vogue. I’m learning that all steps moving continuously forward are good even if big results aren’t happening yet. It’s all circular and I keep learning more each day about marketing JOLA.