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The Future of Jean Franklin + Made-to-Order & Vintage Sale

The Future of Jean Franklin + Made-to-Order & Vintage Sale

Hi Friends,

We’re running a 50% off sale sitewide on both vintage and JF styles now through Dec. 1st. I wanted to share with you why we’re having such a significant sale. 

I should point out that we don’t normally run any sales. Our philosophy is to offer the fairest price possible. This also means our profit margin is low, which makes running a sale difficult without losing money on each item we sell. 

Many fashion brands have significant mark-up on retail prices which allows them to offer deep discounts while still making a profit. Our choice on pricing is not typical for a fashion brand, especially considering our extremely high quality, fair-trade, and environmental standards - but I’ll explain more about that later.It's been quite a journey over the last 3 years, from first defining the idea of what Jean Franklin should offer the fashion world to watching it grow with the support of wonderful customers. 

JF is a clothing line dedicated to making you feel great about what you wear. That means paying a fair wage to the people who make the clothes and doing less harm to the environment by sourcing eco-friendly and recycled materials. 

Nothing about this process has been easy, although it's been extremely rewarding to meet so many great people trying to change the fashion industry for the better. This includes people who work in fashion or those who help support this movement with purchases and by spreading the word. 

This journey has also been disappointing and painful at times. As an entrepreneur I've learned that you don't always succeed the first time you try something new. I've been taking some time away from Jean Franklin the last few months to think about the future and to reflect.

While I don't yet know how Jean Franklin will evolve in the coming months, I do want to share with you some areas I've struggled with as a designer and business owner. I do not believe I’m alone in facing these issues. 

From the beginning, I wanted to try and overhaul the bad practices of traditional fashion companies that persist to this day: 

  • I wanted to ensure that all the people we worked with - pattern-makers, sample-makers, production cutters, and sewers - were paid fairly.  
  • I wanted to tackle the environmental issues associated with manufacturing new clothing. This included solving  style and quality issues that often times lead people to wear an article of clothing only a few times and then throw it out. 
  • On top of these challenges, I wanted to create an inclusive line for people of all sizes, ages, and incomes (which is why we made the business decision to buck the trend of fashion industry pricing and keep our margins as low as possible).

As I got deeper into the process of designing clothes, I quickly realized that there was no way to achieve all of these goals at the same time with the tiny budget for the business that I was self-funding. So I set out first to tackle the challenge of making made-to-order clothing. This was to cut down on the waste associated with fashion labels placing large orders for styles in multiple sizes vs. making each piece as a customer placed the order. This alone meant the price per piece would be more expensive. Plus, my goal was to pay at least $15 per hour for cutting and sewing. We’re not talking about a very generous annual salary at $31,000 per year even though it is slightly higher than minimum wage. 

I also found that even offering five sizes to start (XS-XL) was a daunting task to ensure each size was graded correctly. As I'm sure anyone who understands grading will tell you, this is a process that doesn't stop. You're constantly trying to get a better fit for most people in the size range you offer and it's not as easy as adding an inch to every measurement and moving on.

It also quickly became clear that the price tag of each item was not going to be affordable for many people. I've tried to justify this by saying what many other brands and people say - "Buy quality, not quantity," "Shop for items that really speak to your heart, that you want to wear forever," "Support local businesses,” "Buy fewer, better things," etc. 

But at the end of the day, the majority of people cannot afford to buy our clothing. If we truly want there to be change in the fashion industry, we need to empower more shoppers and consumers to vote with their wallet. 

For this reason, I’ve started to explore how I can achieve the goals of Jean Franklin while offering products at a lower price. Recently we’ve been trying out recycling scraps and unused fabric into new home goods - you can find these one of a kind pieces we've experimented with in the Home Goods section of the site. I'm also contemplating focusing more on vintage clothing again, as I did in a past life on Etsy. I'm also looking into creating useful content around mending and altering pieces you already own to extend the life of clothing you already love. 

At this time, I am offering a 50% off sale on all existing JF pieces (while we were mainly made-to-order, we did produce a few pieces for events in the past, which is why we have some inventory available for sale now) and vintage clothing. This discount will appear automatically when you checkout. All sales will be final. 

I'm not saying that we won't ever produce new styles again, but for now, I'm taking a beat to consider these bigger challenges and opportunities that we face as a business.

Thank you all for your support, it means the world to me.



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Jean Franklin X Merchant Gallery Pop-up

Michelle Terris Photography

We're starting 2019 with a pop-up at Merchant Gallery in Santa Monica.

Our limited-edition clothing is made with recycled materials and by women who are paid fair wages. So, it felt only fitting that our first pop-up of 2019 should be curated with artwork, furniture, objects and vintage rugs in the beautiful Merchant Gallery

Join us in appreciating the craftsmanship and attention to detail that it takes to make art and hand-made clothing. 

Our opening event at Merchant Gallery is on Saturday, January 12, from 12pm - 6pm. We'll have Lori Stern sweet treats and refreshments. The pop-up will run from January 10 - February 10. 

Get the details and RSVP here

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Brodie's Favorite San Francisco Spots

The Jean Franklin crew had such a great time at Renegade Craft San Francisco last weekend, we only wish we had more time to explore the city! Whether you live in the Bay area or are planning a trip to visit, it can be somewhat overwhelming to know where to even start in a city packed with so many great options, so we asked our friend Brodie, songstress, beauty, and half of the 'Cathedrals' duo, to put together a list of her favorite spots in San Francisco - from live music to coffee to favorite parks for taking a walk or having a picnic in. 

Woman standing outside wearing long dress

Brodie, wearing the Belle Holiday Dress in Poppy

Here's her top picks:

Live Music

Beautiful Jewelry:

Gorgeous Home Goods and Vintage:


Picnic in the Park:

Woman sitting on stairs

We also love how Brodie styled the Belle Holiday dress for everyday wear with boots and a motorcycle jacket. 

Shop our dresses here

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Bekah Martinez x Jean Franklin Collaboration to Support Breast Cancer Research

Woman wearing pink dress

Bekah wearing the Lorena Wrap Dress in Rose


I'm so excited to share the Bekah Martinez x Jean Franklin collaboration with you all. We've been working on this together for the past several months. 

We collaborated on this project together to support breast cancer research. Why? Personally, my own grandmother was a breast cancer survivor and many friends, co-workers and other people I know have been directly affected by breast cancer. According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime and over 40,000 American women and men die from breast cancer each year.

With every purchase you make from the limited edition collection, you're helping to fund the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. You can read more about BCRF and why research matters on their website here. We'll be donating 50% of net profits of all sales of this collection to BCRF. 

Woman wearing dress and headscarf outside

Bekah wearing Jean Franklin limited edition wrap dress and headscarf

Earlier this year we reached out to Bekah to partner on this project because of her passion for supporting sustainable, ethical and local businesses and causes. Jean Franklin is built on the foundation of conducting "business for better", meaning our goals aren't only to generate profit, they are about being conscious of how the choices we make in running our business affect people and the environment. I also strongly believe in giving back to the community around us. 

Women picking out fabrics

Bekah and Amanda, Jean Franklin's founder, picking out fabric.

Bekah and I collaborated on what the styles would look like for this collection which include a wrap dress in rose and a floral cherub print headscarf. She worked beside me to pick out fabrics, fit test the styles and shoot product photos, and all to support a worthy cause. 

Fabric swatches

You can shop the collection here. Thank you for your support. 



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JF Inspiration: My Grandmother Norma, Written by My Father

Here at Jean Franklin, inspiration is in our blood. Quite literally, with this blog post in particular. Although I was never able to meet my Grandmother Norma, I can feel her spirit, strength and determination. She's an inspiration and her courage is unmatched. She embodies the Fall collection in many ways and our new trousers and chore jacket are named after her. As a single working mother in the 50s, her life wasn't easy, yet she still made choices to stand up for what she believed to be right and give back to the people around her through teaching. I hope that her story can inspire and encourage you like it has me —take it away, Dad.  

My mother grew-up on a 40 acre family farm just outside of the very small rural community of Wooster, Arkansas. A child during the 1920s, she was a teenager during the 1930s Great Depression. Her father tried a number of different small farming options in an effort to keep the farm going during those days - small crops, chickens, eggs, dairy, eventually also taking work as a government employee to keep the family afloat.

Her and her siblings swam in the creek that ran in front of their house when the water was up. Unfortunately, poisonous water moccasin snakes also frequented the creek on hot days. Amazingly no one was ever bitten.  Going into the outside storm cellar, that was dug near the old wooden front porch of their farmhouse, during the tornadoes which swing yearly through the south central states was also part of life.

Norma did well in school, had a sometimes devious sense of humor (her two older sisters were often the victims), independent-minded, strong-willed, determined, and athletic, intensely playing sports in high school including basketball and softball. (There were stories from her sisters of how she would not take anything from the “big” stars on the rival team (Greenbrier, a larger school down the road). She idolized her older brother Carlton, who taught her to shoot both a basketball and a rifle, and he was the first in the family to graduate from college. Her first great sadness and loss was her brother’s sudden and accidental auto death in the mid-1930s.

After High School
Your grandmother was hired for her first teaching job at age 17 (probably in 1933)! Another local rural community needed a teacher for it’s one-room schoolhouse and Norma’s teacher recommended her.  She had already finished her high school classes and was older than any of the students she would be teaching. This was the beginning of her life-long career as a teacher. The salary helped the family by providing another income during the Depression years. Although one of the first purchases she made, when able, was her piano. She began attending college classes to get her degree in education, but was interrupted by the end of the Depression, the start of World War II, and family move to Southern California.

World War II
Norma vividly remembered the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) which brought the U.S. fully into World War II and occurred the day before her 26th birthday. Two sisters had already moved to Southern California and one to Washington State.  Now the rest of the family, including temporarily her parents, made the move to Whittier. Wanting to be part of the war effort, and with husbands or boyfriends joining the military, Norma and at least two of her sisters found jobs in the airplane factories in the Los Angeles area.  If you have seen the “Rosie, the Riveter” icon posters, that is what your grandmother was doing in the defense factories. Her speciality was electrical wiring.

By February of 1944, Norma decided that she needed to do more. (Our Scot-Irish Patton ancestors had fought in both the Revolutionary War and Civil War.) With no brother alive to serve, she decided to enlist in the newly formed Women’s Marine Corp, recently authorized by President Roosevelt to free male Marines for overseas duty.  The motto was “Be a Marine, To Free a Marine to Flight.” The requirements were stringent and only the best female volunteers were accepted as they would have to overcome resentment, crude language and other indignities to prove they belonged. Historically, it is reported that the women Marines succeeded in winning over their detractors by exhibiting competence, self-assurance and pride. She was sent to North Carolina for training and then stationed at various Marine training bases, eventually being honorably discharged as a Corporal in San Diego in January 1946,  four months after the war had ended. While in the Marines, she continued to play on military base softball teams, normally as catcher. With her teaching background, Norma was assigned to teach Marine pilots the recognition of both enemy and “friendly” ships and airplanes (from high altitude dropping bombs on the wrong ship would not be good). Your grandmother described to me that these were the happiest, most exciting days of her life. Her name and experience is registered in the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Washington D.C. Since at that time the women Marines were consider limited-time “Reservists,” there was no opportunity to stay in the service. The happiness over the end of the war took a devastatingly sad turn with the death of her fiancée, who died in a jeep accident in Europe shortly before he shipped home. They had planned to wed after the war.

With her plans dramatically changed, Norma and her parents returned home to Arkansas, they to the family farm and her to finish her college education.  Like so many “service veterans,” she used her eligibility for college education through the G.I. Bill to attend Arkansas State Teachers College (now Arkansas State University in Conway). There she became the first woman in our family to earn a college degree. Her B.A. was as an English major and Music minor. She loved various music styles - classic, broadway, hymns and later Elvis playing all on the piano. She also loved to read both classic and contemporary (sometimes controversial) novels.

Next Decades - 50’s and 60’s
After college she moved back to California and found a teaching job in the Lancaster area where her sister Alyene and her husband were now living and pastoring a small church.  There she eventually met my father Leo William Olsen. They were married in December 1949. She was now 34 years old and he was 41. I was born a year later on December 5, 1950, in Conway, Arkansas.  My mother had returned home to be with her parents during my birth as my father was on the road working as a painter contractor for the growing chain of Sears Roebuck stores. We moved back to Whittier when I was about three months old.  My mother had used her other G.I. benefits to purchase a house in a new post-war subdivision of what was the old orange groves of east Whittier.

I was to be an only child. My mother would later tell me that while she was open to more children, my father was not.  Once home, my father’s constant drinking, alcoholic-related behavior, lack of concern for the well being of wife and child, and other disagreements brought the marriage to an end after four years. My mother said she refused to live and raise a child in such home conditions, even knowing that being a divorced, single mother in the early 1950s would be extremely difficult. They separated and then divorced in 1954 when I was three and a half years old. While ordered to pay child support ($50 per month at that time), he only did so for a few months, and my mother decided the fight over it was not worth it. She had her house, full custody of her child, and went out to find work as a teacher.

After the death of my grandfather Daniel Patton in 1951, my grandmother had moved back to California where four of her daughters lived, renting out the family farm.  She then moved in with us to take care of me through childhood while my mother worked. My mother’s sisters provided help also - primarily your Aunt Marylou and Uncle Andy.

Her first return to teaching was in La Habra.  Later she was hired in the Little Lake School District in Santa Fe Springs, where she spent most of her teaching career in the upper elementary grades. Initially she would work summers as a waitress in a local restaurant chain or we would go back to Arkansas where she would take more college classes for increased pay. She occasionally gave private piano lessons as she had her piano shipped to California when she had moved back.

Mother and Son

Mother and Son

Her life in these two decades was primarily work and raising a son as a single mom. We made several summer trips to Arkansas with her typically driving the distance on her own. We did not have a lot, but never wanted. Her life was not easy and was too often exhausting. My mom always insisted in taking her turn in hosting the annual family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners even though our house was smaller than those of her three sisters living nearby. My mother taught me how to hold a bat, shoot a basketball and fire a rifle, but failed at getting me to be serious about piano lessons. She did eventually date again, but when ask to marry, she decided that there were too many similarities and warning signs to risk repeating the past. She added bowling to her list of sports, being very active in teacher recreation leagues. As a respected, experienced teacher, she became involved in the early teacher “unionization” movement in her district during the late 60s, seeing it as the only avenue to improve working conditions, fair treatment and better salaries for teachers.

She always said that attending church activities as a divorced, single mother was difficult and it was hard to fit in, perhaps even shunning. As a life-long Democrat she supported Kennedy in the 1960 presidential elections against Nixon (even though all but one other family in church, including the pastor from the pulpit, were staunch Nixon supporters - whom she knew to be a dishonest liar long before Watergate).

During my high school years, she supported and encouraged me in both academics and sports. Sometimes the encouragement in the midst of frustration as the single parent of a teenager had to take the pointed form of  “don’t act like an imbecile, you are much smarter than that!”

Other points your grandmother clearly made with me during my teen years included:

  • You are to show respect to all people and races
  • Care about the poor and working people
  • Always show respect to women
  • Don’t be afraid to stand-up (and speak out) for what you believe to be true and right

As the 1970s started and I began my college life, her health continued to become more of an going issue.  Eventually cancer was diagnosed. Your grandmother went through all the typical treatments of the day - surgery followed by painful radiation treatments. The cancer was pronounced “gone” by her doctor. She began to make plans for “early” retirement when she was financially able and returning to Arkansas to build a home on her share of the family farm.  By then I had met your mother at college, we dated, and were engaged to be married after both our college graduations. My mom came to Wasco to meet your mother’s family (your other future grandparents) and for the official engagement announcement dinner. I graduated from college in June, 1973, with my mother (and your mom) in attendance. Aunt Marylou would tell me later that was the proudest day of my mother’s life to see the son she had raised on her own graduate from college.

By July, the cancer was back with a vengeance.  We took her to Scripps Hospital and later Scripps Clinic in La Jolla (San Diego) for surgery and treatment.  However, the cancer had spread throughout her body. The surgeon said there was nothing that could be done and she had less than three weeks to live. Strong-willed and determined, she fought and lived for another three months, waiting for a possible experimental drug study, but finally losing to the cancer’s complications on October 3, 1973. The turnout at her funeral in Whittier from her education colleagues to honor her was amazing. We took her back to Arkansas where she had wished to be buried next to her brother in a Conway cemetery, following a second service in the little church in Wooster where she grew up.

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5 Ways to Naturally Remove the "Vintage Smell" From Thrifted Pieces

5 Ways to Naturally Remove the

Have you ever gone to a vintage shop, fallen in love with a piece and when it came time to try it on, you noticed it smelled like...your grandma? Nothing against our Grams (in fact, several of our pieces are inspired by our ancestors), but when it comes that "vintage smell", we'll take a pass.

Not to worry, we've got you covered. Keep reading for 6 easy (and natural!) ways to get your thrifted clothes smelling fresh.

#1: Hand Wash: Hand wash your piece (unless it's wool or a very delicate vintage piece like silk) by letting garment sit in cool water in a sink or bucket with mild detergent, let sit for an hour, do not wring out or put in spin cycle or dryer. We place ours between towels and pat out the water!

#2: Air Dry: Air dry either by hanging outside in shade or in a window or shower. You can also lay it flat to air dry on a drying rack if you don't have anywhere to hang the piece. If possible, let it air out for a couple days or as long as possible.

Pro tip: It's key to get fresh air circulating through and around the piece to air it out. If the fabric is white or color safe, we will hang it in the sun outside (this can fade clothing so do this step with caution, not recommended for dyed or delicate vintage!)

#3: White Vinegar: Another great option is to use white vinegar, either by adding it to the water when you wash it (just a couple tablespoons will do) or by placing in a bowl near where the garment is hanging to air dry. As it evaporates, so will the smell.

#4. Charcoal: This trending element can help your body and clothes. You can find charcoal baggies online that you can hang in your closet or with the clothes you're airing out. Charcoal gets recharged by sunlight, so it's best to let the charcoal sit in the sun occasionally.

#5: Vodka: Vodka isn't only for vodka sodas anymore. To remove the smell from an old piece, put vodka in a spray bottle and lightly mist the garment (only mist do not soak!) It will will draw out the smell at it evaporates.

Did you give these a try? We want to hear about it! Leave a comment below and let us know how you removed that good ol' "vintage smell".

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Maker Series: Michelle Terris

Maker Series: Michelle Terris

1. Why did you decide to become a fashion photographer? 
I went to school for photojournalism, but after doing that for a bit after school I decided it wasn't quite right for me. I started working for a fashion company and got more and more into fashion and styling. I also was introduced to Pinterest and became so inspired by all the photos I would see on there and I thought to myself, " I want to do that!" and then started meeting models on Model Mayhem and planning shoots in my room and around my neighborhood and it took off from there.
2. Tell us a little bit about your process as a photographer and what inspires you?
I'm usually inspired by a lot of amazing photographers I see while spending too much time on Instagram. I get inspiration from clothes, models, nature, paintings, movies, music, and architecture. 
3. What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability to me means creativity. Finding creative ways to reduce my impact on the planet. It wasn't until after the 2016 election that I took a look at what I'm doing and how I'm supporting things that are bad for me, my family, and our planet. I believe that where we spend our dollars makes a huge difference and now I'm trying to change that. It's a lot of breaking habits that I've had my whole life and trying to find new ways to do things sustainably. 
4. How do you view clothing and its purpose in your life?
Being a fashion photographer clothing is important in my life. I love expressing myself through the clothes I wear and watching others do the same. I am so inspired by clothing and the visions that pop into my head when I see something I really like and how it makes me feel.  I'm working on changing my mindset when it comes to where I buy my clothes from and am trying to not buy impulsively anymore (it's hard!). I want to build a capsule wardrobe that I can mix and match from a handful of pieces and when I'm out shopping I try to really think if this is something that I really love before I buy it. I've taken too many things to the Good Will and before I wouldn't even think about it, but now it makes me feel really bad dropping off clothes that I've only worn once or that fell apart because they were cheaply made, I'm trying to change those habits too.
5. What social issues are you most passionate about?
Women's health and reproductive rights and saving our planet. I've been working on a fundraising project to get reusable menstruation cups to homeless women in Los Angeles. It's called Freedom Cups and we have a GoFund me page at donate it's amazing :)! I'm also mainly trying to work with brands that are sustainable to help get their message out to the world and encourage people to shop sustainable. And, I'm trying to use less plastic, it's not easy. Once you realize it, pretty much everything comes in plastic.
6. Who’s your favorite photographer?
Hmm all time favorite and that hasn't ever changed is Richard Avedon. He has this series called 'In the American West' where he road tripped through the western part of the USA and took portraits of all kinds of people with an 8x10 camera which resulted in these super detailed large-scale portraits which are just unbelievable.
7. Do you have any daily routines?
I wish I could say I wake up every morning and meditate and do yoga, but I don't have too many daily routines, unless it's going on my phone :) I do drink a glass of water every morning when I wake up, exercise 3 days a week, listen to 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me' every weekend, and go to the farmers market on Sundays. 
8. What’s one of your biggest challenges you’ve faced (as a business owner or otherwise)?
I'd say continually pushing myself to find work and to stick up for myself and asking what I'm worth. Being freelance, every month is different and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's so slow that I reconsider even being a photographer. Pushing through those tough times and forcing myself to reframe my negative thinking has been challenging, but this is the best job I've ever had and I'm excited to see where this road takes me. And working from home all the time ain't easy. 
9. What’s one of the biggest rewards?
Meeting so many different amazing and creative people. I feel so fortunate to meet so many people from so many walks of life who are out there living their dreams and trying to make it, it's inspiring. I love meeting new people to collaborate with and learn from.
10. What brings you joy?
Spending time with my soon to be husband, going on adventures, networking (which I never thought I'd say, but I have to admit that I always have a good time when I'm out meeting new people. I'm oddly enough starting to like being scared to talk to new people and changing my mindset to push myself past that), traveling, camping, and of course, taking photos. 

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Maker Series: Laura Estrada

Maker Series: Laura Estrada

Welcome to the Jean Franklin Maker Series. A series that shares the women who inspire us and embody who Jean Franklin is and what we represent - a community of women who support and encourage each other to always fight harder and pursue our dreams each day. For our first Maker Series - Meet Laura.

There are certain people in life that you meet and think, "I know you" and whether or not you've met before, they feel familiar. It could be a past life love affair, a relatable resonate, but often times it's the truth that they're standing in. THEIR truth. This is Laura. We sat down and asked her where in her heart she moves from and what inspires the jewelry she makes.

Why did you decide to start your own jewelry line? 
I've been making things with my hands from a very young age and always knew I wanted to share my artistic vision with others. After somewhat accidentally stumbling across a metalsmithing course in college at the University of Georgia and falling irrevocably in love with the medium, I knew this was the path I wanted to take. I apprenticed with master jewelers in the field and focused on honing my craft, before moving to Los Angeles and managing a commercial jewelry company where I gained an understanding of the business side of the industry. With those experiences, I felt ready to start my own line and quit my job to make jewelry full time. Nothing makes me happier than working with my hands to create meaningful objects. 

Tell us a little bit about the jewelry and what inspires you?
The jewelry that I make is a reflection of my own personal experience and the way that I relate to and cope with the world we live in. My hope is that this sentiment can translate through the work and create a sense of empowerment and resilience in each individual that wears my jewelry. I come from a nomadic, eccentric, working class Guatemalan American family and making art always felt like a way to tell my story. I find inspiration from the elemental forms found in nature -  the moons seemingly perfect circle, the free flowing undulations of a riverbed, the porous indentions on a weathered rock face. My craft is equally informed by my study of art and architecture, from ancient symbolism to modern construction methods. I observe and absorb, and then I make. 
Why do you sell your jewelry as made to order
I sell my work made to order because it cuts down on material waste, down to the initial removal of metal from the earth. It also promotes the ideology of slow fashion and hopefully bolsters a sense of value in the craftsmanship and love put into handmade work. We all want things so immediately these days, instant gratification seems to be the priority. But the true fulfillment of waiting for a handmade piece that is being made specifically for you, there's something profound and enduring about that.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability to me means minimizing the impact I am having on the environment, while maintaining a social and economic awareness of the decisions I make as designer and business woman. I work with reclaimed and recycled metal as much as possible, saving scraps and unsuccessful projects to rework later on. My concetual work often utilizes found objects as main components, redefining the intrinsic value of a seemingly insignificant object. This concept is extremely interesting to me and a direction I want to further explore in my future collections.
How do you view clothing and it’s purpose in your life?
Clothing and style is a massively important part of my life, it is part of my identity. The clothes I wear, similar to the jewelry I make, inspire me and fill me with the confidence and strength I need to go out into the world every day and strive to be the best version of myself. As a person who struggles daily with anxiety and depression, my clothes and my jewelry often save me. They make me feel something, they are my armor. All my friends will say - I am the queen of thrifting. The joy I get from digging through bins of used clothes for that one life-changing gem is unparalleled. Almost all of my clothes are thrifted or vintage, although as I've begun to nestle into my place as a female designer in Los Angeles and really immerse myself in the community of empowered women creatives - my goal is to support these incredibly talented, hardworking women as much as I can.
What social issues are you most passionate about?
As an adult, I've always maintained a connection to children and feel a deep love and responsibility specifically for underprivileged and abused children. My home life as a child was not ideal and retrospectively I think if someone would have reached out and offered support, a lot of pain could have been prevented. I have worked with different organizations that help and mentor children, although to be completely honest I am not involved at the moment. I am going to change that. Feel free to reach out if anyone would like to join me in volunteering with children. 
Who’s your favorite artist?
Do you have any daily routines?
I really try to have a routine, and I often do. On a good day, I get up around 8am with my partner and we eat a light breakfast, take a language lesson on our mango app, then head to the track or a yoga class. I love exercising first thing, it really influences the way my day goes in a good way - I have more energy and focus as I head into my home studio to work on design, fabrication, marketing, shipping, the works. As a one woman venture, I am doing all aspects of the business myself (and with the help and support of my loving partner), so having systems in place and structure to the day is essential. I also love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, so this is usually the cap to my daily routine - a thoughtfully prepared meal with well sourced ingredients and a beautifully paired bottle of wine. 
What’s one of your biggest challenges you’ve faced (as a business owner or otherwise)?
Self doubt. As an anxious person who is also hard on myself, I often feel like I'm not doing enough, or I'm not doing it quickly enough. Or am I even doing the right thing? Am I on the right path? Am I even an artist? The spiral begins. I have to remind myself that it's all ok, things take time, enjoy the process and experience every moment. There is no right path, there are just many and they are all individually beautiful and worthwhile. 
What’s one of the biggest rewards?
The most rewarding aspect of being a maker is seeing the connection people have with the work that I make. Knowing that I can create something meaningful, an heirloom, something treasured, that will perhaps be passed down in the family - that is a gift.  
What brings you joy?
I find such a deep joy in traveling to other countries, doing my best to understand and honor these cultures, listening to their stories, and really contemplating on the significance of empathy and love for every living creature. 

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Two Weeks Off and a Long Flight Away from LA

Two Weeks Off and a Long Flight Away from LA

I don't remember the last time I've taken two solid weeks off from work. That is - ten days in a row uninterrupted by work - not a "stay-cation" where I end up doing chores and tackling home projects.

My husband and I got married in November last year and even that we did on a Monday at the courthouse and then went back to work the next day. Don't get me wrong, it was romantic to elope and took a lot of pressure off from wedding planning, which I appreciated. We decided to plan a real honeymoon/vacation for this year and chose Croatia. 

Woman standing outside looking at ocean

Bol on Island of Brac, Croatia

Unable to get cell phone reception in some areas, I was forced to disconnect from the Internet, email, and Instagram in a way I don't think I have since college. And I didn't necessarily plan it that way.

I fully intended to check email and Instagram every day even though I had left Jean Franklin in good hands with my team here in Los Angeles, you know, just "in case" something were to come up while I was out. 

But after two plane flights and about 14 hours of travel, I had no choice but to rest and get used to the time difference. During the first couple days of our trip, we soaked in the natural beauty of the country we found ourselves in, adapted to the humidity and enjoyed the warm evenings and amazing oceanside.

Ocean view

Split, Croatia

It took me the first couple of days into the trip to fully acknowledge to myself that we had travelled to celebrate, relax and experience the culture and food around us, not to spend the days mindlessly staring at my phone being "productive". While I did take quite a few photos to remember the trip (and posted some stories on Instagram), for the majority of the trip, my phone stayed in my purse. I rarely checked email, and for once spent the time being present.

It took several days to finally feel relaxed (I struggle from some anxiety and am constantly thinking about what task I need to accomplish next). But once I was able to truly feel calm and be ok with literally doing nothing except enjoying our time, then the best part of all happened - I started to feel inspired. Inspiration came from the Dalmatian countryside, the heat, the sea green ocean, fresh cherries, tomato and cucumber salads, antique embroidery on pillows, and the ancient buildings and cities we traversed through. 

Overlooking a city

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Peaches on a tree

Split, Croatia

Old building with white laundry handing outside.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

I'm back in LA and as I work hard like all of you, to make my dreams a reality and create a sustainable business that puts people and the planet first, I remind myself of what I learned on my recent trip - take the time to unplug and enjoy the mundane, simple things in life. If you can't commit to doing it daily, force yourself to go camping or hiking, pick a place you know you can't connect to the Internet, take a deep breath, and see what happens.

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