FW Got a chance to talk one on one with the brand owner/designers of JAMESON KANE….
FW:How did Jameson Kane come into existence?
Jameson Kane started through a new friendship. Myself (Genevieve) and Stan (who is no longer with the company) had a mutual friend. One day she introduced us and we started
talking fashion. I have a background in design and Stan had a background in
business. We hit it off right away and decided to invest in each other and start a
fashion label. The name came from a combination of some of our friends names. We
loved the way it sounded and decided to call it Jameson Kane.
FW:What were some of the biggest hurdles you faced in starting your line?
So many! First, as a new designer you have to figure out where everything in your
industry is. Example, factories, wholesalers, suppliers,ext. So your spending a lot
of time running around just looking for people who want to work with you. We found
many companies are not supportive of smaller businesses. Unless we were big and
could spend LOTS of money, we got the cold shoulder. So it took a lot of searching
(and begging) to get big companies to work with someone so new. Also we didn’t even
have a business formed before we did our first collection. So me and Stan had to
form a business and finish an entire collection in 3 months. We worked about 18 hour
days for 3 months straight. We also made some very costly mistakes, however looking
back now I learnt so much from that time. It was actually beneficial.
FW:What sort of support have you gotten from the Canadian Industry?
The Canadian fashion scene has been great. Our biggest support comes from Toronto
Fashion Incubator where we have our studio. They are a non-profit organization that
helps new designers. I don’t think we would be where we are today without them. We
have also found lots of support in other Canadian designers. I think we all know
how hard this industry is, and to be able to help one another helps all of us grow.
Also retailers and the public have been great. There is so much talent here and
everyone is recognizing it.
FW; What role does the TFI have in your line?
TFI has basically helped us grow from nothing to what we are now. We launched our
line at the TFI new labels event in 2012. Ever since then our label has taken off.
Susan Langdon is the director and is like our guardian angel. She helps to push you
and move you in the right direction. Also TFI comes equipped with everything you
need to produce your line, which would be very expensive if you had to create your
own studio from scratch.
FW:Where do you draw your inspiration?
From everywhere and everything. I have been inspired by art, history, nature, sport
events, you name it. It is all how you see things. One time I drew inspiration for
a whole collection from a single photograph. It is very cool how creative the mind
can be. You just have to be open to it.
FW: For new entrepreneurs- what is the best advise you can give?
Do not give up. The first years are the hardest. You will probably work harder than
you ever have in your life. But if you want it, it will happen. Surround yourself
with people who work in the same industry you are targeting. Ask questions. Learn
from everyone else. And most importantly, get a mentor. Have someone who you can
trust and who knows your industry inside and out. This person will be able to guide
you and help you. There are so many mistakes to be made, so the more you can avoid,