Remember the three words. JUST DO IT. Believe in your dreams and work so hard they can’t help but prosper. When you start to feel overwhelmed or defeated, write down the end goal. Then work backward to find the steps you need to tackle that milestone.
As part of our series about the 5 things you need to succeed in the fashion industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sydney Zmrzel the owner and chief designer of @shopjaunty. Sydney launched her label at the start of 2019 and has since made marks across several social and print platforms. She curated this brand for the likewise females who push barriers and live on the go. As of recent, she has also launched a collection geared towards men, focusing on hoodies and streetwear.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My journey started back when I was living in Los Angeles, juggling 5 + jobs (none of which covered my rent)… I always knew I wanted to level up. Develop my own brand. Create something bigger than myself. But I didn’t know how to execute my vision. I spent the year of 2018 reserving website and Instagram names, interviewing manufacturers and doing photoshoots so that on the 3rd of January 2019 I could drop the label I had been dreaming of. Over the course of 2018 to now, I have watched my brand go through waves of success, defeat, new styles and finally finding my voice and niche within @shopjaunty.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started?
The beauty of being an entrepreneur is that every single day is a new adventure. One of my most magical moments since starting @shopjaunty, was creating custom denim jackets for the Phoenix Suns Dancers. Getting to see my design and work on an NBA court was such a milestone for Jaunty.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The biggest lesson I have learned is time management. If you asked me two years ago, I would have said time management is one of my best assets, I am laughing at that girl now. I am the queen of taking on more than I can handle. I recently committed to getting a couple of custom handmade pieces done and delivered by a specific date. I didn’t leave time for mistakes, running out of the supplies I needed or delayed shipping due to covid-19. So, after hours of hustling to get these pieces done, I realized it wouldn’t arrive on time. I then drove 5 hours to hand deliver it myself. This experience made me proud of my commitment, and opened my eyes to the idea of accepting extra help and focusing heavily on my time management!
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
When I set my core values for @shopjaunty, I knew no matter how much growth we saw in sales, social media following, or brand exposure I wanted to maintain the utmost quality within our brand. I love hand packing every order, writing special notes to our customers and adding that small business touch for each and every Jaunty babe.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Remember you’re human. You can never please everyone, so instead layout your idea of success within your business. For some, that may be high quality/limited quantities… but for others, it may be mass production and distribution worldwide. Both ways ARE successful! But you may not feel that satisfaction you desire if the boundaries of your idea of success are not clear. By doing this (later in the game than I’d like to admit), I have found myself feeling so much more fulfilled instead of drained and burnt out.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I feel so thankful to have a platform to bring good into the world, during a time that tends to feel so dark. We have created a line of BLM merchandise, and with every purchase, we donate 10% of that sale towards Black Lives Matter related foundations. This is a small way we (and our customers) can give back to those who need it most.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“JUST DO IT”, is the three words I live by. We spend so much time second-guessing our drive and dreams. When I finally realized the very worst thing that could happen is I failed and tried again.. It gave me the comfort to just do the things I have been daydreaming about.
Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?
I am excited to watch the shift that has recently emerged due to covid-19 continue to develop! Pairing sweats with blazers and hoodies with mini skirts. For us, the light in this dark time has been getting to experiment with mixing new fabrics and abnormal pieces. We expect to see a lot of these styles stick around long after this pandemic.
What are your “Top 5 Things Needed to Succeed in the Fashion Industry”. Please share a story or example for each.
– 1. Commitment: Launching any business in the fashion industry takes commitment. It is an uphill climb with many incredible moments along the way making the journey beyond worth it. But don’t let the small defeats slow you down!
– 2. An adaptive mindset: Get ready to roll with the punches. The beauty of this industry is it is ever-changing. You will not only adjust and grow accordingly, but you will face people who aren’t your biggest fan and that’s okay. Rely on the numbers and facts before you ditch an idea, and instead look into how you can adjust what you have to be more successful. The amount of items I have altered and adjusted is endless! But the satisfying feeling when you finally settle in your product and/or brand makes the sleepless nights worth it.
– 3. Insane organization: Plan plan plan! Make a breakdown of expenses, physically write out your goals and write in time for yourself. You will find yourself immensely more productive when you have a set plan AND set time for you to relax and recoup. This was a trait I really had to focus on after some eye opening experiences!
– 4. Team of supportive individuals: You will be surprised how much investing in your network will benefit you! Be active and supportive of the dreamers around you, and they will reciprocate the same gesture back. In addition, having a tight inner circle who are there for your darkest and lightest times will keep you floating during the most stressful moments. I can’t even count how many all nighters I’ve pulled and only succeeded through the following day because of my people. And the copious amounts of coffee…
– 5. GUTS: Remember the three words. JUST DO IT. Believe in your dreams and work so hard they can’t help but prosper. When you start to feel overwhelmed or defeated, write down the end goal. Then work backward to find the steps you need to tackle that milestone.
Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?
I have loved to watch the fashion industry to embrace all sizes. From 00–14, providing the same pieces in all sizes. I am eager to see how our culture continues to develop and come together as one regardless of size, sex, or ethnicity.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to create a way to better give back to our less fortunate through fashion. If we had an app, where we could gift our gently used clothes to those who can’t afford to take their children back to school shopping or to grab a new interview outfit I know we could touch so many hearts!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can follow our label, @shopjaunty on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. You can follow my personal account, @sydneyzmrzel on Instagram, and TikTok!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!