We had the good fortune of connecting with Jayma Forman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jayma, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand is keeping sustainability at the forefront of everything we do. As we continue to grow our team and evolve into best practices both for us and our customers, I think it’s vital we look at the larger picture – how we can minimize our carbon footprint, both as individuals and as a company. Further, another aspect I look for when collaborating and hiring is to find POC, members of the LGBTQ community and others who have so much uniqueness within themselves. I want to give them a platform for their voice to be heard and their creativity to shine through. Inclusion is near and dear to me and my company, and I hope to see that value upheld in larger companies in the fashion industry. Success starts and ends with employees and customers that are happy and feel like they are being heard. That includes being inclusive, honest, and readily available should anyone need to lean on us.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My artwork is unconventional, a little dark, and explores the use of various materials like Japanese ink, onion skins, spray paint, materials found through travel, and more. I’ve incorporated my artistic skills and ideas with my vintage business and hope to focus more on that in 2021 with screen printing and hand painted garments. I’ve been sketching and styling since I can remember, so I suppose it was only fitting that the natural progression of my life was to seek careers and side projects within both the artistic and fashion industries. An influential moment for me in my thirty years of life was noticing the happiness when working on something unique to you, something that speaks to your passion. I’ve had a slew of terrible jobs and bosses but I always learned something valuable from each and every experience that I’ve attributed to my own businesses. It’s not going to be easy but every moment that comes to you in life is put there for a reason. I find it’s important to forever be the student learning from the good, bad, and ugly experiences you encounter along the journey. As for my brand and story that’s to be continued, as I feel myself and my business constantly growing but I love that I’ve never been stagnant or complacent with an idea or venture. If people, places, things don’t suit your soul, move away from them and watch the beauty that unfolds as you do so.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In Chicago, there are a vast amount of neighborhoods and each offers something unique. Personally, I enjoy Andersonville, which is north of downtown. You’re able to stroll past various shops and neighborhood haunts, the people are incredibly friendly, and there’s an assortment of remarkable home vintage stores there that prioritize donating to non-profit organizations. Brown Elephant is my favorite of these, they sell in support of the Howard Brown Health Center, a community center that provides care for the LGBTQ community. I would recommend my own neighborhood of the West Loop as well. There’s a farmers market every Saturday just a few blocks from my loft apartment, incredible restaurants and bars like Maudes, Sushi Dokku (complete with speakeasy below), J.P. Graziano Grocery, and more. If seeking an elevated experience, I would take my friend to check out the Peninsula Hotel for a eucalyptus steam room experience to get one of the best facials one will ever have, then stop in at either the Museum of Contemporary Art or The Art Institute. We would then go for some incredible Cuban food at Havana followed by drinks at one of the surrounding dive bars. As for the people, step outside your door and some of the best and most creative people you will ever met will be right there. I would also tell them to please not ask me to show them tourist attractions, ha!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My partner is someone who I would dedicate my success to, both professionally and personally. He’s the COO for Memory Junkie and as we grow, it’s been enjoyable to see where our differing strengths lie as well as how we cohesively work together. I don’t think mixing business with pleasure works for everyone, but it works for us and for that I am thankful. Another individual I would credit as a driving force behind who I am as a person, what I’m passionate in, and my evolution as a business owner, would be my grandmother. A painfully kind, humble, and beautiful southern woman, she always pushed me to follow my passions, to see what spoke to my soul, to seek strength outside of my comfort zone, and much more. I know I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her guidance.