We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Weiser and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I love this question because as humans we evaluate risks on a daily basis consciously or unconsciously. I feel it’s intrinseque to us. To me, risk does not hold a negative value. On the contrary, when I think about the term, I think about opportunities, possibilities, challenges, problem solving and essentially, growth. I think risk is having the guts to step out of your comfort zone, in your personal and/or business life, and have the strength to look back at it in a positive way no matter the outcome. That’s what risks taking taught me.
All the risks I took so far had positive outcomes in my life as it has always been synonymous with personal growth, whether it was a success or a failure; from moving to Los Angeles where I got far more professional and personal growth than staying in France, to creating my own brand. I could not have created my life the way I had envisioned it without taking risks. I must add that I’ve never taken risks that were not aligned with me. I think risk has to be balanced with your inner feeling, following your guts. If you never take risks, you will never fully know your strengths or explore your full potential.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Following the thread of risk taking, it was not easy to make the professional decisions I made. They were always out of my comfort zone. I have noticed with time that I have a tendency to reach out for these “out of my comfort zone” moments to push and explore my potentials and boundaries. I always worked in multi-hats positions in the Entertainment industry which led me to become what we call today a “multipotentialite”. I was ready to create my brand Jenni Jane. I felt so energized by creating it that I had the strength to explore and problem solve whatever came my way. I wanted to create products, contents and a brand’s world that would embrace a lifestyle balancing between Paris and Los Angeles (my birth city and my chosen city).
Launching Jenni Jane was not an easy task and it was not what I knew how to do. It was a shift from the Entertainment industry. I followed my guts, my family history, my wonderful grandfather being a shoemaker, and decided to embrace the more creative side of myself. I officially launched Jenni Jane back in 2015 the day of my 35th birthday. It was a milestone I had set for myself. Tip: Always write down milestones or affirmations. Unconsciously your actions will lead you to realizing them. I had worked on Jenni Jane, since 2013, on and off, trying to make sense of my “nonsense”. It took me a really long time to find people that are willing to help you, to share their knowledge and resources, to find the right partners, the right suppliers, the right “red thread”.
From the start, I wanted to create a brand that would inspire and create bags that would feel like safekeepers, soft, easy to wear, timeless, feminine, and unique. As I created Jenni Jane, I met different people who helped me brand it, sell it, market it. I realized that to penetrate the accessory market is much harder than what I thought it would be when I made my business plan. The brand has evolved, I reshaped it but I never touched its DNA. I’m always adding new creations such as recently the “tarot cards deck” I created a month after Covid started. People love it. I love to see the women wear my creations or knowing that what I created has become part of their daily life. It truly brings me so much joy.
Along the way, I learned a couple of things: Make a good reality check of the investment needed. Create and allocate a great portion of the money for your marketing campaigns. Secure your buyers before you launch your full production. Test with them your product. Secure your influencers & elaborate your word of mouth strategy. Create your social media content regularly and in advance. I’m a last minute person. It’s definitely not working on your favor when dealing with social media. Launch your brand with 1 or more partners. You should complement each other’s skills.
Today I’m navigating between the development of Jenni Jane and working under my consultant umbrella Jen Weiser for other brands, where I help them with their visual identity, customer journey experience, social media content, brainstorming and sounding board sessions.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In L.A, here are my favorite spots:
Beach walk: Pointe Dume or Carbon beach in Malibu. Great food: Rosaline, Laurel Hardware, EPLP, Pizzana, Everleight, Noree Thai in WeHo, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Hollywood, Terra in Century City, Nongla (Vietnamese food) and Sushi Stop on Sawtelle, Pasta Sister in Culver City, Mizlala (Mediteranean food) in West Adam, Red bird and Otium in DTLA, Butcher’s daughter and Djusta in Venice, Back on the Beach to eat feet in the sand.
Hike: Fryman, Will Rogers Park, Mandelville & Temescal Canyon.
Shopping: Fred Seagal on Sunset, 3rd Street in WeHO, Westfield Mall in Century City, Abbot Kinney in Venice, Platform in Culver City, Row in DTLA.
Museums as soon as they re-open: LACMA, MOMA, Broad, Hammer museums. Art galleries: M+B Gallery in WeHo, Morrison Hotel Gallery, Bergamot Station, Hauser & Wirth, Denk in DTLA. I created an L.A city guide with all the places, shops and restaurants I love in the city, from the beach to DTLA. You can find it on my website: https://www.jennijane.com/products/jenni-jane-note-book-l-a-city-guide I will definitely create my city guide Notebook part 2 after the pandemic.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First my family and close friends who are my first support system. Big shoutout to my husband who has been the main enabler on all the risks I took in my life. My sister who has always been the creative and exploring soul in my life @hopeje @jessicadevreeze – Follow her new project @unchained_mothering, it’s going to be big. The beautiful and authentic spirits around me who are my guiding lights: Gisèle, Betti, Cece & Soph. I also have a book shoutout. I’m currently reading “Untamed” from Glennon Doyle. It is such a crucial book with so much truth and awe moments to highlight and keep re-reading.