We had the good fortune of connecting with Mikeal Jinae and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mikeal, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Ive always enjoyed the idea of being creative and bringing to life a creation that started as an idea. In addition, Ive always loved sharing my passion and inspiring individuals to express themselves unapologetically. Ever since I can remember, I have always been the one who took chances with my style. I would change the color of my hair, customize or my own clothes, and dared to wear things that most wouldn’t consider. Before launching my current clothing line MikealJinae, I created a clothing line called Unique Illusions in high school. Unique Illusions made its debut in a few fashion shows as well as an small exhibit in Vegas. After receiving great feedback, I realized that my passion could really assist in helping others express themselves through fashion. So in a nutshell, my thought process in starting my business was to share my passion, inspire people to express themselves, and to be able to create a culture that exudes confidence and positivity.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The thing Im most proud and excited about is believe it or not, starting my brand. I was able to start my business during one of the biggest pandemics. Its crazy, I was working at an amazing company when I got laid off due to the pandemic. Honestly, I was not sure what I wanted to do after getting laid off. After a few months went by, it hit me that I should start my brand. This had been a discussion I have had with my husband for so long and he had set me up to be able to go into production. Finally I said to myself “Alright if not now when?” and went straight into production. This journey has been such a learning experience for me. The constant re-planing, being brave enough to take a chance, and making sure everything is just right. I will admit, this is not an easy journey but its been so worth all the wins and the lessons. This journey has taught me that although things may not be going the way I want at the moment, you must remain patient. Being patient and willingness to grow has been the two things that have help me overcome challenges. Overall, the most rewarding thing is, knowing that I am putting my all into sharing my passion with others and them truly supporting me as well as celebrating my small victories. Every release I challenge myself and strive to come harder than the last. One thing I want to share with everyone is, starting off you may be a team of one…but thats ok. Be patient with yourself and remain transparent with your audience. Its a lot of hard work and sacrifice but people love to witness the process and they love the honesty. I whole heartedly love the journey that I am on and I only plan to continue to go up from here.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question! There are so many gems in so-cal. One of my favorite places for amazing Mexican food that I love to take my friends and family to is called Tacos Way. Tacos Way has easily some of the best Tacos I have ever had. Another place that I love to take my visitors is called Portos. Portos have an amazing selection of food from pastries to sandwiches and more. Depending on who is visiting, we may take some dances classes in North Hollywood or even head downtown to the fashion district to get some shopping done. When nightlife was a big thing (in my mid/late 20’s), Hollywood to West Hollywood was the place to have fun. Although I have not been in a while, one of my favorite beaches to go to is Paradise Cove. Paradise Cove is a private beach that have beds you can rent to lay out and enjoy the beach. There is also a restaurant on the beach that allows you to bring out food and drinks to enjoy. Although I have my go-to destinations, my favorite thing to do is, a random google search and find whats new out there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have had so much support from my family through my journey to starting my business. First, Id like to thank my mother for always believing in my dreams, encouraging me, and for being my go to “what do you think?” person. Id also like to thank my father for his words of encouragement and constant faith in my brand. Its mandatory I recognize my grandma who I sit on the phone with for hours brainstorming ideas and creations. Shout out to my uncle, who I also have motivating conversations with. I also want to recognize my mother-in-law who has been such a huge supporter on my journey. Last but not least, shout out my amazing husband who has been so supportive, helpful, and encouraging along my journey. I love you all!
Along with my family, I have such amazing friends that have been nothing short of supportive through this journey. Some of us came together and created a group chat where we are consistently uplifting one another, offer different perspectives, and truly challenge one another. Through this life of mine, I have also met so many people who have showed me nothing but love and I thank them for supporting me. Overall, I am truly blessed to have people in my life who truly want to see me win.
Instagram: @mikealjinae and @mikealjinae_officialbrand
Facebook: Mikeal Jinae