Project Joy // No. 8

Lots of people have asked me how I’m finding inspiration while the world seems to have stopped around us. The planet seems to be on lockdown as we all stay indoors to protect ourselves from one another. Mother Nature still shines bright outside our windows as we pause from our routines of polluting her. For the first time in 30 years in India, the Himalayas are visible from the city. All the animals in all the zoos are getting a rest from being a constant source of amusement. The smog has lifted from Los Angeles. Beaches and national parks are closed healing from their constant use. Global communities are sending virtual hugs and PPE donations to those in need regardless of political or racial standing. People are checking in on one another more than they ever would in their normal busy lives. Granddaughters are teaching grandmothers how to use FaceTime so they can teach them how to cook favorite family recipes. Friends are coming together for virtual birthday parties and happy hours from their couches and it all kinda feels like circle time in preschool—you can see everyone’s faces tiled on the screen, reacting together in real time. My point is, the silver linings are endless. I realize it’s a privilege to be able to think this way, but as an artist and designer I believe in the power of positive thought and intention. Through this challenging time, my mission is bringing light and joy into the world. My hope is that we will swim through this uncertainty together and emerge on the other side a more connected and compassionate world.

As a designer, how can I help build a collection that will grow and adapt to the new realities we will face while staying true to the integrity of our brand? A few key words come to mind—hope, joy, beauty, dreams...

We talk about these things every morning in our team-wide video call. We share ideas and fears, rays of light and hope, and together we strive for innovation through joy and beauty.

It is my job right now to not only react to the present, but also to learn from the past and create for the future. A future where less people go out and socialize in large groups, a future where travel will be limited when essential, a more thoughtful and courteous future where we have joined the rest of the world and wear masks when we are sick to protect our fellow humans. In this future, I imagine many more people working and schooling remotely. In this new world people dress up for Zoom calls and small dinner parties. I doubt large concerts and night clubs will be back in full swing until there is a globally accessible vaccine, and—for the first time in our lifetime—we all have been educated about how easily a virus can spread. I imagine everyone will carry hand sanitizer and touch only loved ones for a while. I imagine elbow bumps becoming the new handshake. I also believe in Joyfolie’s potential to keep bringing whimsy and femininity into our everyday lives. 

While spending the past month and a half designing out of my home studio—and hanging out with my 5yr old who’s decided there are day jammies and night jammies—I have been thinking a lot about comfort and style and what they mean. I, personally, refuse to go full Costanza. So how do I make beautiful bohemian vibes come to life at home? To this point, our brand has been inspired by our wanderlust and love of travel. I hope to be able to create collections that represent the staycations of our dreams. To be able to pull on a beautiful dress or jumpsuit fabricated in the softest woven or knit fabrics, the most beautiful floral patterns, a huge skirt or flowy pant that demands twirling or standing in the wind only to feel it almost lift you off your feet. Can you close your eyes and imagine that moment? Sun on your face, daughter by your side, holding hands dancing in the lawn, wearing your favorite dresses...and when the laughter turns to a soft smile and you walk back inside, you look down at your outfit and how it moves when you walk and are inspired by you. Watch your daughter as she twirls in a special dress—hair blowing, you two could be anywhere. All you have to do is dream.

That’s what I’m over here doing. I can’t wait to share what we’ve been dreaming up for you in the coming months.

Never lose hope.

Xo,

Jess

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