Fashion meets life.
"Character. Intelligence. Strength. Style. That makes beauty."
-Diane von Furstenberg
-Diane von Furstenberg
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In Rock Hill, South Carolina Hannah Jacobson runs HCJ designs out of her home. The small and upcoming design company offers formal and sports wear. Hannah actually started off making custom wedding gowns, but decided to broaden her horizons. Wanting to design since she was a kid, she started sewing at 8 and flew from there! The first thing Hannah designed at the age of 16 was a tie dye dress. "I loved the 60's at the time," she gushes. Now she takes a lot of inspiration from the 40's and 50's. Her favorite element? "I know it's going a little further back than the 50's, but I love the little black dress. It's such a simple design concept that always looks so classy."
Speaking of classy, let's talk wedding dresses! Hannah loves working with lace and for her favorite dress, the client had loads of it. "I made this ivory high low dress and the client had a ton of vintage lace her grandmother gave her. The dress was so much fun to make and I was in heaven with that vintage lace!" Non-traditional wedding gowns are her absolute favorite. "Its fun to take a different yet elegant spin on traditional designs. "
Of course, Hannah runs into some challenges. "I think time management is my biggest challenge. I am involved in quite a few things, and finding the balance with everything can be difficult, especially since starting a company is so time consuming." Alongside time management, social media is one she's still figuring out. "Social media is the one I am trying the learn the most right now since there are so many ways to get your name out there now days." Besides social media, Hannah brands herself other ways. "I feel like there are so many aspects to consider when branding yourself. I do lots of research, try to continue learning and perfecting new processes of designing, and learning the ins and outs of marketing on social media."
The biggest thing Hannah's learned? "It's okay to say 'no' when people ask for favors or for my time. It's hard for me because I am a people pleaser, but it's okay to take time for myself so I don't get overwhelmed and so I can give 100% to what I am doing and not be spread too thin." Want more? "Another thing I have learned about myself is that I can do and accomplish difficult things. With enough determination and hard work, I can do anything. "
Hannah finds that her sales come more from word-by-mouth, but she hopes that as she figures out social media it comes from other places. Right now, she's taking the slow and steady route as she builds her brand and inventory, but look out for a website in the future.
How does Hannah feel when she sees a client in her designs? "It is this wonderful, and surreal feeling when you complete this thing that started as just an idea in your head. When the person wearing it loves it as well, its like being on cloud 9. The process of creating is full of ups and downs and when that final complete piece turns out exactly like you imagined, it's an amazing feeling."
Hannah grew up around art with her talented mother who sewed her clothes and her concert organist grandmother who also is a painter - not to mention her aunt who "can do or make anything she dreams up."
In five years Hannah wants to have her own boutique where she can exclusively sell her designs. A huge goal of her is to design a couture dress for a red carpet.
- x Reyna