Today we are proud to present our #heroine_of_the_week Jovan Vialva - the founder of @jjackmanwomenswear - a Berlin-based fashion brand fairly producing beautiful & exclusive clothing for confident modern women.
We met Jovan at the 1st Impression Workshop of our dear friend Anneline and were immediately inspired by her open and friendly nature, impeccable fashion sense and courage to turn her life by 180 degrees.
Jovan’s story is a true testimony that a strong desire to make a real difference in the world works wonders. Jovan was pursuing a corporate career in a totally different field when the idea of j.jackman came to her and set her on an exciting ride of travelling, meeting new people, learning about fashion design from point zero, and most importantly pursuing her true purpose.
Jovan, tell us please how it all started? How did the idea of your own fashion brand first
came to you?
I started it because I wanted to give myself and other women a way to make a difference. I feel that
many women are looking for a way to make an impact beyond their careers. We want to connect to
something bigger than next quarters’ earnings, or landing the next big project, but we do not know
where to start.
I am a firm believer that the choices we take when spending our money are the most impactful ones
we can make, and they are fully within our control. And, as a life-long lover of fashion, it made sense
for me to start with fashion. j.jackman gives women like me a beautiful option to make an impact
and stand for something meaningful, simply through buying better.
You come from a completely different professional background - Management Consultancy -
and you had to teach yourself fashion design from point zero. First of all, it is very admirable!
Second of all, how did you find the courage to jump into a completely new field of business?
Thank you! How did I find the courage? 50% underestimation of how difficult it would be and 50%
the belief that I would figure it out. With almost any risk, I always ask myself: “what’s the worst that
can happen”? Generally, if the answer is not a direct impact to my health or my relationships with
the people I love, then I would be up for the challenge. Losing money, rejection, and being told my
stuff is not good enough to me are all things that are painful (and things that have happened!), but
not anything that cannot be overcome.
What is the main message you want to send out in the world with your clothes?
You can make a difference without quitting your job and pursuing your “calling” – that’s great, but
not for everyone. Start with simply purchasing more consciously. j.jackman is a beautiful option to do
I would say I am still very much “in the beginning”. When I started the company, my first goal was to
get to a point where we could design and produce consistently high quality clothing that women
love. That took quite some time to get right, but now we are on a good track with that. On the
marketing side, our journey is still starting. We have tried all sorts of things, but the best so far have
been word of mouth and partnerships with bigger online retailers through which I also sell.
Looking back at your path now do you believe the decision of pursuing entrepreneurship was
the right decision for you? How did it change your life?
Sometimes, especially when things are not going the way I thought they would have, I think to myself
“Why did I get into this again?” Then I remember all the happy customers we have had and the
tailors who say that working with me is the best thing that has ever happened to them.
Entrepreneurship has been the best decision I have made professionally. It has taught me so much
about who I am as a leader and person. And, because there is never enough time or money these
days, it has also taught me to focus on what’s really important.
We always ask our heroines how they manage their work-life balance. We would like to
know, what are your passions besides fashion and how do you combine them in your
I have to say that I am probably the worst person to answer this question. I work on j.jackman, talk
about it, and think about it constantly. This is going to sound so cliché, but it does not really feel like
work. I really love designing new pieces, answering customer emails, packing and shipping orders,
getting in touch with new piece, the list goes on. Still, I do try to do other things to keep me
balanced. For instance, I love cooking. Nothing fancy, but comfort-food style dishes that I can enjoy
each night with my fiancé. I also like to listen to podcasts (not on entrepreneurship or fashion) to
expand knowledge and learn new things.
Where do you draw inspiration for your designs? Are there any designers that inspire you?
To me, the best clothing are the pieces that speak for themselves. They don’t require any fancy
styling but still make you look and feel like a knock-out with just a simple pair of shoes. That’s what
we’re going for with j.jackman – timeless design that make women look and feel great.
Would you like to thank anyone for supporting you in your adventure?
My friends and family, especially my fiance’.
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