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Life and Work with Amanda Singh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Singh.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Back in college, I studied writing and photography and always had a passion to do something creative but the need to pay my bills required that I find a day job. Through a friend, I got a job at a marketing firm and started my career in marketing basically by knowing that I could do it and figure it out.

Fast forward several years, I built a career in marketing, am still working a full-time job, and started Jean Franklin in 2017.

About four years ago, I got really frustrated with the way clothing I bought was made, it would fall apart after I wore it a couple times and often was made out of cheap materials. Only being able to wear something a few times because it wasn’t made well or because it wasn’t “on trend” anymore really started to bother me thinking about all the clothing I was wasting. I found the pieces I kept the longest in my wardrobe were vintage, and I started looking at how they were made compared to new fast fashion items I owned.

With Jean Franklin, quality is extremely important, as well as using reusable materials and paying fair wages.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s been anything but a smooth road, but anything worth doing is usually not easy and it has been an extremely rewarding journey.

Creating a business from the ground up, including being the designer, creating clothing that resonates with people enough that they want to buy it and wear it, managing production of clothing, sourcing sustainable materials, running marketing, and building a team all while having a full-time job is no easy thing to manage.

My advice is to understand your money, find a way to always save a little, even if it’s not a lot, start as early as you can. That will make choices for you down the road easier if you have some money saved to invest or to keep for a rainy day. I also urge women to help each other. I have been lucky over the last couple of years to have found other business and creative-minded women who are willing to collaborate, not just compete. That doesn’t always mean helping for free, but being available to talk through an idea, give suggestions, be a sounding board – you need support so you can deal with all of the daily stress and second-guessing that comes with working for yourself.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Jean Franklin – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I’ve always been inspired by vintage clothing, especially my parent’s style in the 60s and 70s. The name Jean Franklin is a combination of my parent’s middle names and many of the clothing styles we sell are named after women on my or my husband’s side of the family.

As a brand, family, and community are important – being inclusive and creating clothing that fits a variety of body types that can be worn in many settings and styled to fit your individual style.

Jean Franklin clothing is made by artisans, seamstresses with a lifetime of experience, and the pieces should last in your wardrobe for a long time.

I spend a lot of time sourcing deadstock fabric and trim (reusable surplus materials, left behind by other fashion brands) to reduce our impact on the environment, as well as using natural materials so they biodegrade.

Paying everyone fairly for their work is also extremely important for the brand and is a huge issue in the fashion industry today because many garment workers are still not paid minimum wage for their work in the US.

Who have you been inspired by?
All of the women in my family, but especially my mother and grandmother. The amount of love and support they’ve given me through my life is amazing and shaped me to be who I am today.

My grandparents were farmers and lived through the Great Depression so they never wasted anything they had. My grandmother taught me the basics of sewing and embroidery and made the most perfect stitches and clothes. She sewed a lot of her children’s clothing that they wore every day and they would patch and mend items, not just throw them away. She also showed love through cooking and baking delicious pies.

My mother has inspired the brand by her personal style and care in giving back to her community where she lives by cooking and helping people in need.

Giving back and caring about the people around you is the foundation that I’m building my business on.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Michelle Terris

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