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Meet Jemma Swatek of Lykke Wullf

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jemma Swatek.

Jemma, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated from college with a BFA in Knitwear design from Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I had planned to move to LA after graduation to try and work for one of the local brands here. Once I got to LA I realized how massive it was and how getting my dream job might not be what I thought it would be. Ater interviewing w some big brands and realizing that my job would be mostly spent at a computer designing tech packs, that was something I really didn’t want to do and I ended up becoming a merchandizer at Urban outfitters bc it was more physical and hands on. I felt like I was actually using my hands and creating something which is important to me.

During that time I had been working on my own clothing line which started in my kitchen in SF because of some beautiful fabric I fell in love with and decided to make some simple jackets and capes out of. So I continued making, dying and designing little collections in my free time eventually coming up with a brand name I hand drew out and screen printed onto labels. Everything was very DIY. I didn’t really have a plan or idea of where it was going it was more just something I had to do for myself. I feel like things were well received I started doing consignment with stores and putting out what I could. That was 7 years ago and thinking back I am pretty proud of how far I’ve come and how much I have learned and grown through this process. There are things I miss about my naivety about how raw and hands on the process was.

Now I have more resources but also more restraints. But its definitely nice to look back and see how far I have come and also see that I still really like some of my original designs and how its all just a learning process. There were so many times I thought this is it I’ve made it and so many times I thought I couldn’t do it anymore and wanted to give up. But ultimately I am happy with where I am at.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has definitely been really hard, I think not having the money, resources, contacts or space to do things has been challenging and frustrating at times. It’s one thing to dream something up but a totally different thing to find and execute all the components. The fashion Industry is just so fast paced for one thing so you never really get a break.

Luckily I have about a million ideas but trying to put those together into a cohesive collection can be really hard when you are also trying to run a business and your energy and time are being spread all over the place. I think also just figuring out the business side of things has been a real challenge for me and I am still figuring all that out.

I would love a financial mentor or someone I can ask financial questions to and receive help with budgets and projections. Just putting that out there into the universe! I think anything worth having is worth the struggle bc it makes you really appreciate the small victories.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Lykke Wullf – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Lykke Wullf is a women’s clothing and accessories brand. I am mainly known for my denim pieces like our Anita overalls and what I call my Forever collection which is our core collection of durable every day, western workwear inspired not so basic basics. But our seasonal collections are always a lot of fun and a good way to try out new styles that might eventually end up in the forever collection. We are definitely known for our pants and overalls but we sell a little bit of everything!

What I most proud of is that we work closely within our community and everything is made and designed in LA. I think my overall design aesthtic is pretty unique as it combines my childhood outsider obsession with Americana with my love of simple and functional clothing. I think more brands are doing “the western” thing now but when I started it really wasn’t cool or mainstream it was just something I personally loved and over the years I’ve seen more and more brands going in that workwear western direction but I still think we have our own iconic take on that.

But also the brand is always evolving I have an overall style and mentality about design I think or hope shows through in the end product, being something that when you see it you know it is Lykke Wullf.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Los Angeles bc there are so many secret spots and hidden gems, on the surface it can seem like endless strip malls but when you really get into the communities it’s really beautiful and so diverse. I feel like it can give you so much inspiration and I don’t know if you could ever get bored here bc there are so many different landscapes within one big sprawling city.

I think that last part about the sprawling is also what I don’t like about LA sometimes it can feel so hard to go out and explore bc its so overwhelming and you end up in a car all day. But the cure for that is parking your car and exploring your neighborhood!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 719 S Los Angles St.
  • Website: Lykkewullf.com
  • Email: info@lykkewullf.com

Image Credit:
Samuel Richard

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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