22 Qs With Jami-lyn: Aiming High in Year II
By: Heather Crosby
Grab your party hats (ahem, lookin’ @ u: Provence Corduroy Cap) because we are celebrating MODISTE’s first full year(+) in business – woohooo! It’s always a privilege getting the chance to connect with the creative director and mastermind behind MODISTE: THE Jami-lyn Fehr!
It is no secret that Jami-lyn has a true gift in hand-selecting each & every piece that is offered in-store and online at MODISTE. In addition to her careful curation and keen eye for beauty, she has created a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in not one, but TWO gorgeous Nashville spaces. Every corner is utter perfection – from the layout and design, to the artwork and florals (+ everything in between, including all the exquisite & subtle details [hiii, wiggle mirror!]).
Thank you, Jami-lyn, for creating and introducing us to your beautiful brand and brainchild, MODISTE! I have all the faith in you and am confident that you will continue to find incredible success in your business and beyond, as you look to take MODISTE to new heights in 2022…I know you have your sights and aspirations set HIGH! Cheers to an extra bright year ahead – you got this, @jlbabe!
A brief overview before diving in…
Starting off on a posi note :) What are you most proud of in this past year as it pertains to MODISTE?
I’m not usually one to be proud of myself, but I am very proud of the growth MODISTE has had despite being so young. We’ve reached people in over 36 countries via email, and have shipped to Asia, the UK, Europe, Canada, and of course the United States! Also very proud of the brands we’ve acquired. I feel very lucky to carry every brand in our matrix.
And now jumping into the #1 lesson / biggest takeaway from 2021…a challenging feat that you overcame (with grace + poise, always!)?
Having two spaces has taught me a lot. It’s very difficult having one foot in each place, but I think I’ll be able to find the right balance when we shift from having an appointment-based showroom as home base, to a genuine flagship retail store downtown (surprise!). The 2nd Avenue location will have traditional retail hours 5-6 days a week, in addition to the co-op location being open Thursday-Sunday.
How has your education / Master’s degree / influencer & editorial background helped you throughout your first year in business? I know you are a lifelong learner ;), so are there any courses that you are currently enrolled in / specific topics that you are particularly interested in diving deeper into?
My education has helped me in so many ways– I mean I wouldn’t have the name MODISTE without my Evolution of Fashion undergrad course! Also, Google Sheets is my best friend in many ways, and I learned how to navigate that in undergrad and continued to use that throughout graduate school. I’m not currently enrolled in anything, but I would love to get an online degree or certificate from a London-based school, just because. I love London so much and would love an excuse to go back for a graduation.
Walk us through your ‘everyday’ as MODISTE’s Founder & Creative Director :)
Mondays feel like my Saturday because I spend Thursday-Sunday working the May Hosiery location, but despite them feeling like Saturday, they’re not. I very much have to start my days with a homemade latte and responding to emails from the Europe-based brands that send me emails overnight. I also tend to have to wake up rather early for zoom meetings with said brands as it’s already late in the work day for them when I wake up. Afternoons tend to be slower, and I try and spend those perusing through lookbooks and placing orders, as well as planning for photoshoots of new products!
Would LOVE for you to shed more light on the in-house line (‘LA MAISON’), as well as the inspiration behind creating a true-to-MODISTE collection?
LA MAISON is everything I’ve ever dreamed of. A growing collection of basics that are at a manageable price point while still being quality that I am proud of. I wanted to offer a good selection of genderless items within this as well, as the demand from Nashville’s stylish men is growing. Many of these pieces we will try and keep stocked for an indefinite amount of time, but one day we may decide to retire the silhouette, so I’d definitely snatch something if it speaks to you.
What is one piece that you are currently LOVING / LIVING IN this winter?! For me, it is hands-down (!) the limited-edition ‘Bonjour de Nashville’ sweatshirt – hello, gorgeous NEW camel color! PSA: You’re def gonna want to ‘add to cart’ if you haven’t already! They be goin’ FAST!
I wear our in-house Wedgewood Jumper at least once a week. It’s so soft, but lightweight enough to layer over or under something.
Creative Inspiration in Nashville, NYC & Across the Pond
Please take us behind-the-scenes of your 2021 showroom sessions with Emmi Elliott & Taylor Noelle. What prompted you to use MODISTE’s showroom as a space for local artists to record / share their musical talent with the Nashville community + beyond? Any 2022 showroom sessions on the books? Are live audiences welcome for a true listening room experience? ;)
We were really inspired by NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts for our Showroom Sessions! We loved being able to record live in the showroom, and to style the artists in pieces from MODISTE while they share their art and talent with us. We have one more set to come out (hopefully) soon with Mackenzie Carpenter, but outside of that, we don’t have any others on the books yet. Maybe one day we’ll have an audience, but for right now those sessions are behind closed doors!
Go-to spots in Music City (i.e., cafés, restaurants, walking trails & gardens, art exhibits, secret spots in downtown Nash, etc.) where you feel most inspired?
My favorite brunch spot is without a doubt lou in East Nashville. It feels like something you’d go to in the English countryside (but with more flavor–LOL). Exploring Cheekwood always makes me so happy. Many people just go through the garden, but the mansion has an incredible art gallery that lets you get up close and personal with some amazing pieces of art. 2nd Avenue is my favorite street downtown, and being surrounded by those century-old buildings definitely inspires me. It also happens to be where our first genuine Flagship Store will be. Stay tuned!
How have your 2021 trips to NYC and London reinvigorated your passion for travel? And in the same vein, how have these travels continued to cultivate your love of fashion, film, photography, and design?
Goodness. My trip to London wasn’t long enough. I truly fell in love with that city, and it made me want to explore all of Europe! That trip was my first ‘across the pond’ and it truly changed my life. I would say many of the pieces in the in-house line are inspired by my travels to NYC and London. The style in those cities is so unique and classic in their own ways.
Creative Consumption Q+A…ready, go!
Favorite music you are listening to right now? Any artists local to Nashville? If so, pls share so we can check out their work on Apple Music/Spotify!
Well, I am not one of those people that knows underground musicians and has an insane personal playlist. I’m the kind of person that listens to the same three songs and belts them in the car until I’m sick of them. Right now, Taylor Swift and Adele are my latest ‘victims’ of this. But, to plug my friends, everyone should listen to Emmi Elliot, Taylor Noelle, and Mackenzie Carpenter!
Speaking of…how are you allowing your creative spirit to flourish in the new year? Learning to play any new instruments…a little piano action? ;)
Heather, you’re revealing my ‘close friends’ content! Hahaha– but yes, I like to try and learn the aforementioned songs on the piano so I can belt them outside of my car and in my home. I’m not the best at the whole dual-handed playing thing, though, so I stick to chords.
Page-turners! Books you are reading / loving?
I truly need to read more. I wish I did. I keep buying books but can’t seem to get through them like I used to.
For those who prefer absorbing info thru auditory learning – any stand-out podcasts that you are listening to / particularly enjoying?
You want to know a podcast that I listen to a ton? Therapy Gecko. My husband introduced it to me, and it can be incredibly interesting and entertaining.
Cannot forget about Netflix + chillin’ like a villain – binge-worthy shows you can’t get enough of…‘Emily in Paris’ for some Parisian inspo, perhaps? ;)
I definitely binge-watched Emily in Paris. It's the kind of show that’s so bad it’s good? So cringe it’s cute? Either way I can’t wait for the next season. I’m currently binging The Crown, as if I needed another reason to want to go back to London, but alas. I’ve also watched The Witcher (a very different vibe from the other two), and it’s some of the best television I’ve watched in quite a while.
Any topics or trends that are piquing your interest at the moment (doesn’t necessarily have to be fashion-related; however, they are certainly welcome!)?
Your girl always loves all things footy, so I’m always trying to learn more and more about soccer, and the little nuances of how the game works. I’m a big Premier League fan, and look forward to my #PLmornings where I can wake up at 6:00, make my latte and cozy up on the couch to watch some English football (the best kind of football, in my humble opinion).
Gettin’ down to business!
Between the showroom’s grand opening in July (complete with scrumptious MODISTE-embossed croissants from Trēt Baking Co, Moët rosé and champagne (for toasting and celebrating, of course!), gorgeous floral designs by Saint Maide, and stylish supporters galore!) and MODISTE’s second location, May Hosiery Mills Co-Op, opening in November, you’ve managed to design two oases to house MODISTE’s beautiful products. Tell us about these spaces & what they mean to you…a labor of love and careful planning/design, I am sure! For those native and privy to Nashville: any other locations to look out for in 2022?
I definitely don’t want to undermine the work that went into these by calling them stepping stones, but as crazy as it sounds, that’s what they are! I loved learning about MODISTE and the aesthetic that fits the brand as I built out these spaces. I learned so much during the process of opening both the showroom and the co-op, and I feel much more prepared going into the buildout of what we will dub our Flagship Store. We’re hoping to be open this April– so look out for updates on that coming very soon. It’s truly our dream space!
What can we expect to see re: MODISTE ™ menswear in the new year? Definitely hoping for more modeling from Mr. Christian Hall, your (insanely slash creatively talented) partner in crime & partner in life :)
We have had some very exciting brand meetings as of late, and are thrilled to be Nashville’s sole stockist for the iconic French brand, Ami Paris, coming very soon. They’re known for their menswear, and we can’t wait for Nashville’s men to level up their wardrobes.
Let’s talk growth!
You’ve had a tremendous year filled with significant (!) growth…hello, 10.1K (& growing by the day) on IG (@officialmodiste is where it’s at…if you haven’t already, toss dis fire biz account a follow for the latest on all-things MODISTE & double tap to show some BRAND LOVE!!)...what are your goals/aspirations in terms of FUTURE GROWTH for MODISTE in 2022?
I would love to see MODISTE get some national/international press. I feel like we have done some great things, but not enough people have found out about us yet! I’d love to scale up the online store as well. I know I’m biased, but I think we have such a gorgeous e-commerce site, and again, not enough people know about it.
What are you most excited for people to see in 2022? I already knowww BIG THINGS are on the horizon in 2022…@JLBABE is ON THE MOVE, peeps…so y’all better keep those eyes peeled for alll that creative GOODNESS + inspo! ;) Having said that, where can people find/follow/reach you (i.e., on Instagram, FB, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.)?! Link ‘em all, sister!
We have a lot of initial shipments from new brands coming in very, very soon! From 16Arlington to Ami Paris to MM6 Maison Margiela. I’m so thrilled brands I love so much have signed on with us and trusted us to well-represent their designs.
Companies you are looking forward to partnering with in the upcoming year? Inside scoop on any collabs in-the-works?!
We have our latest collaboration coming out on February 4th with Recreational Habits– we couldn’t be more excited! Nothing else on the books just yet, but don’t worry, we’re brainstorming.
Upcoming travel plans + trips in 2022…London, Paris, New York? Other dream destinations?!
I try and hit one city every market if possible. It’s so important to be able to touch and feel things. It’s hard to buy based on digital linesheets and photos alone. Channing (our digital stylist & editor) and I are headed to NYC for February’s fashion week, and hopefully we hit London in September! Sounds and feels so far away at the moment, but maybe we’ll be in NYC again in June before that.
And lastly, a moment for reflection/gratitude:
Opening up this final q for a personal note that you’d like to share with those who have supported and/or purchased from MODISTE over the past year! :) We are all cheering for you, JL!
I cannot thank each and every person who’s supported MODISTE enough. Each and every purchase helps to keep us going! Whether it be a candle, handbag or piece of clothing, every sale and tag on Instagram means the world to me and the team. There’s a little graphic going around that says “Every time you support a small business a real person does a little happy dance,” and that couldn’t be more true. Thank you, thank you, thank you.