Nothing in this world inspires me more than female go-getters who are hell bent on turning their passions into their livelihood. I was thrilled to meet Jordana Schrager, the beyond-talented 22-year-old artist behind breakout accessories line by Jordana, last week and learn what her brand is all about.
Jordana’s story began in high school when she started doodling on sneakers for herself and her friends. After numerous inquiries, building a website, and lucking out with a few key celebrity placements, the custom footwear line took off. With college now behind her, the NYC-based entrepreneur is fully focused on growing her brand, which has expanded to include sneakers, leggings and phone cases adorned with mass-produced seasonal prints.
Jordana was kind enough to share some insight into her line, the ups and downs of building a business, and advice for fellow up-starts. Enjoy!
What drives you?
My clients and fans! I really love working with them on a personal basis and creating custom sneakers that they will love.
Who and what inspire you?
My parents. Both are entrepreneurs and have taught me the importance of dedication and hard work. Also, I have always loved art and design and I actually studied art and design in college and minored in business. It all helped grow by Jordana.
Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit? If so, can you share any early entrepreneurial endeavors?
I started doodling on sneakers for fun in high school! At first, I created custom hand-drawn sneakers for myself, my friends and my family. Over time, however, I started to receive orders from people all around the country. After the demand grew greatly for my custom sneakers and artwork, I saw the opportunity for a business and by Jordana was born!
What are the best and hardest parts about having your own business?
The best part of having my own business is being able to do what I love as my career! I love art and design and really enjoy creating custom sneakers and working on new designs for the by Jordana line. The hardest part would have to be the stress of starting my own company. Starting a business is very difficult and there are a lot of challenges and obstacles.
To what do you attribute your success thus far?
After I graduated from the University of Michigan, I was looking for funding to really grow and scale my business. I’ve always wanted to mass produce my designs, have them printed on a variety of products, and sell them to retail stores across the country. One of the greatest accomplishments thus far has been receiving my first investment from the Founder’s Fund through the Zell Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan for my company by Jordana. This investment has allowed me to follow my dreams, pursue my passion for art and design, and grow my business into a Footwear and Fashion line!
What have been your most successful marketing outlets/strategies thus far?
Social media has been the best marketing tool thus far! I’ve documented every sneaker design since the start on my Instagram account @by_Jordana and have grown a large following over the past years. I receive a lot of my orders through social media and I have connected with a lot of my customers this way as well.
What is your dream project?
I want to create new designs each season and come out with new prints, launch new products, add more fashion, more accessories and eventually more sneaker styles. I always say if I got big enough, I’d love to collaborate with Target because they always collaborate with the top designers and I think that’d be amazing.
Where do you see the by Jordana brand in 3-5 years?
My goal is to grow by Jordana into a lifestyle and fashion brand by printing my signature and unique designs on a variety of products! I want to continue to create new and amazing designs that my customers will want to wear and that my stores will want to sell.
Based on your experiences, what advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?
There will always be obstacles and challenges in life. To overcome those challenges, you must focus on your goals, work hard, and think success!
A special thanks again to Jordana and my friends at TL Communications!
peace, love & neon,
Cover photo c/o by Jordana