At the age of 22, Jac Vanek has made quite a name for herself. Having thousands of friends and fans on both Facebook and MySpace, you may recognize her designs as many musicians and their fans alike wear them. Members of bands such as Cobra Starship, The Academy Is…, Versaemerge, All Time Low and Boys Like Girls, just to name a few, have been seen sporting her bracelets. She has also done collaboration work with people such as William Beckett of The Academy Is… as well as Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship.
She has necklaces and designer tees for sale as well, but the most popular item is the statement bracelet. With phrases such as LEGIT, BRUTAL, RUTHLESS, BELIEVE, WALLFLOWER, and many others; just about everyone can find one that says something about them. These bracelets are very reasonably priced at $10 each. I know I was able to buy one, and so can anyone else at that price.
Needless to say, I am impressed that someone so young can be that successful in doing what she loves. Here is an interview I did with Jac Vanek so we could get to know her even better! Enjoy!
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jac Vanek and I own a clothing and accessory company of the
When did you start your business and how did it start?
I made my very first bracelet around three years ago (the “ruthless” one). It’s funny, because I never intended for this to become my career and take over my life. I made a few bracelets for fun for some
of my friends…gave a few to friends in bands…and slowly, they started to catch on. And finally, Jac Vanek became an actual official business in the fall of 2008.
What got you first interested in jewelry/fashion?
I’ve been into fashion my entire life. However, I’m honestly not really into designers and high end fashion…I’m more of a thrift store junkie. I sew, alter, or cut up almost every single article of clothing I have. I’ve never been a generic dresser, and I’ve never dressed to a particular genre either. I mix and match colors, patterns, and styles to create something that works for me and only me.
Where did the inspiration for the bracelets come from?
Music, movies, books, quotes, values, beliefs….life. There is a specific reason behind every single bracelet, shirt, and necklace I have made. Whether it is the title of a song from my favorite band,
or a word representing a specific belief I have, there’s always strong backing to each item I sell. I recently added descriptions to every one of my products at my online store so customers can jump in my brain to see why I decided to go with a certain word or phrase. I also rely very heavily on the input and feedback I have from customers and fans…if I have enough demand for something, I make it! I would be nothing without them, so the least I can do is make my customers what they want.
How do you decide who you are going to do collaborations with?
Everyone I have done collabs with in the past have been close friends of mine who would rather support what I’m doing rather than rip me off. Some of these have included Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low,
Gabe Saporta from Cobra Starship, William Beckett from The Academy Is…, etc. I also did a three-way collaboration with Miley Cyrus and Mandy Jiroux, which they approached me about. That was awesome for
me, because it reached outside of the scene I’m very involved in now!
Do you have anything new coming out in the near future?
Oh yes, of course I do! I’m most excited about a collection of rings I’ll be releasing in the next month or so. It’s one thing to have a design screen printed on a shirt…but it’s another to have my own
unique piece of jewelry crafted specifically for me!
I know that musicians and their fans love your bracelets, why do you think your bracelets are so popular?
I think it’s because the bracelets are so expressive, so bold, and so loud. And by now, I have so many different sayings that there is a bracelet for pretty much everyone, every emotion, and every day. Not
to mention, they’re a great conversation starter at a party!
Do you have advice for someone trying to open his or her own online business/shop?
Do your own thing! If you think you have an awesome idea that you know will sell, go for it. Start small and be patient. Like I said, I started with one bracelet, and slowly built on that. Don’t try to
take any crazy loans out to fund your business. Do what you can with what you can. You don’t have a million products…try to find what works for you, and work with that. Also, you are going to need thick skin. Nothing comes easy, be ready for criticism, and try to use it to better your business.
What do you love most about your job/life right now?
The number one thing I love is that I am my own boss. I spent the first 20 years of my life trying to impress others, live up to certain expectations, and be accepted by others. When I finally abandoned that and did what really worked for me, everything just clicked. To me, work and play are the same thing. Traveling and touring are part of my job…how bad ass is that?!
Lastly, what is your favorite album as of right now?
Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More. Obsessed, obsessed, obsessed.
Check out everything they have to offer at Jacvanek.com