Our First Q&A with Juliette Porter
What inspired you to start a swimwear brand?
My love and passion for bikinis and swimwear started around the age of 17. I grew up in a beach town, and swimwear is a fashion staple in Florida - you wear swimwear almost as often as normal attire. Because I had created such a large collection of suits over the years, I knew what I did and didn’t like, and I always dreamed of creating suits that were perfect for myself and others. I wanted to build a brand that makes women feel confident as well as excited about being in bikinis! Swimwear is for vacations, fun, and relaxing, and the suit you’re in should add to that experience.
What was the process of starting a new business like? What is the biggest lesson you've learned? What are you most proud of?
It’s not easy starting a business, especially when I had no prior experience in the field. However, everyone has to start somewhere, and I chose to surround myself with knowledgeable people who could lead me in the right direction and help me along the way. It’s okay to admit you don’t know something and ask for help! The biggest lesson I’ve learned is taking one step at a time and being gentle to myself. Being an expert doesn’t happen overnight. I’m most proud of the fact that women and men are loving JMP, and that means we succeeded in creating a product that looks and feels good!
What’s your favorite part of working in the fashion industry?I think my favorite part of being in this industry is simply the fact that I have such a passion for it! I get so excited designing with Jaymi, going to shows, and seeing the latest trends. I have never felt a passion like this before— the kind where you want to put in a lot of time and you want to achieve greatness. I think that’s how you know you love your job!
For Jaymi and Juliette: How is the work divided among you two? What does Juliette handle and what does Jaymi handle?Jaymi and I hop on design meetings about once a month that go on for hours! We brainstorm ideas together, and Jaymi hand-draws each piece, adds measurements, and creates a tech pack. I am learning so much each time we create a new piece together. We both add our own style and concerns to each design so that we know many women are being considered with JMP. We have the most fun picking colors, developing prints, and naming each style, color, and collection. It's a very collaborative process, and it brings great balance to our line to have a 24 year old that lives a beach lifestyle designing with a business-minded mom of two. After design, Jaymi handles most of the fittings & production elements, and I handle a lot of the social marketing and getting the word out that we have new collections in the works!
Who/what are your fashion inspos?My fashion inspirations right now are Camilla Coelho, Maeve Reilly, Janice Joostema and Mimi Cuttrell - just to name a few! I love their style and often buy things that they’re wearing! They all have such an eye for trending looks! Right now I’m very into baggy pants and lots of color. I like to show a little skin but keep it classy! My swim fashion is all about the combination of feeling comfortable and showing off my best assets in prints and colors that compliment a nice tan (spray tan, of course! Wear that sunscreen, ladies!)
What makes JMP the Label different from other swimwear brands?
We are proud to create swimwear for all body types for men, women, and children. We are firm believers in inclusivity and want the world of swimwear to be a place where all are welcome! With that being said, we plan to expand even more by adding more sizes and styles in the future. In addition to inclusivity, JMP the Label suits are manufactured in Bali in a factory that employs primarily women. That factory practices upcycling, which involves taking the leftover fabric and giving it to the local community to make blankets, clothing, and dolls. We also practice upcycling when creating our own pieces by using leftover fabrics from other products. We use a biodegradable mailer that composts in only 6 months, as well as reusable silicone bags that the bikini comes in. We strive to keep a low carbon footprint and set the tone for other brands who have yet to adopt these policies.
What is your favorite piece from JMP so far?This is a hard question! I love our Pebble collection. It was one of our first collections, and I don’t think it will ever go out of style. It’s edgy, unique and has a very neutral, island look that I love, especially paired with the Havana sarong. I also love the Miami one piece. It looks good on everyone, and it’s so comfortable and flattering!
Are there any future plans for a physical store or pop-ups and what’s next for JMP?
At JMP, we like being primarily E-Commerce because it’s convenient for our customers to shop from all over the country. However, we plan on doing more pop-ups soon, and select styles are available at Surge Style in Sarasota and Shop Ever in Los Angeles! We love meeting our JMP family in person.