We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Lehmkuhl and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, is there something you believe many others might not?
Don’t feel like you have follow the mantra of “staring at the bottom to work your way up” in order to have your own line, design your own products or find success. Experience is key to really becoming an expert on any given topic or any industry that you want to work in, but how you gain that experience is up to you. When I decided to start my own company, I was just out of college, hadn’t worked in fashion but was wanting to learn and figure out all of the moving parts. Because of that, I was able to teach myself every aspect of the business from design, manufacturing, website development to shipping, distribution and marketing. I think that hands on experience and knowledge is something that you shouldn’t wait to “work your way up” to learn. You should take every opportunity to teach yourself the odds and ends of the business any chance you get.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Jennifer Nicole Collection is unique in that we offer an affordable luxury product, direct to consumer, ensuring the highest quality, functional handbags, handmade in Italy. I’ve worked hard to make sure we are providing a luxury, high quality product that our customers can rely on to last for years. Creating my line of handbags has been such a fun, creative part of my job and I’m proud of the building blocks I’ve put in place, from our designs, manufacturing and direct to consumer e-commerce platform. One of our biggest challenges has been navigating the online space, building an audience online and finding a voice through social media. This is a constant struggle trying to work with ever changing algorithms and trying to reach new potential customers via different platforms that I am always working to find ways to overcome. I am always working to find new platforms and new ways to overcome this challenge. Throughout the years I’ve learned a lot about various elements of running a business from design, manufacturing, sales, distribution and marketing. I think some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned have been an ability to adapt to new changes and ideas, and persistence to find a method that works and gains traction. These have helped me to continue to grow Jennifer Nicole Collection and I think we’ve done a great job at cultivating an up and coming brand. Quality, classic pieces that will last a lifetime giving our customers affordable luxury, is a message that makes our brand stand out amongst the crowd.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Especially now that I have my daughter, I love going to the Fort Worth Zoo, it is one of my favorite daytime activities. I also really enjoy the Perot Museum in Dallas. As far as places to eat and drink if I were with friends, the Trinity Groves area has a lot of fun restaurants to enjoy. Klyde Warren Park is also an outdoor spot I love to go to especially when they have food trucks set up. They also have a lot of fun events throughout the year that I like to attend.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out to my family for their support, especially my Dad who has acted as a mentor and my biggest supporter behind Jennifer Nicole Collection. Their unending support, advice and cheering me on has helped me create the business I have today.