We had the good fortune of connecting with KJ Blattenbauer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi KJ, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my dress line, vieve and jo, because I wanted fashion for women to feel inclusive of all women. I wanted to take an industry still heavily run by men and make quality dresses that actually fit a real woman’s body. And I wanted to create comfortable, bright, and beautiful dresses that women wanted to live in. All without selling my soul to attract investors or compromising my values on the production. I wanted to make getting dressed fun for women again. And truthfully, I had absolutely not a darn thing to wear for work or play. And I was tired of feeling frustrated with my own closet. The thought process behind starting this business was that I want to make sure no other woman ever says, “I can’t find a dress that fits me or makes me feel comfortable” ever again.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The story of vieve and jo begins with a girl, standing in front of her closet, and dreaming of dresses that were chic, colorful, and comfortable to wear day and night. With built-in bra support and pockets, of course. After spending nearly 25 years as a publicist, and traveling for clients nonstop, I was tired of trying to find a wardrobe that fit and flattered no matter where a day would take me. I was becoming frustrated with the lack of quality clothing available—especially in bright colors—that could transition from work to play effortlessly, so I set out to create it myself. Well, after a giant pep talk and huge shove my husband first. But it hasn’t been easy! I’m a self-taught fashion designer, who can barely sew. I’ve partnered with amazing folks from the industry who have helped guide me and learn from my mistakes. But this dress line is three years in the making. And it’s worth it to take basic silhouettes that flatter every woman’s body and make them come to life in bold hues for women on the go. vieve and jo is a dress line that inspires women to live every day in color. From every day essentials to statement pieces that boldly announce your uniqueness, I’ve worked to create effortless staples without sacrificing the style or comfort of its wearer. The brand is focused on bright colors, quality construction, and attention to detail, so that our dresses stand the test of time. We believe in building a comfortable personal wardrobe that lasts season after season and easily takes you from day to night and work to weekend, no matter where you roam. Look, I believe in living every day brightly and boldly. Getting dressed should be the easiest part of any woman’s day. Building a wardrobe of comfortable, quality pieces as colorful as your personality means you’ll always having something to wear. I don’t want women to be stressed, but I can help them be well dressed with dresses made from start to finish deep in the heart of Texas.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I like the idea of making everyone feel comfortable because that in turn makes me feel more comfortable. Which means if you’re one of my people, I want to take care of you. I want to invite you into my home, cook you dinner, make you a drink, and talk about our lives far from prying eyes or noise. We recently purchased a home in North Dallas and I’d guess that a majority of a week-long visit from friends would be spent in the backyard around the pool. That said, I love DFW and exploring all the Metro has to offer. Two of my favorite places to stay in town are The Warwick Hotel and Hotel Crescent. I never skip the chance to meet friends for dinner and drinks at Sixty Vines or Mi Cocina. The best burgers, shakes, and friends I’ve ever had—and I’ve sampled quite a few—are from Hunky’s. You’ll probably find me every Saturday at their Cedar Springs Road location. But I couldn’t let anyone leave the area without dinner and a show from Mason at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse off Olive and McKinney. Food aside, there’s always fun times to be had at the Perot, running Katy Trail, or perfecting our shooting skills at the Frisco Gun Club.
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?
Credit rests solely on the shoulders of my fantastic support network who are always there to cheer me on or pick me up. This group is led by my crazy supportive husband, Kenny, and includes a core group of amazing like-minded female entrepreneurs and small business owners from around the globe, my awesome immediate family, and one solid best friend from every decade I’ve been alive: Melissa, Kari, Kristin, Kelley, Caylor, Julie, and my Brand Babes, thanks for always being there!
Other: https://www.pinterest.com/vieveandjo/ https://www.instagram.com/vieveandjo/
Alexa Vossler, Abby Anderson, KJ Blattenbauer