TSC: Let’s start with a lighting round of some generals: Favorite place to ride? Favorite bike? Tacos or pizza? Flannel or wool? Wildest things you’ve found while making a quilted jacket? Halloween costume ideas?
Fav place to ride: Griffith park is like Prospect Park on a caffeine boost. Sometimes you are biking alongside a handful of coyotes! There are also hawks and bunnies, and plenty of climbing. It is such an awesome place to meet people and ride at conversational pace or an all-out KOM chasing suffer-fest. People like chasing KOMs here a lot. A KOM certainly holds more value than it does out on the east coast, which is nice because I am type-A and now I don’t have to race I can just like, work on a Strava segment sometimes to get the same accomplishment feeling.
Fav bike: I am learning that when you move someplace new, your favorite bike may change to be the best bike for the area you are sending it in. I’ve been in Los Angeles for a couple years now and finally purchased a Cervelo Caledonia. It’s the first road bike I’ve really ridden since 2016, and together we have been discovering plenty of roads, mountains, group rides, coffee shops, and descents here in LA. It has electronic shifting. It is pretty luxurious.
Tacos or Pizza: While both are worthy adversaries, I do choose pizza as I have been learning to master my backyard’s outdoor pizza oven, and have come somewhat close with my dough and sauce recipe. Slide into my DMs to talk all-purpose / 00 flour ratios, and discuss your favorite can of San Marzano tomatoes.
Flannel or Wool: Well Flannel can BE wool, or cotton. Or polyester. Or printed or yarn-dyed. And I am sort of allergic to wool, although I did buy one of those eco-friendly mattresses with the wool top anyways. So anyways I vote flannel for its flexibility in it’s fibers and manufacturing. Although I have not really worn it since leaving the east coast.
Wildest thing I’ve found while making a quilted jacket: Sometimes the original artist of a quilt will use an older quilt to be the interior, to either save on cost of materials or just to make use of what they have on hand. Which means they build a quilt completely around another quilt. You can’t tell when they do this unless you cut it open. Then you will find layers of a whole other quilt and all it’s different fabrics inside. I have seen this a couple times and it is always really cool to see. Also recently I found a wing nut inside one.
Halloween costume Idea: The only time as an adult I have ever worn a halloween costume was when I was at Specialized and they are kind of competitive about Halloween costumes, and I am a pretty competitive person so therefore I went as a haunted WinTunnel. A director told me “nice win today” about my costume which is Specialized speak for “I like your costume.” So it came out pretty good. Other than that, I’ve always wanted to be a haunted feedzone.
TSC: You left a career working in textiles for large apparel-focused companies to launch your own Namesake brand ( PLUG - https://jessmeany.com/) before the pandemic. During then and now, there’s been a big shift towards handmade goods, and textiles are seeing a resurgence in popularity. How has that impacted your brand/process. Are raw materials harder to source? And what continues to drive your vision?
First I do want to say I am glad so many more people are exploring the value in used and vintage items. It’s important for the planet, our environment and our own histories as humans, communities, and cultures in many ways, and it is also a much more fun way to discover something for your home or wardrobe.
I launched the brand about 6 months before Covid. Once quarantine hit, we could say many people started spending their money on comfort items for the home, and they also looked for ways they could make money while being at home… like sewing. I did feel that in a few different ways. The biggest being online reseller sites like eBay have the ability to tell a seller how much their item is worth. Quilt prices easily quadrupled during this year. A pre-covid $120 quilt could be listed for $420 now.
I do also acknowledge Covid’s quarantine assisted in the growth of my brand as people spent more time online checking out one of a kind items, custom apparel, and comforting items. So there is a pendulum but that is kinda life isn’t it.
So anyways, I chose to move to Los Angeles two years ago to leverage the overage of local brand’s materials they no longer need, as well as the local manufacturing here. As the brand continues to grow, there are some very nice things coming in the months and seasons ahead that speak to this.
TSC: Is it dangerous to dream of…?
JM: clicking the buy button on a quilt over $400 dollars.