I hope you had a wonderful Christmas weekend! With the New Year coming up (2010? Don’t they use that year in some old sci-fi flicks?) we have a new pair to introduce! Meet L+J, who, along with Kate Spain, joined Moda this year at Fall Market as the newest additions to their designer ensemble. Lauren and Jessi Jung are a mother & daughter team who use their different expertise to bring their modern aesthetics to fabric. Visit their website for free patterns & blog to say hi! Their first line for Moda, called Botany, will be out in March. Check out the Idea Center page on their site to see what they’ve dreamed up already … I’m quite in love with that dress. Can’t wait for March!!
WHO WE ARE
We’re a mother-daughter team. Lauren is originally from Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from Furman University with a degree in Fine Arts. While in college, she spent a semester in Cortona, Italy, concentrating on oil painting and photography. She did her graduate work at The Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA, and received a degree in Graphic Design. She’s currently employed with G2 Interactive in Philadelphia as a web designer.
I (Jessi) am a graduate of Clemson University with a Masters degree in Deaf Education. I taught myself to sew because I wanted to make smocked dresses for my two daughters, Lauren and Carrie.
HOW WE GOT STARTED
My friend introduced me to quilt making in 2000. We went on to form a business where we developed a quilt planner, and we also developed and sold quilt patterns. Lauren had just graduated from the Portfolio Center and was looking for employment in her field with no luck. It was from this mixture of boredom and depression that led to the actual idea of fabric design. And it wasn’t too difficult for her to convince me to jump on board with this idea. We worked over Christmas vacation, as well as over the phone for months before Lauren began putting together an elaborate presentation to send to Moda. In a few days, we heard from Moda’s design director Cheryl Freydberg – which was some feat, because we neglected to add a letter of introduction and explanation of their package. But Cheryl tracked us down through the shipping label!
Botany originated with a central theme of Luna Moths. But as with any project, it evolved into other things, like wildlife vines and flowers. We zeroed in on our colors almost before anything else. Botany works well in quilts as well as a variety of other applications. Before Market, I asked my friends to help me make samples using the Botany fabrics. They came back with vibrant purses, aprons, children’s dresses, wallets, book covers, pj pants, baby pads, pillows, and appliqués!
HOW WE WORK TOGETHER
Our brains work in totally different ways. I use a sketchbook and Lauren uses a laptop. Lauren begins every project with a mood board for inspiration and brainstorming. It’s important to work together initially. An idea from one of us launches a thought from the other person, which sparks a vision from the other, and so on. We iron out our color preferences while we are together, but we also evolve during the process. It’s hard to design long distance, but we make it work by talking on the phone in front of our computer screens, scanning and sending options back and forth.
When the designs are complete, we have separate duties. I work on quilt patterns that will best showcase the prints and all of the sewing. Lauren illustrates the patterns, photographs, does much of the promotional work, and of course, designed and set up our website (www.LaurenAndJessiJung.com). If you check out our Pattern Section, there will eventually be 6 free patterns available for download. Currently we have 5 of the 6 up, and the last will be up before the line hits the stores in March.
Our second line is officially finished and we can’t wait for the strike-offs to arrive! And now that the mad rush to finish this next line is over, I’m busy making wedding plans for Carrie, who will be married June 5th. Lauren has started a new job at a software interface company in Princeton, NJ, along with some freelance work (websites and wedding invitations).