Meet Jaclyn O'Hara of Jaclyn Faye by Gingerland

tell us about your products. where they are made. who makes them. favorite product features.

All of the scarves I sell are handmade by me in my home studio located near O'Hare. I love the different textures and weights my scarves have, and I also love how versatile they are. Each scarf can be worn different ways so that it's a layering piece and not just an outdoor accessory.

tell us about your connection to Chicago. your neighborhood.

Though we are just outside the city, we're close because we love it. Between my sewing, my husband's music, and my daughter's dancing, there are very few places in Chicago that we haven't been!

what do you love about your business, your industry.

The best part of making scarves is playing with all the different colors, patterns, textures, and weights of fabrics and combining them into wearable art. When I get to see the excitement a customer gets from feeling silky, cozy faux fur wrapped around their shoulders or to hear about how their family fought over a scarf at the holidays, I know I've made people happy. That's what I love about fashion: the right piece can be transformative.

tell us about your design inspiration - space, smells, colors, textures.

I am very inspired by nature and the seasons. I love to use natural fibers when possible, and I try to use faux furs that look and feel real. Fabrics themselves inspire my process: I love color, pattern, and texture, so I have to see and feel what is out there.

what advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Commit to what you want to do, make the time for it, and put yourself out there. Listen to the criticism you receive, use what is useful to better your product, and keep going. It is hard, but if it's what you love, you make it work.

share a favorite quote, a mantra.

“Make it work!”

surprise us with your secret talent, fact, etc.

I am also a high-demand tutor for academic support and test prep.

what's the most common question you get about your business?

"Do you make all of these yourself?"

tell us about your process for making + creating.

It starts with the feeling of the seasons: fall and winter are the time for layering and being warm and cozy. Then I search for fabrics that invoke those feelings through color, pattern, texture, and weight. The fabrics I choose have colors that reflect the season, and I look for heavyweight knits, plaid flannels, and wools that are customary for fall and winter. All fabrics are then pre-washed (when possible) and pressed. Once the fabrics are ready, I head into my studio space to pair fabrics, cut the appropriate sizes, and sew. I try to minimize waste, so I maximize how much of the fabric can be used by sizing scarves based on the width of the fabric as well as using selvages when possible.

name 3 local makers/brands that inspire you and why.

Edgewater Candles because the owners are genuinely nice people who set goals, have taken steps to reach those goals, and have worked hard to be in their new space (and their scents are amazing!). No Kitchen Sink because her "feminist af" jewelry sends a powerful message, and her rose gold star earrings make me feel like Gem! Amy Kae Atelier because she is a mom, too, and she has built an amazing jewelry business with truly unique pieces.

what is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped you and your business?

Believe in your product, find your target audience, put in the work. Once I stopped second-guessing my product and started thinking about who I wanted wearing my scarves, I was able better determine where I should market and sell. And it’s been a process of steadily growing interest, going to more events, and reaching more customers.

Connect with Jaclyn Faye by Gingerland

@gingerlandjfo on Instagram and Facebook

kendra chaplin