Updated: Jun 17, 2021
JBIER’s very first photoshoot was a celebration of Pride month. Jessica Bierman, founder and CEO of JBIER, was inspired by the vitality of her models and designed the Pride photoshoot to be a proud declaration of self-love, individualism, and self-expression. Since its founding, inclusivity has been a core value at JBIER. While JBIER aims to embrace and encourage diversity each and every day, the team is excited to take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on what Pride really means to JBIER.
We sat down with Bierman to talk about how Pride has inspired and impacted her and her growing company.
What does Pride and Pride Month mean to you?
It means everything. It’s one of the reasons I started my business. I always enjoy meeting new people, networking, and just being open-minded every step of the way. By meeting people from all around the world, I am constantly inspired to be even more of a leader. Understanding people and accepting them for who they are is so important. Throughout my journey, I’ve met some unbelievable people who have suffered from the stress of not feeling supported, and this stress has affected so many people around the world. The injustice I have witnessed has impacted my outlook on life. That said, I founded my company knowing that I not only want to sell merchandise to anyone and everyone who supports me, my mission, and my dream, but I also strive to form strong connections that will last for a lifetime... or two.
How is JBIER supporting and celebrating Pride Month?
JBIER is launching an extension of The Angel Collection TOMORROW, June 18th, 2021!
We are so excited to announce the launch of our new branded merchandise inspired by Pride. We are focusing on unisex merchandise that is hand-sketched and graphically designed with very close attention to detail.
Our collection includes dynamic and original pieces that my team and I truly love. Throughout the month of June, we are donating a portion of our proceeds to a cause that my family, friends, and team are passionate about, The Trevor Project. We are thrilled to have already experienced such a high volume of sales in the month of June and hope to see continuous growth for our donation! All in all, JBIER aims to support the lives of those who have been affected by inequality. I have witnessed bullying and ostracizing in the fashion industry and want to make a difference.
Tell us about a time when Pride inspired you to be creative.
In the midst of a global pandemic, I started my business and began growing a diverse team from my hometown in New York. I met incredible people along the way who made an extreme impact on the foundation of my business. One of my first photographers, Michael DeCristo, introduced me to a myriad of models who were so uniquely beautiful. I knew immediately that I wanted to showcase their vibrancy. On the last day of June, Michael had an amazing idea! We hopped on the phone first thing in the morning and started planning a photoshoot to showcase #LoveisLove. We pulled together bright, bold, and colorful outfits inspired by the Pride rainbow. With limited resources, we worked together to make it happen in less than twenty-four hours. It was such an eye-opening, thrilling, and inspiring experience that I'll never forget.
The success of our Pride photoshoot inspired me to create my inclusive business model with the slogan and motto, "We Are All Angels." Adrienne Landau, an exceptionally talented designer and role model, introduced me to fashion at such a young age. I grew up in Adrienne's showroom, where my passion for fashion blossomed. That said, I was very excited to have my second photoshoot in that very place. Our We Are All Angels shoot with Micheal DeCristo and Saulo Villela produced some of the most beautiful images I've ever seen. I could not be more proud! To extend our platform and provide inspiration, JBIER created a Pride Lookbook to showcase the diverse looks that were created during our photoshoot.
JBIER's first Pride month was a defining moment for Bierman's career. To demonstrate our appreciation and support for the LGBTQIA+ community, JBIER has established an annual tradition of donating to The Trevor Project and hope to inspire others to do the same.
Can you tell us more about your company's motto, “We Are All Angels”?
My favorite look EVER is one that I wore three Halloween’s ago. It was an all-white, decadent look with a feathered jacket, and, oh, I hand-glued 300 mini crystals to my face. It was gorgeous. That outfit was the inspiration for the motto, “We Are All Angels,” as well as my favorite sketch from the We Are All Angels collection, launching later year. This motto is the backbone of my business. We welcome and support inclusivity and diversity. That’s what makes a team its best. We should all embrace the differences in ourselves. If we were all the same, it just would not work. As Aristotle says, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We are all so special; we are all angels.
I've always been obsessed with Whispering Angel Rosé. Winemaker and Vice President of Château d’Esclans at Moët Hennessy, Paul Chevalier, inspired me to start my own business. It was clear to me that Paul and I shared the same values and vision for my company's future. I founded my brand by creating an aesthetic inspired by Whispering Angel. As a mentor and wine connoisseur, Paul introduced me to the Rosé Barometer. I learned that the most attainable shade of rosé is a Pantone shade called Rose Quartz. I designed my brand around my newest favorite color, Rose Quartz of course.
Is there anyone from the LGBTQIA+ community in your life that has inspired and impacted you?
Saulo Villela is a long-time friend of mine that has impacted my life and how I view others. He opened my mind to pressing issues that I didn't even know about, and made me feel so much more connected. All I want to do is support. It starts with education, and Saulo has done just that. His stories are very inspiring; I completely stand behind his values. With his incredible brand, Equality New York, Saulo has made a meaningful impact as a business owner in the fashion industry. He expresses himself through fashion, creating completely unique and groundbreaking trends. His vision is the embodiment of what Pride month means to JBIER.
What is your advice to business owners and young aspiring entrepreneurs on how to foster a safe and inclusive work environment for all of their employees?
It starts with accepting everyone for who they are. From a business perspective, you must have an open mind when it comes to growing not only the most diverse team, but the right team. I completely embrace this concept. As I build my team across the country, I encourage them to be their best selves and grow together. Entrepreneurs must be prepared to make connections all the time. Having an open mind will allow you to form the strongest, most cherished partnerships. You never know; one day you could bump into someone who just may change your life, just as Paul Chevalier did for me. As a business owner, being unique is really important. You need to be able to set an example. You have to be a leader who cares.
A mission of mine is to support and inspire others to be their own bosses! I love that I can help and support all of the angels out there.
What PRIDE means to the JBIER team
The JBIER team values the importance of PRIDE month, and we are passionate about showing our support for the LGBTQIA+ community in any way we can. Our company motto “We Are All Angels'' represents our commitment to embracing equality in everything that we do. To JBIER, Pride is a sense of belonging and being true to yourself. Our community is committed to spreading love throughout the world!
Hear from the JBIER team members themselves on how pride impacts their lives as well:
“In the simplest terms, to me, pride month creates a supportive and welcoming environment that allows people to celebrate their true selves freely."
“To me, Pride allows every individual to truly be themselves in the best way possible without the fear of being judged.”
“Pride is such a gorgeous way to celebrate and honor inclusivity. It presents an opportunity for communities to come together and embrace equality in such a supportive way!”
“Pride to the JBIER team means not being afraid to be your own true self and showing your strengths. A successful team comes from all different backgrounds.”
“Pride to me is the essence of acceptance. It is a celebration of love in any form. Pride isn't just one month out of the year, but an everyday mindset that every life matters regardless of who we choose to love. Pride is one of the foundations of JBIER because we take pride in who we are, what we do, and where we are going.”