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Life and Work with Jaclyn Najjar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaclyn Najjar.

Jaclyn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up thrifting and vintage shopping after school with my mother and sisters. I always got such a thrill out of finding something fun to wear, that I knew no one else had, or that was a fantastic deal. It was my favorite hobby, and thus most of my wardrobe came from secondhand and vintage pieces. I didn’t study fashion in college, but I was always interested– I’m notorious for tearing out pages from magazines for inspiration. Then friends started asking me to look for specific items, and at the same time, I discovered the world of vintage sellers on Etsy. It seemed just too fun not to try it out myself, so I pulled some items I was ready to part with from my wardrobe, snapped some photos and put them online. To my surprise, a few of them even sold. That was two years ago, and I’m still having fun finding cool pieces, photographing them and shipping them to customers all over the world.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been easy. There have been a few personal challenges. The first is finding the time and energy to turn your hobby into a real gig. It takes a lot of self-motivation, which I sadly realized did not come as easily to me as I thought it would. I have to constantly remind myself to get my butt off the sofa and get working. Life challenges can get in the way as well, and there have been many months where I was unable to work on my business at all, especially towards the beginning. My biggest piece of advice to anyone else who is starting their journey is to just begin. I wish I had pursued my interest in this world many years prior. I made a lot of excuses as to why I couldn’t. I remember thinking I should try it out at age 18, and I didn’t actually get started until almost a decade later. I was so afraid to start, and I felt like because I didn’t know “enough” about the industry to start working in it that I was prohibited from doing it. This is true of any industry, to start small and work your way into it. I started with five items and worked up from there.

Please tell us about Ivy Street Vintage.
I am a vintage seller. I source clothing, shoes, and accessories and sell it via online platforms, vintage markets, and by appointment. I specialize in casual basics, mostly from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I’m known for my the easy, classic fit of most pieces, and my modern, minimalist styling. I love to show people the way I love to wear vintage, which is to say not traditionally. I take each piece and style it with a modern minimalist approach, with a slight edge towards the bohemian. I also feature many pieces that are in the mid-range of sizing. I always felt like that was missing from the world of vintage sellers. I am not a tiny girl, so I mainly source pieces that are for a gal of medium-build.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
The biggest barrier for women in leadership today is being taken seriously by others, but also being able to take themselves seriously. I think it comes from both places. Women are just not viewed as capable as men. But that isn’t even as big as what I see them more often: women who weren’t taught to believe in themselves. Most men just fake it until they make it, but women internalize this gap in experience and believe they aren’t qualified, rather than just diving in.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Jaclyn Najjar
Beth Mallon

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