THE CREATIVE CRAFTSMAN.
Living her dream, one step at a time.
Devoted mom, wife, and designer behind the brand she founded, Jessie Randall has called her shoe and handbag label a brand “for women who lead dynamic lives.” A woman like herself.
Loeffler Randall began in 2004 as a bit of a fairy tale. The brand sold into Bergdorf Goodman year one, and won a CFDA award two years after launching. People were hot on Jessie's heels. The brand stayed the course and is now one of the most sought-after brands of digital and fashion darlings.
Today, her office space in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood is equally as dynamic as the brand itself. It's minimal but bright, the large entryway serving as a yoga studio for the tea Artist Dana Haim's yarn installations hang on the walls. It all fits the brand's clean, cool aesthetic. And why wouldn't it.
As we said, it's Jessie's fairy tale. We're just wearing her shoes.
Where do your drive and passion come from?
My love of making beautiful things and my life-long passion for shoes.
We love this quote from you about Loeer Randall's design aesthetic: “Oh yeah, that feels like me. I’m pushing a stroller and then running to work.” How are you designing for the modern working woman?
Our customer is dynamic and multi-faceted. She has so many interests and things going on and she needs her shoes and bags to function and also be beautiful. My company is a company that is comprised of 95% women and we understand what our customer needs because we are her. Everything that goes into our line has to be distinctive, beautifully well made and built to last season after season.
What do you think she needs most right now?
Our customer wants products that authentically distinguish her as an original. She wants to wear designs that help the outside world understand who she is inside.
When you run into a career obstacle, how do you find new roads?
Let's see: my circle of women business friends who always have great advice, lots of late night texts with my girlfriends, cognitive behavioral therapy, working out and making time for creative pursuits that have nothing to do with my job (like writing and knitting).
What is your biggest pet peeve?
I'm a pretty honest person so I would say it bothers me a lot when people are disingenuous.
What are your biggest fears about running a business?
I don't really have fears, but I definitely have anxiety. I like to work in a happy, positive environment so I do everything in my power to make sure we have great, upbeat people on our team, a lovely work/life balance, product we are crazy about and a happy vibe in the office.
What do you do when you lose your creative juice!?
I keep pushing. There are always millions of great ideas to be had. I'm lucky in that I feel really inspired lately. It's always so nice to be able to design the kinds of things you want to wear yourself. Then you can trust your instincts and have fun.
L: Jessie's mood board at her Soho Offices. photo credit: Sarah Elliott. R: Loeffler Randall's latest and greatest.
What's something you'd like people to know about your job that they probably don’t?
I guess that every job has parts of it that aren't fun, including and maybe even especially when you are the boss. I'm lucky in that I love what I do, but that doesn't mean that I don't have extremely boring or un-fun parts of my job.
I'm lucky in that I love what I do, but that doesn't mean that I don't have extremely boring or un-fun parts of my job.
What about your career makes you feel the most complete?
That my kids are proud of what I do.
If you had to trade jobs with anyone else in the world, who would it be and why?
I honestly can't think of anyone I would trade with. That's a good sign, I guess!
At what point in your career did you find the confidence to really take charge and become the woman you are today?
Haha. I don't think I ever found the confidence! I think everyone is secretly questioning themselves and often unsure lots of the time - I know I am. But the hardest thing for me was starting my company. I was so scared to fail and there was so much pressure on me to succeed. But I'm really grateful that we did take that leap.
What's the best advice you've ever been given? Or your favorite piece of #realtalk?
I've had lots of great advice over the years. I guess the most important to me is to just be myself, be authentic and stick to my guns, doing what I believe in.
What song do you sing in the shower when you’ve had a bad day?
I don't sing. But I do love to take a bath when I've had a bad day and soak in Aesop soap.