Maker Spotlight: JOLN


Everyone could use a good jacket, and right now we’re swooning over this anorak by JOLN. Not only is this jacket just about perfect, but Joln also makes amazing men’s AND women’s wear. You can snag all of these at our New York Holiday Fair (and a few more upcoming Fairs) next weekend!BLK BOX FRT 2

Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?

JOLN is the acronym for my name.  JoEllen aka Jo-Ell-en.  It’s actually been my handle since I was about 13 and created my first aol AIM account. 

Have you always been passionate about design?

Yes.   I love the idea of imagining something, and then being able to execute it and create it in real life.   I believe design requires actual skill and theory, and to be a designer, is to be thoughtful about that which you imagine.

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When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?

I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was nine and have been pursuing it since then.    My great aunt was a fashion designer and the day I met her, I thought she was the most glamorous person I’d ever seen.  I decided that day that I would be a fashion designer.   I have always loved to draw, but that really shaped me.


What do you think sets your designs  apart from others?

That’s a tough one.  My designs are inspired by real people, and what I think real people want to wear.  I make clothing that is soft, beautiful, interesting, and conscious.  It’s all about the details and the quality.  I like to play with found fabrics and textures,  and reinvent them into something wearable.


Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?

Absolutely.  I have made some pretty expensive mistakes, but try to learn from each one.   Nothing is perfect.  Everything can always be better.  So cutting yourself some slack and forgiveness is the only way you keep moving forward.


Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?

Yes.  I gave up a pretty great career as a corporate fashion designer to start my business.  My only regret is that it took me a few months to really focus and get started.  


How does the city you live in influence your work?

LA is an amazing place.  There are so many creative people here, and there are so many people pursuing their passions.  It also has the resources to make things locally, which completely changed the way I thought about starting my business.

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What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?

I had been a menswear designer for about ten years before going out on my own.  I knew how to make a shirt, so I started there.


What made you take this leap into being your own boss?

I left my job almost 10 years to the day of my college graduation.  I thought,  10 years is a good run, and I learned a lot, but now it’s time for me to follow my dream.


What are some inspirations for your work?

I am always inspired by fabrics.  I see something, and I instantly visualize what it could be.  For example, I saw a tent in a warehouse and my mind just went: Coat.   Then, I had to make it happen.  I wish I knew a better way to explain it.  I also think my friends are a big influence in the way I style things and the shapes/fits I create. .  I’m making things for us.  


What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

It’s a rollercoaster.  I was told that only Patience, Passion, and Perseverance will see you thru.  So far, it’s working for me.

Fun fact: My logo and it’s colors are inspired by the activist Corita Kent.  She was a badass woman who cared about people and making a difference.  I also use a neon pink stitch on every style.  It’s my way of making sure nothing becomes too serious.  When it stops being fun, something is broken.


It’s not often one comes across a clothing brand that offers pieces that are lovable across the board, which is why we consider JOLN such a gem! We can’t wait to spend time with JoEllen at several of our Holiday Fairs this season (New York, San Francisco, LA, and Seattle). We see some wardrobe upgrades in our futures. You can find JOLN online here:



Our LA Roster is Live!

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Our sunniest Fair of the season is taking place December 12 + 13 in Los Angeles. This is one of our favorite places to be during the holidays and we think these outstanding makers agree! Spend the weekend with us outside in the crisp air shopping for gifts and feasting at food trucks. It’s going to be a good one and we think the LA Roster provides substantial evidence, don’t you think?

Shop Visit: Summer Camp in Ojai


We are so thrilled to be debuting a new interview series on our blog called Shop Visits! We will be spending time with some shop owners around the country and talking to them about their experiences and insight into the world of independent craft, wholesaling, and retail. Back in December we had the chance to take a little road trip up to Ojai and visit the perfectly styled and curated shop, Summer Camp. Rachel and Michael Graves re-vamped an old gas station in Ojai and turned it into a lovely shop featuring many of our favorite RCF makers. Rachel was kind enough to offer some insight into their business.


What is the history of Summer Camp? Why did you choose this theme?

I was a girl scout and went to every camp every year so the name is near and dear to me. We both have a love for mid-century and the outdoors so its really combining all of our favorite things.

What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?

I have worked in retail for 15 years and Mike and I have a combined framing experience of over 10 years.  


What made you take this leap into being your own boss?

We had always dreamed of owning a shop but never thought we could make it happen. We really fell in love with Ojai and knew it was the right fit and the right time.


What are some important factors that potential business owners should consider before taking that leap?

Starting a business can be risky so I would try to minimize risk, such as keeping a full time job and starting your own business part time. Try to keep costs down because they add up quickly..don’t try to have the perfect business right out of the gate. You can build your business slowly and keep your debt level low.

Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?

We always try to stay positive but we did have a bit of natural disaster a few months after opening. The majority of our merchandise was damaged in a flood from a bad rainfall…we lost a lot of vintage items that we can’t replace but in the end we made the best of it. We had great support from our friends, the community, and our vendors. We were able to get items replaced quickly and back in business. As a shop owner you have to expect the unexpected and just know that it could always be worse!


What has been your proudest moment since opening?

Knowing how many people we have reached since opening (thanks to Instagram) is pretty amazing….to be able to create something that people love is the reason we do it!

What would it take to make you feel successful?

I think success is a mind set and not so much a monetary marker so I have felt successful since day one. Just having the courage to open the shop and the positive feedback from the community has been more reward than any amount of money. Seeing a kid smiling in the shop or hearing stories of people who come to Ojai just to visit our shop is just the best!


What changes do you want to make in your business in the next 5 years?

We are currently renovating a vintage trailer with Brody Travel Supply that will serve as a mobile shop…we want to bring Summer Camp on the road! We also will be expanding our online shop so we can reach more people.

What are some of your favorite products/makers in the shop currently? 

We love all our makers but some of our favorites are PF Candle Co, Small Adventure, Bernscott Pottery, Chaparrel Studio, Moon calendars by Margins Imprints and Secret Holiday Co.


What advice do you have for any potential business owners out there? 

It’s a 24/7 job so be prepared…you will work harder than you ever thought but it will be so much more rewarding.



As a buyer, when do you do most of your product research and ordering?

We typically buy small but the holidays are our best season so we stock up in the fall…we also do a bit of ordering in March and April since summer is a high tourist season. But we are always looking for new makers so its a constant process.

What are some tips you have to vendors out there wanting to get more wholesale orders?

I love when a vendor sends me a personalized email or sends a sample to the store! I wish I could order from everyone who approaches us but unfortunately that isn’t realistic.

What sets a vendor apart? When receiving an order, does a pretty package and presentation with a hand written note make a big difference in remembering the vendor, or would you prefer straight to the point demeanor?

As much as love pretty packaging I prefer great communication with my vendors. I am friends with many of the people we order from and it helps us connect with the items which in turns helps the customers connect with the story behind the products.

Any important resources or tools you want to suggest to vendors out there?

Instagram is the best business tool I can imagine…it connects everyone and makes the world a smaller place :)


Thank you Rachel and Michael for sharing your insights into Summer Camp! Want to see more photos of their beautiful shop? Take a look at our Shop Visit Flickr Album! Be sure to check out Summer Camp’s droolworthy Instagram, too!

If you’re a shopowner interested in collaborating on a Shop Visit, feel free to contact

Thank You, LA!


photo by @korgiken

LA, what a wonderful weekend we spent together! It was great seeing old friends, meeting new faces, and loving all the handmade wares and good vibes our Makers brought to theLA Fair last weekend! Over 300 talented Makers showcased their work at Grand Park to locals and travelers from beyond. There was food truck feasting, icy pop treating, workshopping and so much more!


photo by @adriennefong
We saw a lot of smiles in the Magnolia Photo Booth! You can view your photo booth strips from from each weekend here: Saturday + Sunday.
One of our favorite post-Fair activities is combing through the #RenegadeLA collection of photos. We loved witnessing Makers and shoppers alike, posting about their favorite products, booths and experiences! Here’s some of our favorite moments below:
ROW 1: @schwinnbikes | @lowraface | @ladyluofthewolves | ROW 2: @skinnybmel | @rachel_powell35 |@roxy_h_ | ROW 3: @yellowhousehandmade | @tiachia13 | @hannahayesdesigns

We always try to top each Fair, and it couldn’t be possible without your feedback! We value your opinions seriously, and always want to improve our Fairs to be the best events you attend each year. If you attended our LA Fair, please fill out our Attendee Survey or Vendor Survey! It only takes a few minutes, we swear!


photo by @deniserrr

Want to relive the good times? You can get a recap on Instagram and Twitter using #RenegadeCraftFair and  #RenegadeLA to view RCF-related Instagram pictures and tweets!

Stay tuned for news and updates regarding our 2015 Spring/Summer Tour. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to stay in-the-know on our Makers and all things Renegade Craft!


LA Summer Fair Kicks Off Tomorrow!

Our Los Angeles Fair kicks off this weekend at Grand Park! From 11am – 6pm each day, our free handmade extravaganza will feature a collection of some truly awesome independent Makers, plus food, treats, music, workshops and more! This year we’re excited to be taking over two park blocks (Block 3+4 surrounding N. Broadway). Check out our rundown below:
We’ve got something for everyone at this Summer Fair! Find gifts for loved ones, plus it’s the perfect time to freshen up your home and wardrobe for Summer.
Check out the full ROSTER to catch a glimpse!

If your stomach starts growlin’ or you want to cool off, you can feast at food trucks parked along Broadway Ave., or you can move on over to our Eats + Treats area (in the Community Gardens) to chomp on some artisanal goodies! Take a look at some of the tasty delights here or view our handy map for the full offerings!

Food Trucks on N. Broadway
Luckdish Curry
Peaches’ Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen
Son of a Bun
Tokyo Doggie Style
Jeni’s Ice Cream

Eats + Treats in the Community Gardens
Front Porch Pops
Si Paletas
Sugar Pie Honey Buns
Knight Owl Coffee
T-We Tea
Pernicious Pickling Co.


We’ve got you covered for an awesome weekend with an array of things to do from DIY workshops, to bicycle giveaways, and one-of-a-kind trailers. Take a break in our nifty lounge area, or strike a pose in our free photo booth to commemorate your visit. Just take a look for yourself!

Tandy Leather
GoldInk Tattoo
Finders Keepers
Lost Girls Vintage
The Yarnover Truck
Library Store on Wheels
Magnolia Photo Booth



Getting There: Grand Park is a fantastic outdoor park located in Downtown L.A.! The Fair will be held in the park between Hill and Spring streets, off of Broadway. You can view a map of the area here, and get directions here. Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike, or take public transportation to the Fair. There are several paid parking lots in the area. The closest Metro stop to Grand Park is the Civic Center/Grand Park Stop on the Red or Purple lines.

Uber is sponsoring rides for the Renegade Craft Fair. New users can get up to $20 off their first Uber ride using the code RCF2015. To sign up, download the app or head to


Want to spread the word? Join our Facebook event and invite your friends. Grab our e-flyer and pass it around. Add #RenegadeCraftFair and #RenegadeLA to your RCF-related Instagram pictures and tweets! We love seeing what our followers and makers are up to!

For more information about this event, please visit the Renegade Craft Fair website, check out our upcoming Maker Spotlights, or browse the Makers on Pinterest.

Big Thanks to our Los Angeles Sponsors:

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