April 21, 2016
Jones County Road
Jones County Road: Texas born, LA-based. Ryan Rogers of Jones Country Road is a talented visionary for design. His collection of lighting and apothecary goods are no joke, and not a day goes by where we don’t dream about a JCR sconce or light fixture donning our homes. It was a pleasure learning about Ryan’s inspirations, process, and story.
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind it?
I wanted to bring a part of my heritage into my business and so I named my company after the county in Texas I grew up in.
Have you always been passionate about design?
I didn’t find my passion for design until I left home for college and had the chance to explore the world.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
I have a sort of hybrid business. I make both lighting and apothecary products. I got into lighting design after working for a well known lighting designer in Los Angeles. He ended up moving to New York which gave me the opportunity create my own lighting. As for the apothecary collection, I wanted to make products that are free of harsh chemicals. I think the world has too many products with unnecessary chemicals in them.
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
I’ve had my fair share of fails, but have been able to pick myself up, brush myself off and carry on. My inspiration for not giving up is knowing that my true passion is working with my hands, designing beautiful objects, and working for myself.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
I think everyone sacrifices something to get what they want. Every sacrifice I’ve made has created the life I live now. One of the biggest sacrifices I made was living without a steady income when I first started Jones County Road. I quit my full time job as a banker so that I could spend my energy getting my business off the ground. I had to be very frugal with my time and money knowing it would all be worth it later on. Zero regrets.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
My proudest moment was when all my hard work starting paying off by giving me a living wage. Living independently while simultaneously doing what you love is one of the best feelings you can have.
How does the city you live in influence your work?
Living in Los Angeles has opened the door to so many great opportunities. There are so many people here that are in the same boat as me who are makers and work for themselves. We help and motivate each other daily.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
Working as a banker for a few years before starting Jones County Road gave me the knowledge to run the back end of the business.
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
I was fed up working in the corporate world and wanted to start being creative again.
What are some inspirations for your work?
Midcentury style has been the biggest influence for my lighting. My apothecary products are inspired by a chemical free world. All of my apothecary products are chemical, synthetic and dye free.
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
A few years ago I read an article titled “20 Mile March.” It was about two teams that set out to reach the north pole. One team went one-quarter of a degree of latitude each day, which is equivalent to 15 nautical miles, no matter the weather conditions. The other team some days would push themselves 9 hours when the weather was good and when the weather was bad they wouldn’t move at all. In the end, the team that kept moving a quarter of a degree a day won. This story really inspired me and I would have to say my advice would be to find your 20 mile march and keep marching no matter what comes your way. Don’t do so much at one time that you get burned out. Small steps each day will get you to your destination.