Jessica Osborn is an experienced fashion designer; who founded Privy Label to help clients create custom clothing lines from design to delivery- all made in the USA. She wanted to offer retailers and emerging brands the benefits of an in-house design and production department at a fraction of the cost. She understands the nuances of product development and has cultivated relationships with amazing small-batch US manufacturing partners to make your dream clothing line a reality!
Jessica Osborn studied fashion design at FIDM, NYU, and LSU. She began her career in apparel design at Billabong. Then she spent over 5 years as the lead creative fashion designer for Tasc Performance. The clothing she designed for Tasc was sold in over 1,500 stores around the country including Nordstroms and REI. In November of 2017, Jessica launched her own company called Privy Label. Privy Label helps clients create private label clothing from design to delivery- all made in the USA. Jessica understands the nuances of product development and has cultivated relationships with amazing small-batch US manufacturing partners to make your dream clothing line a reality!
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? Is having your own business something you always wanted to have? What were you doing before this? How did it prepare you for the entrepreneurial life?
During my internship in the design department at Billabong Headquarters, I realized I did not like the way that very large companies pigeon hole their employees into doing one very specific task at all times. I thrive on learning new things and the idea of such an uber focused job description was not appealing to me. So when it came time to job search I only applied to small companies knowing that my job would be more challenging yet more rewarding for my thirst to learn all facets of running a business. I was hired as the lead creative fashion designer for a small start-up clothing brand. At one point in my early career; I was managing photoshoots, posting social media content, updating the brand's website, and selling buyers at trade shows - all on top of my normal design responsibilities. It was a crash course in running a business that gave me the confidence I needed to break out on my own 5.5 years later.
What inspired you?
The small start-up clothing company I was with became a large international clothing brand and our sales grew by the millions during my tenure. But with that growth came a toxic attitude from management that turned the once happy, team oriented environment into a hostile, disturbing situation. Enduring that environment for several years is truly what inspired me to start my own business.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I realized that there was a need for a company to help retailers create their own private label clothing lines because retailers would often ask my previous employer for that service and we would turn them away. The brand would turn them away because all brands wants to promote their own brand. They do not want to create custom clothing for a retailer and remove their brand logo so that the end consumer is not aware of the brand. I just thought why isn't there a "brandless" company that these retailers can work with to create their own private label clothing lines. Over the past year I have built Privy Label into exactly that brandless company that was missing from the market. What I was not expecting is the large number of individuals who are launching their own clothing brands. Privy Label is currently working with several emerging brands to design their styles and manufacture them in the USA.
If you were a book, what would your title be and why?
"The Dedicated Dreamer"
My brother, Brandon, coined this phrase about me during his speech at my wedding rehearsal dinner. He said most people will come up with pie in the sky ideas but never actually accomplish them. He was astonished that I always figured out a way to make my big dreams become a reality. Brandon told my husband, David, that not only was he marrying a dreamer but a dedicated dreamer at that, which he thinks is the best kind.
What are some pros and cons of having (OR not having) entrepreneurial parents?
One of my most prized possessions is my great GREAT grandmother's golden thimble. She was widowed in 1903 with 5 children at home in New Orleans. She chose to get creative to make ends meet and became an entrepreneur before the word was commonly used by sewing baby clothes and setting up a stand on the sidewalk outside of the large Department stores to sell them. I like to believe that her entrepreneurial spirit ran so deep that it inspired myself, my mother and my grandmother to all start our own businesses.
My mother ran her own business and my father worked in a corporate environment. The balance of having both influences was grounding and very beneficial. I don't recall any cons that arose from that situation.