Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmyne Summers.
Jasmyne, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been interested in fashion design since I was a child (around eight years old). I remember watching a lot of project runway with my mom and being intrigued with how they would manipulate fabric to turn into masterpieces. I asked my mom to teach me how to hand sew, so she taught me what she knew. I then would cut up old jeans and t-shirts in my closet to make handbags out them. My grandmother also sewed as well and would pretty much make all of the clothing for her children, including prom dresses for my mom and aunts. Sewing was definitely a trait passed down from my grandmother, as well as being a gift from God! For my 15th birthday, I asked my parents for a pair of Angela and Vanessa Simmons Pastry sneakers and a sewing machine. They ended up getting those gifts for me and that was the day I started my sewing journey.
I graduated from South Carolina State University with a Bachelors Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Business – Fashion Merchandising. The program consisted mostly of learning about the business side of fashion but not necessarily design, so I only took one sewing class the entire four years. After I graduated, I thought I wanted to be a stylist or a buyer and then one day open up my own boutique (my parents are entrepreneurs, so I always believed in the importance of ownership ). I then ended up getting a job offer in Boston, Massachusetts to become a stylist for a major brand. After much deliberation, I decided not to take the job because I wouldn’t have been able to afford the cost of living (transparency).
I was absolutely devastated and cried out to God for answers about what I should do next. I then heard God say, “get good at what you were doing when you were little.” (Side Note: during this time, I didn’t realize that God was speaking to me until now. I always knew who God was but didn’t fully have a relationship with him) My response in my head was, “I know you’re not talking about sewing lol”. Over the years, I had put that aside to focus on school, so I had absolutely no training what so ever! Somehow I ended up on google looking for sewing schools and came across Savannah Sewing Academy owned and instructed by Mastor Tailor, Gentleman Jim. I applied to the school, got accepted and he literally taught me everything I needed to know about sewing. During those four months of training my dream of wanting a boutique quickly shifted into wanting a fashion house. I wanted to make custom pieces that no other store would have.
I then knew that I needed to come up with a name for my business. One day while in my room, I asked God to give me the name for my business. I then looked up on my magazine collage wall and saw the word “paper”. I then heard God say “page,” and then I heard him say the number “17” (17 is my favorite number and my birthday is May 17th). Then I heard God say, “Everyone Has a Story… What Page Does Yours Begin On (my now slogan)? I Immediately jumped up and knew that the name of my brand would be called Page XVII (17) By Jasmyne S.
A few months later, I left my hometown in Statesboro, GA and moved to Atlanta, GA to work for another designer. Soon after, I left that job and went full force with Page XVII (17). I have now shown in NYFW 3 times, dressed a few celebrities and recently launched my first 2020 bridal collection that is carried at Pink Parrot Luxe Bridal in Jackson, Mississippi (LONG story somewhat short LOL).
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road for me. The road is still going with many twists and turns involved. When I first started out, I didn’t have tons of clients flocking towards me. I have had very long nights preparing for shows or finishing up client garments. Even to this day, I still have challenges and struggle with internal battles of if I’m good enough or will I ever achieve my goals. I’ve learned that I have to silence the chatterbox in my mind and believe in myself. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will. The best thing you can ever do is START! Understand that if God gave you the vision it has to come true. You are who God says you are and not the labels that other people have tried to throw on you. I definitely don’t have it all together and I don’t feel that I have made it to a level of “arriving”, but that’s perfectly ok. I’ve learned to run my race and perfect my craft so that it can be impactful not popular.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Page XVII (17) By Jasmyne S. is a womenswear brand that specializes in bridal and custom ready to wear. The Page XVII woman loves all things luxurious and classic. She loves being able to mix and match dramatic and simple pieces together. She has a story to tell and loves looking glamorous while doing so! Everyone has a story… what page does yours begin on?
I have definitely evolved as a designer. I started out designing ready to wear and now I have branched out into bridal. I released my 2020 bridal collection called “Trinity” back in January. This bridal collection is sold in Jackson, Mississippi at Pink Parrot Luxe Bridal. This is a very proud moment for me being that this is my very first bridal collection and retail store placement. The goal is to have my bridal line available in more bridal salons around the world. Clients are also welcomed to contact me directly through my website for bridal and ready to wear requests.
What I’m most proud of other than seeing the smiling faces from my clients would definitely be the message behind my brand. I want women to know that it’s more than just clothing but about a lifestyle. It’s ok to love and live for God while also looking fabulous! We have a purpose on this Earth that can only be revealed from God. It’s ok to share the good and bad moments of your story because it just may help someone else. That is what Page XVII is all about and that’s what sets the brand apart.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I believe the biggest barrier of female leadership today would be ourselves. It’s up to us to get set free from people bondage so that we can confidently walk out and become who God intended for us to be. I’ve been overlooked so many times but I had to realize that it doesn’t matter who approves of what I’m doing. If God called you to do it, then you’ve already been accepted in his book. When fear and doubt creep into our lives, it causes us to stay stagnant. In order to get over fear, you must push right through it! We also must understand the importance of having a team. A leader isn’t a leader without an amazing team beside her. That team may consist of family, friends and staff. We were never intended to do this thing called life alone.
- Custom Garments – $300 and up
- Bridal Gowns – $2500 and up
- Website: pagexvii.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @pagexvii
- Facebook: Page XVII By Jasmyne S., Inc.