Jacquelyn De Jesu, CEO, Shhhowercap, a luxury shower cap company, secured distribution in every Neiman Marcus in the country, Sephora, Bloomingdales, Fenwick (a UK brand), MoMA Design Store (in both the USA and Japan), Violet Grey, Goop, and about 100 independent stockists throughout the country, but she isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Here she dishes on how she gets it all done.
On Routines: Some people may find routines to be time consuming and restrictive. However, I find them truly freeing in both regards. As an entrepreneur, my responsibilities shift and evolve from day to day. Because of that, having a personal structure is instrumental to my success both personally and professionally.
My Office Hours: I say hello to the team, check in to see who needs me and review the day with my assistant. I normally try to get calls and meetings done in the AM so I have the most “free” time to concept, be creative, meet with the team and work on the future plans for the rest of it.
Checking Off My To-do List: Analog vs Digital? Digital everything. I don’t even know why I asked. I keep obsessive to do lists. Notes in my phone and then I transfer them over to Asana using the KanBan methodology, which is a system for prioritization of short and long lead tasks. It utilizes what may seem like an obvious construct. Three columns of a to do list as TO DO, DOING, and DONE. The key is that you're only allowed to have 3 tasks in "DOING" at the same time. I like that it allows me to collect everything I need to do, while allowing a systemized approach to time management, with a satisfying completion once tasks move to the "DONE" column. Lisa Pastor, My VP of Operations introduced me to this method.
You Can Call Me A Goal-Digger: I love goals. I set them for everything. Large and small. When it comes to making them a reality, I believe in the power of manifestation. Speak it into fruition. Make vision boards. Write it down. These things keep your goals top of mind both for you and your team. They also encourage taking even the smallest first steps forward towards turning your goals into a reality. Every action you take on a daily basis can get you either closer or further away from that realization.
My Light Bulb Moment: Shhhowercap was a lightbulb moment born out of necessity. Spending my career working as an art director, I appreciate and invest in great design in all areas of my life. I originally searched for a shower cap using the qualifiers that I always do "best," "cool", "fashionable" and the results were eye opening. I was confronted with gigantic satin bows, ruffles, sequins, flower rosettes, rhinestones and tacky medallions. Nothing that my friends or I would ever consider wearing, let alone admit that we did! Even though I knew none of us were washing our hair on a daily basis. I also recognized quickly that there was no trusted brand or category leader. It was a total whitespace. The idea was too simple, to relevant, and too big of an opportunity. I knew that if I didn't do it, someone else would and I became obsessed with the idea of getting to market as quickly as possible.
My Wellness Tips: I drink a ton of water every day. I eat a salad for lunch. Sometimes no lunch at all if I get distracted. I know, I know. I just started working out again and I feel incredible. I have a trainer and it has been instrumental in holding me accountable while I’m so busy. I think a lot of new entrepreneurs suffer from prioritizing the needs of the business before their own. I was guilty of that for a while -- especially because of how quickly things took off after launch. It is so hard to want to do anything else when there is so much exciting work to be done! But, our team has grown significantly this past year. I’m so happy that I finally have the ability to take a step back and make some room for my own personal priorities again.
What's On My Desk: I have a desk bell that says “WTF” on it. It was a gag gift that my team bought me to lighten the mood during tense situations. But, now it’s turned into a reality check. I always hit it when I find myself stressed about something incredible. For example, being sold out of a certain print because a new major retailer sold faster than expected and re-ordered five times over their original projections. Or when something unexpected and great happens. Like popping up in a Vogue gift guide if we didn’t know it was coming. Sometimes it is so much. I just want to say WTF. But, it is all just so great and I’m fortunate to be in this position. The bell inspires me and reminds me to have fun with it.
Currently Listening To: “Women of Indie” playlist on Spotify. And Bambola by Betta Lemme on repeat.
Currently Following: @Diet_Prada, @Obsessee, @VioletGrey @Bulletin.Co, @GaryVee, @SHHHOWERCAP
Most Used App’s : Slack, Uber, Via, Instagram, Mosaico, Equinox
How I Self-Care: I typically work until about 8-9PM. I usually take a couple nights a week to leave a little before that. Those nights it’s solo self-care time, date night with my husband, catch up with my girlfriends, or an entrepreneur / founder / beauty event. I normally try to check one box in every category throughout week. If I stay after hours at work, I’m mindful of it and I’ll then head home and go straight to bed to compensate. You have to take care of yourself. You have the power to create the world you want for yourself. I believe that settling is a decision. However, all that positive energy to create change needs to start with you. To feel strong in your core -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually allows you to stay focused and excited. Curating your best life in whatever form, whatever way you're capable of, is the ultimate manifestation of self-love. Loving who you are while playing an active role in your personal betterment is what I find to be the most empowering.
My Bedtime Routine: All of my iPhone alarm names are set to a themed string of positive emojis. They relate to themes both personal and professional. This allows me to set my intention for the next day because each night I’m choosing which alarm to set before I go to bed. I’m then reminded of that intention when I wake up to start my day. I’ve been doing it for as long as emojis existed.
How To Deal With Self-Doubt: My inner monologue is much less of a critic and more of a jockey forcing me to push harder and faster. Maybe it would say I’m not working hard enough? But, I quiet it by reminding myself that I can delegate. I try to remind myself that I have very high expectations.
Inspiration Behind My Designs: Living in New York, we’re lucky because it is such an inspiring city. I love going gallery hopping and spending the day walking The MoMA. I love spending time in Paris and London. It is important to see fashion and design in all different cultures. The nuances of every city I go to always comes back with me through my work in some way.
Here Is My Entrepreneurial Pep-Talk: Just start. Take the first step and ask as many questions to every relevant person as possible. If you have a product idea, spend time getting it right. Don’t rush. Invest in design. Your branding doesn’t need a graphic designer. Your branding needs a holistic branding expert. From tone of voice to Instagram page. It is hands down the most important place to spend your initial funds. Do not simply hire a logo designer. Make sure to find and enlist a branding expert that can create a package for you to truly realize your vision. You can start small, but try hard to find a person that can think big picture and do everything in your power to get them on board.