In a new series, VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers for their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit.
SHHHOWERCAP creator Jacquelyn De Jesu has lived a highly curated, aesthetically driven life. She spent years in advertising as an art director, and ended up marrying an internationally renowned graphic designer, Alex Center. The creative couple adheres to the theory of Japanese organization guru Marie Kondo—fill your home with beautiful things that bring you joy. But when De Jesu went on the hunt for a shower cap, she came up empty. “I was actually inspired by how uninspired I was with the frilly satin bows, tacky prints, sequins, and silly childish animal shapes that I’d found. I just wanted a shower cap that didn’t feel like a sacrifice when I put it on,” she says. So with that, she put on her thinking cap to revolutionize the shower cap.
Inspired by the timeless and fashionable appeal of turbans, De Jesu set her sights in that direction. In fact, she now prefers the term “waterproof turban” over “shower cap” when talking about her products. Her waterproof turbans are hyper-stylized, high quality, reasonably priced, and have a certain cheeky appeal to them. Execution was key, and she spent a year methodically working on a prototype. SHHHOWERCAP officially launched in 2015, and De Jesu has demonstrated both artistic and business acuity—she sold over $15,000 worth of product within the first 10 days of going live, and it’s already a multi-million dollar company.
Her timing was impeccable. Over the past few years, experts have become increasingly vocal about the benefits of not washing your hair each day (among the drawbacks: over-washing can strip your hair of natural oils and proteins, and dry out your scalp). Modern women appear to be heeding these PSAs: according to De Jesu, an estimated 90% don’t wash their hair on a daily basis. It’s a ready-made customer base to tap into. Still unconvinced about SHHHOWERCAP? Oprah’s a fan.
Could we also be seeing some shower cap-inspired street style in our future? Some customers are channeling their inner Esther Williams and sporting SHHHOWERCAPs to the pool and beach. Plus, two years ago, before the company launched, it was a rainy New York Fashion Week and De Jesu used her final prototype to protect her blowout on the way to shows. But in a game-time decision, she opted to leave it on. “I was like, if I can confidently rock this, paired with this outfit, at New York Fashion Week, of all places, then we’re in business.” She rocked it.
What is the atmosphere of your bedroom?
I live in a loft with a lot of exposed brick. My bedroom décor is basically all white to balance out the dark. I keep it very minimal with mid-century modern accents. There is nothing I love more than the feeling of waking up in a bright, clean, space.
Please describe your bed and your favorite thing about it.
I just bought a Casper mattress. It really lives up to the hype! It helps me sleep so deeply, which is very important because that’s when I dream. Almost every night of the week I have incredibly cinematic dreams that I remember in detail when I wake up. I find it so therapeutic for my subconscious to present itself that way.
What time do you wake up?
Depends on the day, but usually 7:30. My team and I normally work pretty late, so I’ll sneak in extra beauty rest whenever I can.
How many hours of sleep do you require?
At least eight or nine. I can function on less (and often do), but I’ll feel it. I’m generally a morning person, so I’ll pop out of bed, smiling, even on four hours of sleep.
Any bedside beauty essentials?
I am obsessed with my Morgan Lane x Baron Von Fancy Silk Sleep Mask. I can’t fall asleep or stay asleep without it. I also keep a glass of water and Rosebud Salve on my nightstand. I hate nothing more than the feeling of waking up with dry lips.
Do you drink coffee or tea, eat breakfast?
I’ll usually have an iced black cold brew. I can’t start my day without caffeine. If I need a little extra I’ll even add a shot of espresso. If I want a little less, I’ll do an unsweetened iced matcha with soy milk and a splash of water. I’m very specific. For breakfast, I’ll normally have a chia seed pudding with coconut milk or grab a piece of fresh fruit to take with me.
Do you work out in the a.m.?
I used to! I’ve had to rearrange my routine for my new start-up lifestyle.
What is your morning skincare regimen?
Clinique face wash—the light green pump. I’ve been using it since I was 16, and I am very loyal. Every time I try to swap it out or incorporate something new, I regret it immediately. I’ve always been fortunate to have great skin, even through my teenage years. I don’t know if Clinique is the reason, but I’m no longer testing to find out. I also use an eye cream. I’m in my 30s, so that’s something I need to do now.
What makeup and products do you use on a daily basis?
SHHHOWERCAP, obviously. But more on that later. I never leave the house without concealer under my eyes or mascara on my lashes. I’m totally that girl. I use Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and a swipe of L’Oreal Voluminous. I have a set of them stashed in every place I’d ever need them. I usually opt for a bold lip; I don’t feel complete without it. The color changes depending on the season. Right now I’m very into Tom Ford Cherry Lush.
What’s your hair situation in the a.m.?
I wash my hair only once or twice a week, so I use a SHHHOWERCAP almost every day. Not just saying this because it’s mine, but it changed my life. Skipping washes saves me almost 10 hours over the course of the week. Time I definitely don’t have to waste! I always avoided shower caps because of the way they made me feel, but I don’t have that problem anymore. My hair is naturally wavy, so have a whole system to extend my blowouts while I sleep. I pin my bangs straight back with two bobby pins and then gather all my hair in a low ponytail at the nape of the neck. This prevents the dreaded ridge and keeps it smooth and straight when I wake up. Then in the morning I’ll throw on The Kent (I do play favorites) and I’ll use an either the Klorane or Oribe dry shampoo. I switch back and forth depending on what my hair needs that day. I’ve tested them all! I’ll also use HairStory Undressed for extra texture. Sometimes I use HairStory Hair Balm for extra texture if it’s a wavy day. My hair is my thing. Always has been.
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
My email. My texts. SHHHOWERCAP’s Instagram comments and DMs. In that order. Then I read the WWD Digital Daily on my phone while I get ready.
What business do you conduct before 10 a.m.?
I always check our sales. While I was in development everyone told me that the best thing about having a physical product is that it makes money while you sleep, and it’s true. We ship internationally, and it always feels great to see those numbers when I wake up. It energizes me for the day.
Do you have any meetings or calls?
I try to use my time in the morning for collecting my thoughts. Once I get to the office, I’m always in meetings or giving feedback. So it’s nice to have an hour or two for my own daily goal setting.
What time do you head to your office?
I try to be in by 9:30 at the latest.