”I tell people, I am not only the owner, but I am the customer too”
India J. was born in Washington, DC but was raised by a single mother in Indianapolis, IN. India went to college in Indianapolis and right after graduating nursing school she went to serve as an active duty officer in the Army for almost four years. Once India got out of the Army she settled in Nashville, TN and continued to work as a full time nurse. India is a mother of two amazing children Olivia and Elijah that motivates her daily to do more. India always wanted more out of life than just the day to day and she had always loved her job as a nurse and helping others. The reason India created JahVi3 was because of her passion to help others. ”I tell people, I am not only the owner, but I am the customer too.” India knows how it feels to just wanting that little something to make you feel beautiful and special even if we don’t have that ‘standard’ size foot.
”The name JahVi3 comes from the names of my two children. Eli(JAH) and Oli(VI)a, and it’s the three of us.” JahVi3 is a brand that was created to give us lengthy feet ladies something of our own. ”I love meeting ladies that see my styles and they immediately assume that a cute shoe like that doesn’t come in their size. I LOVE to see their face light up when I tell them that JahVi3 ONLY comes in their size. I’ve made a commitment that JahVi3 will NEVER have sizes smaller than 9. I’ve had investment offers to make my styles in smaller sizes but I’ve rejected them because it means more to me to give the lengthy feet ladies a space of our own.”
India, thank you for your time and for giving us the opportunity to interview you we know you are a busy woman right now.
How did you become an entrepreneur? Have you always been entrepreneurial?
I’ve always had the entrepreneur spirit about me. In high school I used to work at a grocery store after school and I ended up being that girl that girl that brought chips and candy to school and sold it to classmates. I’ve always like making my own rules.
What inspired you to start JahVi3?
As a young girl I have always been tall with lengthy feet. I’ve been 5’10 and wearing a size 11 since I was a teenager. It has taken me a long time to be comfortable and confident with my height and feet. I used to wear male tennis shoes a lot because the female styles would stop at size 10 or the size 11 would run small. Once I began to step outside of my tomboy phase and wear shoes other than tennis shoes I found it to be a struggle to find girly shoes in my size.
What are your company goals currently? As in vision and mission.
The goal for JahVi3 is to reach more audiences and share my story. I want other people with lengthy feet to know that I also share their struggle to find a nice quality shoe in their lengthy size. I want JahVi3 to eventually be the go-to brand for lengthy shoes so people will no longer have to waste time going from store to store looking for their size to only be disappointed. The mission for JahVi3 is, “going the extra length for you.”
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Time management
How would you describe your work style?
I’m a hard worker and I have always been that way. When I do things I do it to the best of my ability and I go hard for everything that I do. When JahVi3 was first started I worked Mon-Fri, then fly out of town on Fri evening for weekend trade shows, and return to work Monday morning. Of course it took a lot out of me and I even missed a few flights during this time, but JahVi3 is such a passion of mines that I wouldn’t change any of the things that I’ve been through. It’s all a part of my story and I can now laugh at some of the things I’ve had to do.
How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
In 2018 I am committed to stepping outside of my comfort zone. Trying new things and taking on new challenges and opportunities that come for JahVi3.
Tell us about your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was having my shoe on the page of Essence Magazine. It was so surreal to see my work on such a recognized magazine.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is being able to make my own decisions. I’ve never liked having people tell me how hard to work for THEM and their establishment and putting limits on how far I can go. I prefer to work hard for my own dreams and aspirations rather than someone else’s. Why does the sky have to be the limit?
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
I wouldn’t classify anything as a failure…but instead look at every situation as something to learn from/lessons.
If you had one piece of advice to our readers to those just starting out a business in fashion, what would it be?
Everything in life happens for a reason. If God places something on your heart, don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith. If it’s truly your purpose nothing will be able to hinder your growth and success.
India, thank you one more time for taking your time to answer this interview, it was such pleasure to learn more about you!