Kortni Jeane has been a boss way before she was a mom! Her namesake swimwear line launched in 2014, but she was making swimsuits for her family and friends since high school. We chatted with Kortni about how she stays inspired, the importance of inclusivity and how she keeps it all together.
Give us some background! How did you decide to create a swimwear line? What did you do before your own line?
In high school, I started sewing my own swimwear because I was tired of matching everyone else at the pool. I quickly had my sisters asking me to make them one, then friends, then friends of friends and all of a sudden I had strangers knocking on my parent's doorstep! Although I continued doing it as a side hustle for a few extra bucks through college, it wasn't until after I finished school that I decided to establish Kortni Jeane and manufacture my first collection! My goal from the beginning was to create a swimsuit that every body felt comfortable and confident in. Early on I noticed how many women were held back by the fact that they would have to wear a swimsuit and I hated that to be the issue for not joining on something they wanted to. I have a strong desire to change this mindset for women and make swimsuit shopping FUN.
Where do you derive inspiration for all the different styles and prints for all of your suits?
This is my most asked question and honestly the hardest to answer as I can't pinpoint it to a specific thing. Travel is one of the most inspirational things that I do. I love new experiences, seeing different cultures, observing how people live, what makes them happy and thrive. I am just inspired by everyday life and people. Not to sound creepy by people watching is one of my favorite, dare I say, hobbies. I am so fascinated by how different each of us are!
We love how inclusive your brand feels. Being a swimwear line, how important is the message of body positivity to you?
From the very start, it was so important to me to empower women to feel comfortable in their own skin. We often allow ourselves to miss out because we aren't feeling up to our own"standards" of how we feel we should look. But we were all created differently, so why try to be anything but ourselves? Only you can be you and that is so special. I want moms to do cannonballs with their kiddos, for teenagers to join in on beach day, and to play volleyball in the sand without having to worry about your swimsuit. I want people to look at themselves in the mirror when they're in Kortni Jeane and smile.
How do balance work and motherhood? Can you share some tools/tricks/words of wisdom for what "balance" looks like for you?
I have found that I just don't believe there is such a thing as "balance." Some days I am really focused on work and other days I just play with my babe. I don't think there is right or wrong when it comes to figuring out that "balance" for yourself. For me, it's just being present in what I am doing. So if I am working I don't sit feeling guilty about taking time away from my baby, and when I am sitting playing with my little guy I don't stress about what needs to get done at work. My time definitely isn't split evenly and is always changing, but allowing myself to focus on what I am doing in the moment has allowed me to feel less guilt and be more productive.
Let's chat organization! How do you organize your schedule, your inbox, and your bag?
With my busy lifestyle, I need to be organized so that I can get the most out of my time. Just the other day my husband was in shock of my email and how many folders I have and how many subfolders my folders have. I have a place for everything so I don't waste too much time searching. As a working mom, my biggest thing is to have all the information I need with me at all times - not overwhelming right? So where is that kept? On my phone. Through my cloud, I connect all my emails, folders, documents from each of my computers so if I need access to something while I am away from my computer it is easily accessed. A vendor or employee can call me up and I can answer any questions and easily make decisions. This allows me more freedom with my baby without having to skimp on the demand of my job.
It's actually ironic we are talking organization as just the other day my sister asked to borrow my nursing cover and as she got into my diaper bag to pull it out she remarks, "I have never seen such an organized diaper bag." My initial thoughts, included, "isn't everyone's diaper bag organized?" "Doesn't everyone use individual pockets to easily access their baby things? "And then I realized not all diaper bags have the zillion pockets. This is why I use a Totesavvy
. There is enough chaos in my life, I don't want to stress about forgetting something at home or not being able to find it in the masses of "things" in my bag. Cause if mama gets hangry that nutter butter cookie better be in plain sight or ain't nobody happy.
It's true, babies do grow up so fast. So in this stage of my life doing the small and simple things to stay organized allows me to spend more time with my baby and in the end that's all I could ask for.