How Our Clothes Are Made
Jenny Lemons started as an art project.
I started Jenny Lemons as an extension of my art practice. As a recent graduate from the MFA program at the San Francisco Art Institute, I was showing and making a lot of artwork but selling very little. In 2014, I had an art show in which I exhibited a series of handmade printed shirts alongside my drawings. Suddenly people were interested in purchasing my work and my little business was born.
For the first three years of Jenny Lemons, I cut, sewed, printed, and pressed each and every garment I made in a 200 square foot studio. When a craft fair or wholesale order came in, I would panic. There weren’t enough hours in the day to finish the amount of physical work I needed to do. I worked with a fervor, sometimes pulling 12-14 hour days sitting behind my sewing machine. Eventually, my hand started going numb. I developed a repetitive stress injury and had to make some serious changes to the way I ran my business.
This was the moment I began asking for help with manufacturing. Almost immediately, I found two factories (one in San Francisco and one in Oakland) to help me sew my tops. I started hiring interns from local art schools to help me with block printing and screen printing. Yet, Jenny Lemons continued to grow and I needed more and more help.
I am so proud to have created a business that supports local factories, provides jobs to the great women who work with me, and creates income opportunities to the artists who teach and sell in our shop.
Today, I still block print all our garments in the little workshop space behind our San Francisco shop. I outsource our pattern making, cutting, sewing, dyeing, and full bolt screen printing to tiny factories around the Bay Area. All of our products are still made by hand, just not only with my hands.
While I sometimes miss my little solo studio and the hundreds of hours I spent making things there, I am so proud to have created a business that supports local factories, provides jobs to the great women who work with me, and creates income opportunities to the artists who teach and sell in our shop. I am so thankful to everyone who has supported my dream along the way!
Artist, Teacher, and Owner of Jenny Lemons
Shop Jenny Lemons
Hi! I'm Jennie Lennick, the owner and designer behind Jenny Lemons. This year we are starting a weekly blog series about happenings around our shop, interviews with designers we carry, what inspires us! I hope you enjoy reading :)
I hand block print each and every one of our organic cotton sweatshirts, but that's not the only reason to love them! They are made from 100% organic cotton, manufactured in the USA, and dyed in small batches in Novato, California. They are truly a labor of love.