CAREER

Insider Interview: Jessica Wang, Co-Founder of WINKNIKS

Jessica Wang Winkniks

 

If you haven’t noticed by now, we are all about women empowerment. Whether you are a full-time stay at home mom, a working mother who is juggling both boardrooms at home and in the office, or just a woman who dedicates her full self to her career, we salute you.

Throughout our career, we have met a lot of strong women who seem to have it all. A thriving career, a loving significant other, some with a kid or few in tow. They always make it looks so easy, when we know it really isn’t. So we’ve decided to start a new section to our blog, called Insider Interview. We will learn how all these amazing women get to where they are today, and how they juggle everything in life with such elegance so effortlessly. Hope you will be as inspired as we are!

For our first Insider Interview, we enlisted Jessica Wang. She is one of our dearest friends, and really is the epitome of “juggling with elegance”. After having two kids, she decided to co-found a children eyewear company called WINKNIKS, which we still don’t know how she found the time to do so! In this post she shares with us her passions, believes, and advices. She is the perfect example of no dream is impossible, and that you really can have it all.

 

 

How did you get started in the fashion retail industry?
My fashion career started at BCBG MaxAzria working as a merchandise planner. It was a big transition from my previous career in consulting, but it was also the greatest career move I’ve made and have never looked back. I’m forever grateful for BCBG not only because it has opened doors for me in the fashion industry, but also that’s where I’ve met and made life-time friends with the co-founders of Pinky Espresso!

 

What was your dream career when you were a kid?
I dreamt of becoming several things, from a ballerina, to a journalist, to a first-chair flutist playing with a well-known orchestra and travel the world.

 

Interview Jessica Wang Co-Founder WINKNIKS

 

You recently co-founded your new company WINKNIKS. Tell us about the company and how did the whole concept start?
We just launched the brand early this year, and I’m so excited to share it with everyone. WINKNIKS is a children’s sunglasses brand founded with a passion of bringing uniquely designed sunglasses of substantial quality to effectively protect children’s eyes and to let each child’s individuality shine.

I met my business partner Leila at the pre-school where our toddlers went together. A visit to the optometrist has taught Leila that the best way to protect our children’s eyes from future eye disease is sun protection. Unfortunately currently in the marketplace, children’s sunglasses are either made with poor quality or design, are ill-fitting, or uber expensive from high-end brands. With my background in fashion retail and eyewear (Oliver Peoples), as well as Leila’s background as a business owner and an education in illustration, we immediately clicked and wanted to start this children’s sunglasses brand together.

Winkniks logo

 

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far with WINKNIKS?
I’d say the biggest challenge is to educate parents about the importance of children wearing sunglasses. We want to educate parents that it’s not just about making a fashion statement with the frame, but to effectively protect children’s vulnerable eyes from future damages.

 

And what was the most rewarding experience you’ve had?
To see young children between ages 4 and 11 popping into our booth at trade shows and modeling our sunglasses with a big smile on their faces!

 

Interview Jessica Wang Co-Founder WINKNIKS

Interview Jessica Wang Co-Founder WINKNIKS

 

What are you most excited about with the future of WINKNIKS?
WINKNIKS is growing its presence worldwide (we’re currently sold in U.S, Canada, Japan and France). We’re also planning on launching other accessory lines such as backpacks, lunch bags, socks, leggings etc. in future collections along with eyewear. We hope WINKNIKS will become a household name as a children’s accessory lifestyle brand.

 

You are a mother of 2, how do you juggle managing a company and life at home?
I have help of course! A supportive husband and helpful nanny. It also means working late nights during deadlines… I try to keep my sanity by making time to hang out with friends.

 

Interview Jessica Wang Co-Founder WINKNIKS

 

For the young entry levels, what advices would you give them as they pursue their paths?
Learn as much as you can about the industry you’re interested in. Explore your passions and develop a skill set applicable to the industry. And most importantly, network, network, network.

 

What do you do during your down time? How do you relax?
I take workout classes on a regular basis because exercising helps me de-stress. A glass of pinot helps me relax too. Spending time with girlfriends on a girls’ night out is always the best remedy!

 

Aside from being a founder of a company and a mother, what are your passions in life?
To be a role model for my daughter and son, to teach them that we all should strive to live a happy, fulfilling life, whatever that may be.

 

Interview Jessica Wang Co-Founder WINKNIKS

 

Who is/are your style icon(s)?
Iconic beauties Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O, as well as contemporary muses Kate Moss, Diane Kruger, and Alexa Chung.

 

Who do you look up to the most?
My sister, who is smart, strong and beautiful inside and out. She always has a clear direction in life and manages to balance work and family so well. She has been my role model growing up.

 

What is/are your favorite vacation spot(s)?
Hawaii, Napa, Bora Bora, Taiwan, Venice Italy…too many…what can i say, I love traveling!

 

Jessica’s Outfit:
Club Monaco Cashmere Wrap Sweater (similar here and here)
COS Silk Striped Dress
J.Crew Elephant Necklace (similar here and here)

Vince Booties (similar here and here)

 

 

We are so proud to have Jess as our friend, and we cannot to wait to see where she and her business partner will take WINKNIKS to in the near future! Sun protection is very important everyone, it is better to start sooner than later! If you are interested in one of WINKNIKS’ fashionably chic and functional styles, you can browse their collection on Winkniks.com! They are also on Instagram @winkniks and Facebook.

Keep hustling, until next time.

 

 

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