Local Gem: Jack & Lola
Meet local gem Jack & Lola, a shop filled with curated collections of small batch, handmade, and artisanal goods. Started by boss babe Gaby O'Hearn, Jack & Lola was created as a tribute to her grandparents who "instilled [in her] the importance of adventure and family" and influenced Gaby to create a business that features products in small batches from local artisans. Read more about Gaby and how she got her start below and check out her online shop here.
Q: What inspired you to start working in the field/Industry? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
A: I’ve always wanted to be a business owner. I guess you can say I got it from my mama. I have a background in architecture and have always loved the idea of curating a collection of beautiful things inspired by my love of design. So the two came together — my love of design and the entrepreneurship that my mom instilled in us.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
A: Cutting ties with the traditional sense of a job is difficult, especially if it’s to dive into the unknown. My brother gave me the best advice when I was first thinking about launching a retail location. He said to start slow — have a strong plan, keep my steady job, run the store nights and weekends, build a solid base, learn my business and then jump. Slow and steady, but always moving forward.
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity (possibly a time when a burst of creative energy produced something you could have never expected, etc.)?
A: When I first walked into the space which now houses the store, I wanted to run away. There were holes in the walls, missing bits, holes to the outside — it was scary. The more I stood there and tip-toed around, it started to come to life. I imagined all that it could be with a little blood, sweat and tears — ok, maybe a lot of that. But now it’s like a little treasure box.
Q: What have been your most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
A: Not knowing what I’m doing. Everyday is something I’ve never lived before in retail ownership. I don’t know why some Mondays are good and others aren’t. I just know that I have to make sure we survive that Monday. And the next Monday and the one months later too.
Q: What's your day job (if this business isn't your day job)?
A: I have a full time job in Marketing in the Architecture industry. It’s very corporate and so different from my “night life.” But it keeps me balanced and allows me to keep my passion project.
Q: When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
A: I run to the river and back. I take it very literally and run. It’s hard to be “on” and encouraged 100% of the time. You need to experience those “oh shit” moments to get you through what are sure to be some hard times, but also not really exciting times of “Is this real life?”
Q: Your favorite band at the moment:
A: Jamestown Revival.
Q: Your favorite book at the moment:
A: Well, I’m working my way through the Telegraph’s list of 100 novels to read and I’m currently on #93. I’m looking forward to the next on the list - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Hopefully at the end of the list I’ll have one favorite I can name.
Q: Your local Austin gem (can be a product, place, etc.):
A: The sunsets.
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