The way a home is occupied tends to reveal a lot about the person who lives there. This is especially true for a creative like Jenna Wilson who along with Cary Vaughan co-founded cult fashion line ace&jig. Finding their textiles deeply inspiring, we teamed up with Jenna and Cary last summer to create a new line of lighting and soft goods. That collaboration continued through our holiday line and into our Winter collection, which launches today and features two more modern heirlooms we created using ace&jig fabrics: the Damask Throw Pillow and the Damask + Parfait Throw. During that collaboration, Jenna was kind enough to allow us into (and answer a few questions about) the charming craftsman bungalow she shares with her two children
We found the space bursting at the seams with the fabric samples, pillows, blankets, and everything else you’d expect to find in the home of an expert in the art of warp and weft. But we also found a palpable and abundant spirit of creativity that was even more inspiring than the textiles and garments Jenna creates.
Your home is very beautiful. How would you describe its aesthetic?
"Our home is all about joy and warmth. Textile treasures—whether found or passed down—are underfoot, overhead and on every surface! Color, pattern, texture can be found everywhere whether in the furnishings, my kids' artwork or our hand-painted dishes. We live and love in a riotous joyfully chaotic way and our home truly reflects that."
It looks like there’s a lot of handmade things throughout your home. Does the whole family share your interest in art and creativity?
"We do! My son is a born minimalist and his artwork and creations reflect that practical and elegant aesthetic. My daughter and I make giant messes and plow through art supplies with wild abandon! Glitter spills are a very real thing in our home. We love to spend time creating together, from sewing and making sculptures out of recycled materials to drawing maps and blueprints. We incorporate a lot of ace&jig textile scraps in our artwork—as a no waste company we find a use for every scrap. My son recently sewed little hats for our cats (a party hat for Smudge and a robin hood hat for Tonka)!"
Talk about all the incredible textiles you’ve collected throughout the house. How long have you been collecting them and where did they come from?
"My oldest textiles are remnants and scraps from my grandmothers—both true inspirations. I have been rummaging for and collecting vintage and antique textiles since I was a tween frequenting thrift stores with my mom. Cary and I love to visit flea markets on our travels—Portobello Road, Clignancourt, the Rose Bowl, Brimfield and on..."
When and how did you discover your love for fabric?
"Making things has been an obsession of mine since childhood, especially in three-dimensions. While sewing captured my interest, the things that excited me the most have always been things like knitting and weaving where you can actually build your own design from the very ground up. The intersection of creativity with extreme precision that these disciplines require is so fascinating.
Textiles hold so much emotion and nostalgia. A scrap of overshot can remind you of your grandmother's bedroom. Memories flood in from a faded floral, a corded texture, a neon stripe and a heavily patched and pieced blanket. The warmth and comfort that come from soft or weighted fabric on your skin: we make doublecloth ponchos that equate to wrapping yourself in a blanket. Fabric feels good."
It’s clear that ace&jig is a company that leads with its values. Could you talk
about some of the ethical commitments you’ve made as a company and the values you feel are most important in the fashion industry?
"Our core values mirror the values that Cary and I hold most dear: community, sustainability, giving back, continual improvement and JOY. These values are part of everything we do. We started this brand with the goal of creating clothing that was anything but disposable—to create textiles and clothing that are beloved, passed down, and never simply discarded, and that is still central to our brand. We strive to do this with the least waste possible and in the most ethical way while using our platform and funds to give back. We acknowledge that we can always do things better and actively work to learn, improve and grow. Witnessing the community that has arisen out of these joy-inducing textiles and common values has been the most rewarding part of what we do!
Since the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, there is so much room for all of us to improve. The most impactful thing we can all do is get more wear out of the garments already in the world. This fact has informed so much of what we do, from creating joyful items that are worthy of keeping and passing along, to capping our growth, to fostering the culture of swapping that has arisen out of brand and providing free repairs at our events."
Finally, what’s an ideal weekend for you and the family? Is it time spent at home, out on the town, traveling?
"We love adventuring! Whether far from home or here in Portland. Getting out of the house, finding something new, taking a train, tram, or boat! Time in an art gallery, or foraging cool sticks in the park. Spontaneous adventures for life."