career Fashion

Queen Conversations: Accessory Designer Joan De Jesus

Shopping is some of our favorite things to do when we want to find the right look for our dates, girls nights, or just because it’s Tuesday. We obsess over making sure the beat is right and the outfit goes. But have we ever thought, maybe a some dope accessories will really kick off the look? Now, we can shop at Forever 21 or Fashion Nova to find a new look. But, what about supporting a queen from our own community? Babe Comets is a fresh and stylish accessory brand with colorful poms being the showcase. Joan De Jesus is an NYC accessory designer with flava and a story to share about the launch of her brand and what it takes to put herself out there…

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Did you originally see yourself as an accessory designer?

As crazy as it sounds, nope. I thought I might be a traditional artist or a fashion designer because I loved to sketch human figures. In retrospect, it now makes a lot of sense though. I grew up as the youngest in a house of 4 siblings so naturally, I was inheriting a lot of clothes (what would be considered vintage now). At the same time, I craved the new clothes and sneakers that 3LW + Taina were wearing—think Rave Girl, 5-7-9 (the late 90s, early 2000s were a wild time in tween fashion). My very frugal, Dominican father would buy us one new outfit at the beginning of every school year—dassit, so I had to remix a lot of my old clothes and hand-me-downs with accessories. I’d make necklaces out of beads, shells then sprinkle them with nail polish, glitter. Glue on feathers to headbands. Paint stairs and lyrics on my busted converse. Anyone who knew me in middle school or high school could tell you I was doing the most, but it was during this time when I learned how to create and use what I had to express my style and creativity.

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What is the process when executing a new design to the public?

It typically starts with an idea like “Wouldn’t it be cool if you could wear big earrings without them pulling on your earlobe??” or “What if I mixed metals and yarn together?” My gut reaction is like “YES. do it!” but then the question becomes how. Since every design is handmade, I can spend days to weeks working on one design and working out its kinks. I have a handful of confidantes that are equally important to the process. For my pompom + chain line, I had a few of my most honest, critical friends test out different prototypes and report back with feedback. Only after I feel like I’ve done everything I can to perfect the design do I push it out into the Universe.

 

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Now, you have been a vendor at different POC events, do you feel the support from the community?

I do get a lot of love from the nonconforming, badass babes of the Black & Brown community. I think as afro-descendientes we understand that creating art at a time like this is imperative to our happiness and survival and so the support is very mutual. I think I have been a part of amazing events created by and for people of color but not explicitly limited to being a “Black” or “Brown” or “Woman” event. We will become a majority-minority country by 2044 and I think it’s really important to dismantle the idea that literature/art/films made by POC’s are singular, niche events. With that said, being a vendor at events that understand the importance of representation is super gratifying.

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Where do you see your brand going in a few years?

Babe Comets will continue growing, we certainly have a lot more to put out into the cosmos. The brand has a twinge of nostalgia for the soft and pretty looks the 2000s gave us and since fashion always repeats itself, I think it’s only going to become more popular in the future. I never had a vision for Babe Comets being a corporate, household name–I originally started it as a passion project when I was feeling creatively stifled. As long as I continue creating cool stuff that challenges me and my community supports, I will be completely satisfied with wherever Babe Comets lands in a few years.

 

Lastly, What’s your favorite part of being a woman-owned business?

The efficiency + getting shit done  **Insert Claps Emoji**

You can shop Joan’s brand at  www.babecomets.com and make sure to follow the brand on Instagram with their handle @babecomets

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