|Jessi, Carrie, and Lauren Jung|
Moms hate to see their children unhappy. So it was with Jessi Jung, whose eldest daughter Lauren wound up living at home after graduate school.
“I was unemployed and bored and my mom got tired of seeing me mope around,” says Lauren, who studied graphic design. “So she said, ‘Why don’t we design some fabric?’”
While it certainly wasn’t a typical suggestion for lifting one’s mood, in Lauren’s case it did the trick. Jessi, an avid quilter, claims she didn’t even know she could draw, but nevertheless gave sketching a try. Lauren tweaked the designs via computer and punched up the color. They shared the results with Moda and their first line, Botany, was introduced in 2010. Their most recent line is Birds and Berries, and their newest line, Chantilly, will be out this July.
The Jungs nature-inspired designs and clear colors make their fabrics easy to spot. But not everything about them is obvious.
“We always try to hide something in our designs, because we like those I Spy books,” says Lauren. “In some we’ve hidden caterpillars and bumblebees and in every line there’s a hidden spider web,” says Lauren, who also cites art nouveau, Japanese prints, and most recently pop art as inspiration.
There’s been a lot of give-and-take in the design process. Jessi’s an avid quilter and pattern designer (you can see some of them here), while Lauren admits her stitching skills don’t extend beyond hemming.
“When we first started, I imagined fabrics with complicated designs, lots of white space, and large repeats, but Mom knew they wouldn’t cut up nicely,” says Lauren. “Our design process has evolved over time and we’ve definitely influenced each other.”
In the last couple of years, another Jung has joined the team—youngest daughter Carrie.
“We’re lucky in that we have different skills and bring different things to the table,” says Jessi. Carrie’s not a quilter, either, but loves to create bags and other small projects. She’s also got great organizational and writing skills, which were especially handy during their most recent venture, a book for Martingale.
“We’re tentatively calling it A Little Something Extra,” says Carrie. “The idea came from the movie Legally Blonde, where Elle printed her law school resumé on scented pink paper because she said it gave it “a little something extra.” The book includes a combination of quilts, bags, and other patterns and is scheduled for release next spring.
|A sneak peek at Chantilly, the Jungs upcoming line|
Designing fabric and writing a book together seems to suit all the Jungs, and they’re grateful their projects keep them in close contact, especially as they now live in different parts of the country—Jessi’s in South Carolina, Lauren’s in California, and Carrie’s in New Mexico.
“I love that I get to talk to my mom nearly every day,” says Carrie. “This business keeps new things going on in our relationship.”
“And it’s great when we do get together for that week of hardcore work, when we stay up late and drink lots of coffee and by the end of it we’ve created a really cool line of fabric,” says Lauren.
|The Jungs, in younger days|
“Its sure is fun being with the girls, and now that they’re grown it’s wonderful to share this common interest—it keeps us together,” says Jessi.
Jessi is one lucky mom. Happy Mother’s Day to her, and to all you moms out there. Hope your Mother’s Day brings you close to those you love.