Designing from a story - the concepts

We often get asked about our design process at Jam. Where does it all come from? Truthfully, there’s an element of extremely considered mechanical process, and at the same time, spontaneous artistic madness. Like anything in business (or in life for that matter), there can be a lot of change, and it can all happen very quickly. We’re constantly preparing multiple versions of each design, colour combinations, shape variations, size guidelines, etc etc. We pass sample garments throughout the team taking feedback on each piece, ultimately returning to the simple question, “would we buy it?”



Generally speaking, we need a majority yes before a garment goes into production, and a yes from all sexes and ages alike. Before any of these conversations happen however, we need a story. Each season we write a short narrative for the collection and then we start building a concept, for example last summers concept was off radar. The story was about switching off. Each story has a message and usually the message is linked to our lifestyle. The surfing culture attached to our brand inspires a relaxed effortless style, and whilst we have pivoted our designs away from sport, the culture remains essential. The culture shines through our stories, and their subliminal messages. We want people to share snippets of our coastal peace. Off radar was all about switching off your phone, because the best moments of our lives (usually in the sea or on the beach) tend to be those moments we are not staring at our screens.



Our latest concept has been scarily fitting. Some friends set of travelling and just a week into their trip Owen (a corporate lawyer) wrote a blog post about the importance of enjoying the pause. He realised the likelihood of it happening again in his life won’t be for another 30 years. A lightbulb moment. Without realising, Owen had just written our next narrative. Pause. We realised how powerful a pause was, and perhaps how desperately we all needed it. Pause is about stopping, thinking, relaxing and finding some clarity, before starting again. It’s about taking a breath from the busy submerged cities we live in. It’s about recognising what really matters to us as individuals.



On a personal note there are days I get preoccupied with the numbers, how much I need to save to buy a bigger house etc etc. Before I know it I slip back into being another hamster on the wheel, running as fast as possible but not going anywhere. Taking a pause, (which I now do every week) I press refresh on my brain. I spend time doing all the things that really matter to me, mainly surfing, cooking and seeing loved ones. Suddenly the size of the house I’m saving for matters less, because realistically it’s never going to be big enough to have its own ocean. And the ocean bit is really what matters to me. My perspective has changed. Happiness (for me) is not the house, it’s the sea. Beach shack it is. 



So here we are, Pausing. We swear it wasn’t planned, but nature seems to have enforced our message. We hope you can flip the situation upside down and find positives in Pausing. We will, and who knows, we may all start to view the planet in a whole new light. For now, take comfort in the knowledge we are pausing together, you’re not missing anything. If you've already got yourself a piece of our pause collection, remember what it's all about.