You know Anna. You do. If you don’t know her by name, you know her by her amazing glow. Or you recognise her cascading blonde hair often captured dancing in the wind on top a coastal cliff.
Anna models most of the designs at Jam. Her and Andrew shoot each other and they’ve now got it down to a T. Anna no longer see’s them as photo shoots, just adventures in the outdoors. Anna has sailed, rock climbed and mountaineered - all in the name of art and all in the same pair of Birkenstocks. If Anna’s feet aren’t going to drop off with cold she’ll be in her Birkenstocks. Luckily for her, its cosy knits and warm fleeces that she’s styling as we head for the winter months! At the end of the day, Anna likes to be snug.
I just assumed Anna had been at Jam since the beginning of time or, at least, when the first store opened in Salcombe. Turns out, for that to be the case, Anna would have been 14 when she joined Jam! In actual fact, Anna has been part of the Jamily for three years now but if we calculate one year in Jam counting as three in the outside world, she’s effectively been in the Jam inner circle for the best part of a decade. There isn’t much Anna isn’t involved with. She’s a clued up lady, I tell you. Anna basically interviewed me for my job! It so happens that she also interviewed Andrew and Mark long before they interviewed her. She was putting together a surf magazine for a school project and approached Jam to do a piece on them. She was brought up in a surfing family and instantly connected to the brand.
Anna is now 21. Seriously, I could not have boasted being so capable and dependable at 21. Anna can. She is unbelievably hardworking and she is multi-talented. Once she has been camerawoman, photographer and model, she then edits, photoshops, codes, links and embeds the images into the Jam website. A website she has pretty much coded herself. Anna wasn’t put on furlough during the last lock – down, Andrew and Mark put her on a coding course instead, and now she has become an online whizz.
Anna knew what she wanted to be when she was five. She was going to be a buyer in fashion. There was no debate. Her effortlessly cool and stylish cousin was a buyer, inspiring Anna on her journey, nothing would stand in her way.
When Anna came back from a two-month project in Dubai she was faced with a not so straightforward decision. She had offers for university to study buying, an invitation to travel to Australia for 6 months and an opportunity to return to Dubai for work. Undecided, Anna was back shopping in the Salcombe store when Lynne intervened. And, as we know, when Lynne intervenes, magic usually happens. Next thing Anna knows she’s the manager of the Salcombe store and learning to buy by actually buying. With Lynne as your teacher you run before you can walk! Or ski before you can walk, in Marks case! Move aside: countless lectures, books with theories and hours of role-play (well, except for Andrew’s first training sessions which were heavy on the role play, but I think she would rather delete that from memory). What a way to learn! Anna is now up and running and the buyer for t-shirts and sweatshirts, going through the levels within levels and earning her stripes. She goes up to London a day early and attends shows solo. She loves it. She absolutely loves it!
She is walking proof that you don’t have to go to university to succeed in this life. It must have taken courage to watch all her friends go off to university, and for her to do something else entirely. Three years on, Anna is free of student debt yet she has never missed a fresher’s week. She’s clearly reached her cousins level of cool and she’s had her biggest love – Ed – her dog, by her side for it all. Oh and don’t worry, she hasn’t missed out on travelling either. Anna takes 6 weeks off in January each year to go off and get her fix of international adventure and to top up her vitamin d levels, giving her that glow we all know.
She says she has landed on her feet. I would say you have Anna.