Owner, curator, and world traveler Jenny thrives on providing unique products to her community
Jenny Van Veen always dreamed of owning her own business, and after discovering the exceptional community of Holland, MI she knew that she could put her roots down and flourish with Frances Jaye
. Offering a variety of apparel and accessories for both men & women, Frances Jaye is an eclectic boutique that we're proud to partner with in spreading our message of empowerment!
When did you first experience a desire to open a store like Frances Jaye?
I think that it has always been in my blood. My parents both owned their own businesses and my brother recently started his own as well. It's something that I've wanted to do for almost as long as I can
remember (well, after wanting to be the CEO of Walt Disney World) and that I've been working on for nearly as long. I've always looked at school and jobs as steps to get me to this point.
What sets Frances Jaye apart from other retailers in Holland, MI?
We like to always be pushing conservative West Michigan to be more fashion forward. When we’re at market we are always asking ourselves if what we buy is ‘Holland ready’ and when it’s not we buy it anyways cause we believe that everyone should step out of their comfort zones—fashion and other wise. It’s also crazy to be one of the few men’s options in a downtown!
What is the mission of Frances Jaye?
To help people feel comfortable with who they are. Whether that’s because they bought a new dress they love or if it’s cause we’re the only people who have said hi and have a great day to them. We’re just looking to make people’s days.
Are you hoping to open more locations? Where would you like to have more locations?
It’s something we talked about very early on but now it’s exciting to be working on our Holland location. We just got new fixtures and are carrying a ton of new lines we’re super excited about. Updated the store logo, added three new girls to our staff, and a ton of other little details we’re working to perfect. Even though I don’t think my work will every be done at this store, I’m still waiting to be at a point where I feel ready to begin the whole store opening process again. It’d be exciting but it’s definitely a lot of work. Still, I dream about having a store in all the places I have loved ones, Seattle, Chicago, Australia, that way I would have more excuses to visit!
How did you first hear about Krochet Kids intl.?
A customer actually told me about the company, and I’m so glad she did!
Why do you choose to carry KK intl. products?
Krochet Kids intl. is one of the many lines we carry that has an empowering mission statement. I try my best to partner with companies that are working with men and women around the world to provide education, clean water, jobs, etc. With KK intl. specifically we love their inclusion of the women’s signatures and that they put a name and even a face to the women around the world they are empowering. This creates a connection between the buyer and the maker that helps educate the buyer about the impact they are helping KK intl. to make.
Which KK intl. product seems to be a bestseller?
We do really well with both men’s and women’s pocket tees. This year the men’s 'Jax Pocket Tee' and the women’s 'Ryan Tee' seemed to be the biggest hit.
What is a summer trend that really excites you?
Tan lines and Hudsonville ice cream.
How do you stay connected with your community?
Holland is a small town so you get to know a lot of the community members. I’m a regular at the local coffee shop, Lemonjellos, and frequently grab drinks after work at Butch’s. I love getting to know the other business owners and swapping stories. Lately I’ve been aiming to have a positive impact on the next generation. I recently finished a spring break camp at Culture Works where I gave talks on becoming a business owner to the kids. It was such a great opportunity to encourage teenagers to pursue their dreams and work hard to achieve them. One of the kids, Duncan, even came in to the store one day with a few sketches he had done of the store, they It appears that you held a Valentine’s Day event at the store this year.
Just for fun - what’s next on your bucket list?
Croatia and Iceland. I’ll have Croatia crossed off later this summer, making that the 27th country I’ve had the opportunity to visit. My friends joke that I need to leave the country at least once a year or else I go stir crazy.
What message would you like to share with the KK intl. community?
If you work hard, you deserve to play hard.
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