Our Story

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Jernē (pronounced "journey") began quite serendipitously. In 2011 founder Jen Rowling graduated from law school and had the summer off prior to starting at her Chicago law firm. Recognizing that she would be locked in her corporate firm for the foreseeable future, she and two friends decided to travel as far away as possible. They landed in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The trio found their way to Hội An, Vietnam.  

Nestled on the South China Sea, Hội An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has preserved its ancient architecture, culture and custom clothing craftsmanship. Here, the art of bespoke clothing has been handed down for generations. The lantern lit streets are filled with family-owned tailor shops inviting tourists to design custom-made attire.  Jen was immediately enamored with designing her own clothes, flipping through endless fabrics/colors and having the garments cut just for her! She headed back to Chicago with a new wardrobe for the firm and a budding idea.  Why didn’t bespoke clothing exist for women in America?  She wanted to bring the magic of Hội An custom clothing to the American market.

After several years working as a Chicago corporate lawyer, a remote legal work platform allowed Jen to pack up and move to Hội An. She spent nearly 2 years in Hội An learning about the art of custom clothing, the Vietnamese way of life, customs and culture.  During that time, she formed friendships and partnerships with local tailors necessary to bring Jernē to life. With this foundation and international collaboration, Jernē hopes to bring you the same custom-made clothing magic that Jen first experienced in Hoi An in 2011. We cannot wait to bring your individual style and flare to life!

-Jernē Team