For anyone who has taken a look at the variety of designs and attire available here at Art De La Tuile, you may be wondering about what goes through the mind of the woman who created these. Her name is Jenefer Lowe, and Art De La Tuile is the culmination of her passion for art, her community and wanting to make a positive difference in the world. Art De La Tuile is still in it's beginning stages, but Ms. Lowe (or "Jen" as she prefers to be called) hopes to eventually make Art De La Tuile a full time endeavor. Read on to find out more about the woman behind the designs and how this store came to be!
Q: Tell us about yourself and your background:
A. I'm never sure what to say about this....I've been artistic since I was a little girl. I always wanted to get into an art-related field. I was 20 when I found out about graphic design.. I was surprised to find out that I could use my art and computer skills together, so it seemed right up my alley. I'm really good at choosing colors for things. I'm always color oriented, and learning about color theory taught me that colors have effects on people. I like to focus on colors that bring out positive feelings in people. I like to spread positivity. I've experienced a lot of hardship in my life and I know how hard life can be. As an artist I feel it is my responsibility to change the world for the better. It's important to do what we can to make the world a better place, and we should all use what skills we have to do that.I do my part with my art. That's why I created this store.
Q: Changing the world? So there is an activist focus with your work. Are your designs created with anyone in mind?
A. My people. My community. They know it's for them when they see it. I don't even have to say that. When my people see these designs, they gravitate toward them naturally. I made my designs to be on darker complected people. When I do my designs, those are the skin tones I have in mind.
Q: What does "Art De La Tuile" mean?
A. It means "tile art", in French. I always wanted to learn French, but after I was given a failing grade in French in high school, all I knew how to say was "the monkey sleeps in the street". Lol! It's called that because it describes how I come up with my designs. I associate French with high art. Also, I love that the word "art" is first. It shows that art is a priority. One of my previous projects was "JeneLowe Designs" which didn't have the word art in it, and I like that this name has the word art front and center. With this, I actually have a company that has the word "art" in it. Because it is art! It's art focused first! It's 3D art and the people who wear them make the art truly beautiful. When different people of different body shapes wear clothes with my designs, it adds beauty because of the variety of shapes. It makes the art move. These designs help me feel closer to people who buy my clothes. They get to express themselves through artistic, colorful clothing and I get to have my art displayed on the variety of body types out there.Together, we bring art into the world!
Q: Speaking of the variety of body types, clearly your store is new and still expanding. What are your goals for featuring more of a variety of sizes?
A: Unfortunately, I'm not yet able to get as many plus-sized materials yet. The distributors I currently work with do not offer the variety that I'd like to have and I'm limited by that. But I WILL have more. I won't give up on that. More plus-sized clothes are coming! Eventually, I want to have my own distribution company so that I can directly decide which clothes I do sell. I am always chasing after what is unique and bold. When I see how unique we are built, I want to explore how to emphasize that. I'm inspired by people's natural body shapes. I like "natural". I also want to have more men's clothing available, like ties. I'd love to see folks wearing my stuff at prom! Like my art, everyone is unique. I believe that my brand expresses that. You never know: your uniqueness could be exactly what the world is looking for!
Q: You plan to have more variety as your store grows. What other plans do you have for Art De La Tuile's future?
A. I mean, I'd love to have storefronts eventually. I've had customers want to try on my clothes. I know the uniquely female experience of wanting something, finding out it doesn't fit, and having to go through the trouble of sending it back. I really want people to see and love my stuff! I know it makes a difference to have the item you want physically in your possession. It's one thing to see something online, where everything looks colorful and enhanced. But when people see my designs in person, they're amazed. Even I'M surprised when I see them in person!
Q: Is there anything else you would like potential customers to know about you and Art De La Tuile?
A. I'm passionate about the Black community. I want to create programs that help with obstacles that we as Black people face. I want to eventually set up grants and scholarships for Black folks who want to go to school or start their own businesses. I want to engage with ALL aspects of our community. I keep the LGBTQIA and disabled communities in mind as well. Even though the clothes are mostly women-focused, the designs themselves are intentionally gender-neutral. Anyone who wants to express themselves through my designs should be able to. Most of my clothes are feminine for now, but as I grow and get my own distribution, I intend to have more of a variety so that people can wear my designs no matter gender, sexuality and ability. I want people to be able to express themselves!
Q: How important is feedback to you?
A: I know that sometimes it's hard to find the right words for how something makes you feel, but I'd still like to hear from people who buy my clothes. Feedback, either positive or negative, can all be helpful. Of course, I prefer constructive criticism if criticism is to be expressed. I can handle that. Positive feedback is wonderful because it gives me motivation. It reminds me that my designs make people happy. It keeps me going, It reminds me that I'm changing the world bit by bit. That's what I've always wanted to with my art!
Q: How can people contact you for inquiries and feedback?
A: Any questions can be directed to: me Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org