[The designers behind Dainty June are: Erica Daking, Jen Johnson, and Jennifer Daking]
Dainty June is a group of friends who have combined forces to create a new line, and we’re one of the few stores carrying their first season! It’s colorful, cheerful and perfect for summer.
Read about the girls’ inspirations from childhood and how Dainty June came to be:
ModCloth: We love the new line and its rainbow theme for summer. What was your inspiration for it?
Erica & Jen Daking: We were inspired by our own clothes growing up in the 80s. Our mom had a children’s clothing store called “Fancy Frocks & Silly Socks” for a bit, and she carried some amazing things. To this day, we love a lot of the same colorful imagery that I think we were supposed to outgrow.
Jen Johnson: I was also inspired by classic retro silhouettes and colors of my childhood, but being more 70s for me… haha. I loved playing with all the colors of the rainbow for this first collection. Launching Dainty June with a rainbow theme is perfect match for what we all need, bright and cheery times ahead! We couldn’t escape the constant ringing of the Rolling stones song “She’s Like a Rainbow” in our heads through the creative process.
MC: I also read that the name ‘Dainty June’ and all this season’s names are taken from the musical Gypsy. Can you tell us how & why you chose this musical?
Erica & Jen: Gypsy is one of our favorite musicals ever. We grew up in a very musical household, and used to sing the songs from Gypsy all the time. Actually, we still do. I guess it’s another thing from our childhood we never outgrew. We named each design from our first line after characters from the film, the actors who played them, or lyrics from the songs. If you haven’t seen Gypsy we highly recommend it!
MC: How did you ladies first meet?
Erica: I met Jen Johnson in 1999 when we played music together. I was 18 at the time, had moved from NY to CA for the band, and she hired both me and my sister to work for her at e.c. star. The three of us have spent a lot of time together over the past 10 years.
Jen Johnson: I met Jen Daking on a trip to New York with Erica. Jen and I had our first adventure together looking for Tyrone, her lost kitty.
MC: How long have you all been planning/dreaming about Dainty June?
Erica: We’d all been dreaming about something like this for a long time. We have all learned a lot over the years and wanted to put all that knowledge and creativity towards something fresh and new. We combined our ideas and efforts to make what is now Dainty June.
MC: Do all three of you design and work on the business side as well?
Erica: Yes, the three of us do a lot of everything. It’s all a group effort. We each bring our strengths and works out quite well between us.
MC: Tell us about a day in your life.
Erica: I make the coffee, we tend to the doggies, and then we get to answering e-mail inquiries and ship the All-Mighty orders. I shamefully read Twilight blogs and design sponge until my mug is empty. We’re still in the beginning stages, so we’re still getting our routine down. At some point our stomachs grumble, and I make us lunch and then it’s back to work! Work usually entails one of us running around Downtown Los Angeles, ordering notions, checking on our production, making new patterns, someone back here packing and invoicing back at the office, and someone doing anything else that comes up! We don’t really have set hours, so if a dress is finished at 7pm, that’s when we go get it. We all have our own side projects; I play music, and my sister Jen Daking is a make-up artist which means we work extra long some days just to make time to get it all done. Jen Johnson also plays music and works as a wardrobe stylist, too.
MC: Do you have any advice for girls who are interested in entering the fashion industry?
Erica: Work or intern for a small clothing line. It’s the best way to learn how it’s done from every angle.
Jen Johnson: Then go work for a huge company, so you see both sides of the spectrum. Try getting a job with someone who you look up to, someone who inspires you.
MC: What is Mighty’s job title? (note to readers: Mighty is Jen & Erica’s Boston Terrier who inspired their other line.)
Erica: Every now and then he likes to check on us. He walks into the office, looks around the room, farts, and then leaves. What would that job title be? Supervisor, I guess. Stinky, our other Boston, tries to scare away the mailman or UPS guy. Both dogs are very helpful.
MC: Tell us about your personal style.
Erica: We’re pretty like-minded when it comes to fashion likes and dislikes. We all wear classic designs, nothing too trendy. Today we’re all wearing jeans and t-shirts but we all love cute dresses, vintage inspired jackets, good prints, lots of little details and feminine pretty things. If we wore the same size, we could share a closet.
MC: What’s next for Dainty June?
Erica: We’re designing a new line that we’re really excited about. We just got started with the business so everything is exciting right now. We want to get our name out there and invite as many people into our world as possible.
MC: Anything else?
We’d like to thank stores like ModCloth and all of our customers for supporting us. We love what we do, and you make it possible. You are the best!