After graduating University in classical music, Jaclyn Genovese originally planned to own a fashion boutique as a secondary job, thereafter a career in music. In September of 2007, those same visions that sat on the sidelines diverged and became pivotal goals of the present. Thus became ‘jacflash’; the glamorous storefront located on Queen St. W, focusing on promoting unique labels in both fashion and music. Inspired by the craze of the paparazzi ‘flash’, jacflash works to make individuals feel like stars in their clothing.
Concentrating on the road that led, Jaclyn brings in varying lines like Wildfox, UNIF, Mink Pink, One Teaspoon, and many others from around the globe to Torontonians. She has dressed stars like Rachel McAdams, Jessica Alba, Shanae Grimes, and Carly Rae Jepsen, as well as Toronto’s very own Liz Trinnear, JRDN, and Danny Fernandes. Bringing glitz and glam to the cities very own red carpet, jacflash has become a one-stop shop for most street stylers in the fashion district.
Style Nine to Five: What prompted you to open up your own fashion boutique on the Queen West strip?
Jaclyn Genovese: West Queen West has been labeled the ‘Art and Design District’, and is known as the most vibrant and stylish neighborhood in Toronto. It contains over 300 galleries, boutiques, interior design shops, antique and vintage stores, restaurants, design houses, and boutique hotels.
My goal for jacflash was to embody the diversity of West Queen West for both men and women. jacflash carries everything from jeans, sweaters, and t shirts, to business and cocktail attire, and includes many influential men’s and women’s brands from around the world such as UNIF and Wildfox from LA, One Teaspoon, Mink Pink and Style Stalker from Australia, Bing Bang jewelry from NYC, Scotch and Soda from Amsterdam and Transit from Italy. jacflash’s exclusive and unique mix of worldly fashion trends epitomizes West Queen West’s varying range of taste and personal style.
SNTF: Many fashion graduates dream of owning their own stores, complete with designing storefronts and selective buying. Where did you start when you first decided this was a definite plan for your future?
JG: I studied classical music (opera singing) in University and when I graduated I thought that I would work at a boutique and sing on the side. With my love of business and creativity, as well as growing up around a very fashion-forward family, I decided to open my own shop.
SNTF: Describe a ‘day in the life’ of a boutique owner.
JG: I wake up, take my dog Gunther to the park, get a coffee and/or make breakfast and open the shop for 11 am. I am usually at the shop working until about 8:30pm. At the shop I am on sales all day, as well as dealing with the back side of the store such as returns, putting inventory into the system, dealing with stylist pulls, going to the bank, alterationist and/or post office, getting back to emails, buying, merchandising, cleaning the shop, updating the online store, blog, instagram, facebook, twitter (we have weekly photo-shoots for our social media outlets and website) as well as just dealing with day to day challenges.
I also foster animals from both the Upper Credit Humane Society, as well as the Noble Dog Rescue, so when I have a free minute I am either promoting these animals for adoption, or taking care of a foster pet, along with my adopted dog Gunther and cat Julie.
In my spare time, I recently joined the Sheraton Orchestra where I act as one of their vocalists. I usually meet with them about once a week.
I also enjoy yoga, going to the park with my pets, going for a run or bike ride around the neighborhood or having a drink/dinner with friends after work.
In the past, I threw parties at bars/clubs. I launched both Monday nights at the Thompson Hotel’s 1812 bar, as well as Friday nights at Nyood bar. At the moment I have cut back on the weekly promotions and have stuck to doing one off events and marketing/social media for other venues and companies such as Kanji Sushi bar and restaurant.
SNTF: Who is the ‘jacflash girl’? What is her look?
JG: The jacflash girl is all around you. Our customers range from 13-60 years old. We carry basics such as jeans and tees, along with more glamorous attire like cocktail dresses and suits. We are also well known for our edgier and more unique pieces such as UNIF jackets, One Teaspoon denim shorts, rocker tees and Mink Pink’s floral kimonos.
SNTF: How do you conquer the competition in order to remain a successful shopping destination in the area?
JG: It is all about social media, branding and marketing. You must always stay relevant and never let them forget about you!
SNTF: What draws you to a certain line or brand of clothing?
JG: If I would wear it, I will buy it. With that being said, my style is more on the classic side, but I love showcasing one killer piece with a subtler outfit, for example wearing a studded leather jacket with a black pencil skirt, pumps and a white blouse.
SNTF: What is the best thing about being your own boss?
JG: I love the everyday challenges of being your own boss. There is no one but you to conquer a challenge, so there is no room for being lazy and you must always be organized which is very fitting for my Virgo personality traits. I always believed that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
- Headshot, Image Courtesy of Coco & Cowe.
- Inside ‘jacflash’, Image Courtesy of Jacflash Toronto.
- Jaclyn in boutique, Image Courtesy of The Style Spy.
Written By Jenn McNaughton, Toronto
You should follow me on Twitter @jennmcnaughton.
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