If you don’t know who Jaclyn Genovese is yet, you probably should. Jaclyn is the trendsetter and mastermind behind Jacflash, a once Toronto (West Queen West to be exact) fashion boutique turned online store. But Jaclyn doesn’t stop there: she also runs Spaces by Jacflash, an interior design agency and holds it down every Monday night inside Toronto’s celebrity hot spot, Lost & Found nightclub. Having accomplished so much with no sign of stopping, we had to catch up with Jaclyn and find out more about her career path, personal style and how she manages it all.
SNTF: Jacflash has been a staple in Toronto fashion for just over a decade. How did the Jacflash brand and store come to be?
JG: I majored in classical/opera vocal music in university and when I graduated, I wanted to sing and work at a fashion boutique on the side. After working retail for a few months, I realized that there was a gap in the market for women’s fashion boutiques. In 2007, I decided to open my own shop on West Queen West, Jacflash. I had been into and around fashion and design my entire life so it was a pretty natural choice for me. I had no buying or managerial experience at all, but I just took it one day and one task at a time and defeated each obstacle as they came!
SNTF: What a risk you took, but it clearly paid off in the long run! What made you close the Jacflash store and move it online? How did Jacflash evolve into the Lifestyle brand that it is today?
JG: After six years of owning a retail store, I felt like I was no longer growing or learning anymore. I was excited to wake up every day, but I wasn’t as passionate about my day-to-day duties as I once was, so I knew I had to make a change. I decided to close the shop, transition the store to online and take some time to myself to figure out my next move. I had been throwing events since 2009, (I started Nyood Fridays, Blacklist Mondays at 1812, now known as Wildflower, and threw endless one-off events) so soon after closing shop; I got an offer to start Mondays at the then new Lost & Found.
I had no idea the party would become one of the hottest parties in the world (you may recall The Weeknd even giving our Monday night party a shout out in one of his songs!). I lived above Jacflash so upon closing the store I had to relocate.
Two weeks after my move, I invited some of my friends over to come check out my new place. They were all shocked at how quickly and drastically I changed my new rental home and soon asked me to help them decorate their own places. This is how Spaces by Jacflash came to be! I ended up hiring some very talented junior designers who could carry out all of the technical aspects of interior design and décor, and I am the head of the design side of things in the spaces we work on.
SNTF: With all the different divisions of Jacflash, it seems like you have so much on the go. Asides from hard work, what advice can you share with our readers on being successful and balancing it all, while still having fun!
JG: The most important thing you can do is take care of yourself. Give yourself enough alone time and time to physically and mentally make yourself happy and healthy. The rest is all in planning and organization! Don’t jam too many things into one day, but instead spread your meetings throughout the week. Arrange all of your must-dos for the week into your schedule ahead of time! Lists and calendars are my best friend.
SNTF: You have a small team, which means you must hire quality employees. What do you look for when recruiting for your team?
JG: Attitude is the number one personality trait that I look for when hiring someone. A lot of people have the qualifications, but I need someone who never gives up and stays positive no matter what obstacles they may face on the job.
SNTF: You’re often seen wearing your own JacFlash brand, and it seems like there’s a little something for everyone in the collection. Tell us a little bit about your personal style and how it influences what you buy each season.
JG: I feel like my style changes depending on where I am going, who I will be with and my mood. Though I buy some trends for my online store, I don’t often fall too deep into them with my own personal style. I much prefer mixing a minimalistic/professional look with a vintage and figure flattering twist!
SNTF: What’s your advice for those looking to break into the entrepreneurial world?
JG: Just go for it! You need to just take that scary step and put all of your passion, time and energy into your dreams. If you want to be a photographer, then look for jobs on Kijiji if you don’t know where to start! Join a photography club, contact different agencies, do street style shots and meet people on the streets, do everything you can to put yourself out there- don’t just expect it all to magically fall into your lap.
Favourite colour? Is black a colour? If not, then green!
Must-have daily accessory? Pearl earrings
Heels, flat shoes or sneakers? Heels at events, flats during meetings and sneakers at the gym of course!
Go-to item in your closet? Blazer jackets
Favourite style season? Spring
Favourite day of the week? Mondays! TGIM!
Make sure to follow Jaclyn on Instagram to watch her run her businesses and Toronto, in total style.
By: M.J Rozenberg, Toronto, @themjelle
All images courtesy of Jaclyn Genovese
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!