THE HUMBOLDT HUSTLE: Jam is Humboldt’s Premier Social Media-Driven Underwear Designer to Celebrities and Van Lifers | Lost Coast Outpost

For the first time in her life, Jamisha “Jam” Jamison is not on food stamps. And that’s because she was able to merge her creativity with her hustle.

Under the Instagram handle @studio_ten_fifteen_, the 40-year old Eureka resident sells underwear internationally.

“I’ve sold sets to people in Australia, other countries, and some A-list celebrities,” Jamison told the Outpostrecently.

At $120 a set, top and bottoms, it’s rare for Jamison to make a batch of the same set more than once. The fabrics she uses range from cotton to cashmere. There’s limited quantity, and with over 34,000 followers on Instagram there’s no way to meet any sort of demand.

“I make what I want to see,” Jam said. “I only like making things that resonate with me.”

Jamison plays with fabrics and colors and when she lands on something she likes, she will post on her Instagram stories for pre-orders to begin. You can only preorder a set via direct message. You give her your name and address, and pay via Venmo or Paypal.

Her preorders are limited to 15 sets. That means 15 people get the set and Jamison will not make that design again.

There is no schedule, no announcements — it all happens whether you pay attention or not. Jamison brings a level of artistry to her craft without any outside influences. In one case, she took a fabric that was meant for upholstery and made a set of her underwear with it.

Jamison came to Humboldt from Riverside in January 2013 with her six-month old baby. She immediately began working at her brother’s store in Arcata. Because she was working for her brother de ella, she was able to take her child to work and continue to breastfeed.

It was the only way she could afford living here since childcare costs, on average, are more than what you pay in rent. Plus, breastfeeding is a full time gig in and of itself. This way she was able to spend time with her baby, feed her baby and earn a wage.

Before Studio Ten Fifteen, Jamison made baby shoes for her little one.

She made baby shoes with a pattern based on the children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” and people took notice. Enough people asked, and so she began to display some of her shoes at her brother’s business. It quickly snowballed into customers asking if she could make matching outfits for the shoes they were purchasing.

Often, too, she would make things using the African fabrics in her brother’s store, and somehow she made the time to go out and sell at the local market events in town. In some of the shoes she would incorporate lavender, so that when the baby’s feet are exposed to the sun the lavender would warm up and fill the air with its scent from her to soothe the baby.

Jamison primarily bought fabrics from Fabric Temptations in Arcata, but then started to find other fabric dealers online and ultimately started making her own fabrics in 2014.

“I haven’t made my own fabrics in a while, but I like finding things that other artists make and using that to make what I like,” she said.

Jamison recalls the first market she did was on the Fourth of July in 2014. Then she was invited to one in Trinidad. At $18 per pair, she managed to pay her bills and slowly transitioned out of her brother’s business. For a while she made baby shoes full-time out of her studio.

At one point in 2017, Jamison shared the space at the Sock Shop in Eureka to sell her baby shoes. After her day ended there she would also do a pop-up kitchen at Siren Song Tavern. However, in 2018 she stopped regularly making baby shoes but still sold what she had at the North Country Fair.

From there she started doing odd jobs for a while to survive. Things like watching people’s kids, cleaning people’s homes, helping people with their properties and helping on farms.

“Anything to cut it,” Jamison said.

One day, a friend of Jamison’s who is a graphic designer made a card with an underwear design on a clothesline.

“I thought they were so pretty, I would love to make those real underwear,” Jamison said. “So I did.”

She made underwear that included lace and other common design elements. She would again sell at local events and had a decent response to those early designs. Jamison still has fabric from some of those early pieces but she veered far away from those designs toward what she makes today.

Jamison strictly seeks out fabrics that she loves. In one case, she sought out a fabric that had been out of print for years. She contacted the folks that made the fabric and they were able to track down the last 15 yards of it at a store in Georgia. She bought it and intends on making something for herself.

Then Jamison began noticing the rising popularity of the van-life aesthetic and wanted to capture it somehow. Van-life aesthetics can vary, but generally the people in it have a clear idea about how they want their lives to look and they photograph it. It was a market that Jamison knew she could tap into.

She describes it as warm, comfy and cozy.

So she searched the depths of Instagram for “Thermal Underwear” and was returned no results. She began to make and sell thermal underwear to the point that she now refers to it as van-life underwear. With that, her popularity exploded.

“I started getting about a thousand followers every day for a while,” Jamison said.

It seems that the popularity of her page hardly affects her. She makes her sets of her in a tiny shared space tucked away in one of the far ends of Old Town Eureka. Working six days a week from sunrise to sundown, Jamison has not compromised her creative process in any way.

“At one point I tried to sell three pieces a day, but it’s hard.” Jamison said, “It’s just me.”

She wants to eventually hire help but certain projects are taking the most of her time. Most recently, she designed hand-made pieces for the cast of an independent film. But she’s looking to expand beyond underwear, and she’s trying to make Studio Ten Fifteen something larger than herself, and she’s launched a GoFundMe in hopes of getting there.

“I’m hoping to have some pants and some really cool jackets coming out soon,” Jamison said. “I like making size-inclusive clothing. It makes people feel good and I love it.”



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