Jessica Lombana Talks Family and Fashion
"You need to be independent. You need to study. You need to be strong and organized. Never give up on your dreams," are the words Jessica's mother would tell her as a young girl.
She was introduced to fashion at a young age and was inspired by some of the most iconic designers. Her supportive parents and her passion for design helped her to found her own company, Lombana by Jessica Lombana.
Read more to learn about how she got started and how she maintains a work-life balance.
Your upbringing and living abroad as a child has influenced your interest in fashion and being a business woman: tell us more about that?
My childhood was very interesting: I was born in California, [and I’ve] lived in NYC, Houston and Colombia. My childhood years in Colombia were full of happiness and art. Since I can remember I was always painting, sketching or writing. At the age of 12, I developed a passion for fashion design. I was inspired by Galliano, Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier.
My father, who was always a very elegant man, also played an important role in my life and love for fashion. He would always talk to me about the importance of being well dressed and supported all of my artistic projects. My mother was a very strong, disciplined, smart business woman, who taught me the importance of working hard at a young age. My mother would take me to work with her and pay me. She would always tell me, "You need to be independent. You need to study. You need to be strong and organized. Never give up on your dreams." I am who I am today thanks to my parents.
When did you learn to sew and when did you notice it was a passion rather than a hobby?
I learned to sew by hand when I was 12, and then I learned beading embroidery, which I loved so much. I learned to use a sewing machine when I started my fashion design classes.
Tell us about Lombana by Jessica Lombana and how it was founded?
When I started Lombana, I was very unexperienced in garment construction but I had the business experience and the aesthetic to start the company. In 2015, I invested three hundred dollars to pay a seamstress for sewing some swimwear sketches and had a fashion show at RAW Houston. Since then I worked on learning how to sew, accepting criticism and making changes that will improve my customer's experience. I also started visiting local boutiques and getting my garments in retail stores. It has been a lot of hard work, lots of ups and downs, and it's still a learning experience.
You're a fashion writer for Obscurae magazine. How did you come across the opportunity?
I came across the opportunity through a Houston photographer, Suzy Taylor, who was an Assistant Editor. She mentioned that the magazine was looking for a fashion contributor and I offered to write for them. It’s been a great experience.
Family is very important to you; how did you develop that bond?
Family is everything. Family is more than carrying the same blood, at least to me. My grandparents were always very family-oriented, and I grew up in that environment. Everything I have accomplished has been with the support of God, my family and my friends. My Mom and my sisters have always been my biggest fans and my husband has always supported me with the care of my children. I owe what I am to them. In difficult moments of my life I have also had the support from members of my Church, who I also consider as family.
Do you think it's more important for women to start a family or have a career? Why?
I cannot generalize because we are all so different. To some women, having a family is a priority and it's their most important goal in life. In my case, I think it's best to set your career first and then start a family. It's been very hard for me to juggle my work, school and family. I think that it's easier to start a family after your career is established, [because] you will have more time to spend with your loved ones and you will be a better provider.
What current fashion trends are your favorite and which do you currently hate?
I am not a trend follower, to be honest. I will always love the classic rock and Goth inspired designs, so currently I am obsessed with embellished fishnets by Lirika Matoshi.
What are your current goals and what should we expect from you?
Growth is my current goal. I would love to have my designs nationwide, to design for an established fashion house one day, and I would love to have my apparel in more boutiques in Houston. That's definitely what I will be working on.