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Conversations with the Inspiring Jackelyn Dacanay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jackelyn Dacanay.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had an interest in fashion and creativity. My Mom had me at a young age and worked several jobs to support me. She also influenced me to experiment with my own style. My Grandmother worked for a fashion jewelry distributor and occasionally brought home boxes of accessories that I loved wearing around the house. I took my enthusiasm for fashion to school and went through a number of unique “phases.” When I reached high school, there was a strict uniform policy so I tried dressing it up with colorful sweaters, sneakers, and headbands which got me written up on more than a few occasions. My senior year, I applied to 3 major fashion institutes and decided on LA after flying out for my admissions interview.

Moving from a small town alone at 17 to a big city was a huge culture shock, but I learned a lot about the industry in a short period of time. I interned with various designers, showrooms, and celebrity event agencies, eventually landing my first job in luxury retail. It felt like a dream job. I was completely enamored by the brand and the concept of fashion jewelry as a luxury item. After graduating with a degree in Merchandise Marketing. a classmate and I decided to move to NYC together. I was offered a position two weeks later. I realized right away I needed to work twice as hard and adapt quickly to remain competitive. I started to build my client book, immersed myself in product knowledge, and learned the value in providing exceptional service.

After 4 years, I was one of the top five sellers in the company. But, it came at a cost. The work culture became extremely toxic which took a huge toll on my mental health. The stress is what made me more conscious of the company’s lack of values. From the massive waste we generated to the lack of transparency and social impact, I had an epiphany moment and decided I was going to quit and start my own fashion house – built upon the values of environmental awareness and social good. One month later, I moved back in with my parents in Rhode Island and began building THE ART OF FATE. We’ve now evolved into a fashion and wellness house representing over a dozen women-owned brands all across the U.S.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a new business from zero was a huge undertaking. I didn’t have an MBA nor did I come from an entrepreneurial family. I also had no idea how to make jewelry, so I had a lot of new skills to develop. But I was so passionate about getting it off the ground that the journey didn’t feel like work. I invested my own money, which is something I would recommend for anyone interested in starting their own business at least in the very beginning. Be ready and willing to lose it all. Also, never let the fear of failure prevent you from pursuing your passion. I have a tattoo on my wrist that quotes “Fail again. Fail better” and it’s a constant reminder to encourage failure and the wisdom that comes with it. I’ve failed many times, and I’m not ashamed because now I’m smarter and more prepared because of it.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into THE ART OF FATE story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m the founder of an eco-fashion and wellness house called, THE ART OF FATE. We represent over a dozen socially-conscious brands in fashion, clean beauty, and wellness created by passionate women all across the U.S.
We’re building a movement in the fashion and wellness industry that represents all women. Instead of models, we use real women in our community from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, and sizes. We also do not photoshop our images. We believe the fashion industry needs more inclusivity and diversity so when women look at an advertisement, they see themselves and not the unrealistic expectations we’ve been subjected to for so many years. We hope to encourage brands to step up to speak to the majority of women who have been left behind.

We also believe the fashion industry has a moral responsibility to give back and use their platforms as a force for good. We use our voice to educate and inform people about the environmental impact caused by the fast-fashion industry while also offering them a solution. What sets us apart is the fact that we no longer put jewelry into production, making our accessories 100% carbon-neutral and waste-free. Mining and manufacturing processes used to make jewelry generates a huge amount of waste including water contamination, soil pollution, and chronic illness from toxic chemicals used in the extraction process. So, instead of contributing to the problem, we recover thousands of fashion jewelry overruns from auctions and close-outs and curate the best styles into beautiful, sustainable, and season-less collections. No one else has done this, so we’re very proud to be the first to introduce this concept of circularity in the fashion jewelry market, We’re also proud and honored to be growing a platform that supports emerging women-owned businesses and helps share their stories with the world.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
I’m a big fan of the “How I Built This” podcast on TED radio hour. I’m always inspired by the stories of how founders experienced failure and kept going to get where they are now. I’m a big fan of Gary Vee and Eric Thomas. Both offer honest and candid advice for budding entrepreneurs. I also love reading books on business (currently reading ReWork) and futuristic trends. It’s important to always stay ahead of the curb and be prepared to adapt to the market.

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Image Credit:
Sydney Claire

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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