Joan DeJesus Talks Babe Comets and Being Afro-Latina
Your favorite Afro-Latina brand is one of the top 10 brands to look out for. A brand made for women. A brand for inclusivity.
Joan DeJesus has started her brand less than three years ago and has already created a name for herself in the industry. I had the chance to talk a little with the woman behind the up popular brand.
So why did you create the brand?
After the November 2016 presidential election, I was in a really dark place. I really just needed to leave the states for a bit so, I and one of my girlfriends took a trip to the Yucatán, Merida, in Mexico. That trip revived me in a lot of ways that I didn’t realize, and when I came back I had the need to create. I had noticed a lot of girls in the Yucatán where pom-poms on their purses the way American girls in the states were wearing handkerchiefs on their designer bags and I said these would look cool on earrings so that’s how I started.
What do you have to say for other women who want to start a brand?
Just start! As women and specifically as women of color we struggle a lot with imposter syndrome. I know I do and I question if anyone besides me and my besties will actually like the designs and products I put out there. So to the women creators who have something to contribute to the world, just do it and forget the haters.
What goes into your head when creating each piece?
I built my brand off this idea that you could wear really cute statement earrings without the tug on your earlobes that we sometimes get from larger earrings. So when I’m creating a piece first thing that comes to my mind is how do I engineer this piece of wearable art in a way that’s comfortable and feels like you’re not even wearing anything. I do a lot of experimentation with different materials whether it’s yarn for pompoms or lightweight metals for hoops.
How long did it take for you to birth Babe Comets?
Because of my initial shyness or self-doubt like I mentioned earlier, I think I started making earrings for about three months before I ever even opened my shop or put them on market. I also toyed with the idea of the name “Babe Comets”. (Originally the name “Bitch Comets” came to mind, but I thought that might be a little intense for some of my younger customers). However, I developed the brand almost instantly because Babe Comets’ vibe is a byproduct of the badass community of femmes and non-binary folks that support me. They’re one of the main reasons I am able to do what I do.
How is it being an Afro-Latina in this type of industry? What impact are you making?
Well creating an inclusive community comes naturally to me from being in and a part of the afro-latina space. I get a lot of love from the afro-latino community and in turn what I try to do is create as much content as possible that is inclusive of all different shades and shapes. I also try to assemble all black and brown girl crews for photo shoots as often as I can. We have a lot of talent in this particular community and I make it a point to highlight them in the work Babe Comets puts out.
Babe Comets are one of the many brands that have been paving their way into the industry, forcing inclusivity on many people. Creating awareness is how women like Joan create a path for others to walk a road unknown and not alone. Find more of Joan on her Instagram @babecomets.