This year, we've partnered with several companies to shine a spotlight on who they are and what they do. Our latest collaboration features the incredible IJJI! To celebrate, IJJI & Urbody will be hosting a giveaway from 5/22-5/24, where one lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card from Urbody and another $100 gift card from IJJI. Read on for the exclusive interview with IJJI.
Can you tell us about the people behind the brand IJJI.
We’re Nick (he/him) and Maryam (she/her). Nick started IJJI in San Francisco in 2016, and that’s around the time we met. In 2017 we moved in together and ran IJJI out of our apartment. In 2019 we moved to LA. Now we’re married and live in San Diego, and moved our IJJI studio into a new space down here this week.
What are you doing in your free/leisure time?
I always have a few knitting and tufting projects going. Nick always has a couple projects going in his woodshop. Together we’re taking our dog to the beach, surfing, watching the NBA playoffs, and planning a trip to Korea and Japan in May.
Can you share a bit about your journey of figuring out how to use fashion as a tool for self-love, self-care, and showing up for yourself?
This is always evolving for us. But at the end of the day we want to make beautiful things that enrich people's lives in some small way. Putting something on that feels special because it's well made with nice fabrics and has a nice silhouette does that for us. We try to make things that play the same role in our customers’ lives.
We LOVE the aesthetic and styles you have at IJJI. What speaks to you about the looks and colors you offer?
Thank you so much! For me it’s about making things you want to wear over and over and over again, because they’re comfortable and durable and make you feel good. They're everyday staples. I also love a suit, and all the ways you can wear it. When we hear from people that something we make is their favorite article of clothing, or the piece they wear the most — that’s the best.
What tips might you give someone who wants to incorporate more IJJI or IJJI-inspired looks into their wardrobe?
Just put it on! And don’t be afraid to try a size up or down to see if a different size/silhouette suits you. Try cuffing a sleeve, or rolling the hem of your pants. Wear your pants high on your waist or a little lower. You can play around to find your ideal fit. We try to incorporate design details that allow a flexible fit to accomodate more body types and preferences. We love seeing how people put their own spin on our stuff.
So now that we know more about you, can you tell us about your business, IJJI?
Nick started IJJI in 2016 with a single pair of pants. Since then we’ve been adding things slowly, staying focused on making a few good things. We’re inspired by the functionality of workwear, and we’re drawn to hearty fabrics, but we like to add a delicate touch.
A lot of people ask about our name, and it comes from a Japanese word イージーパンツ, meaning any loose fitting drawstring pant.
What are some of the brand’s values?
Making things people will wear for years and years, avoiding waste. Using natural materials that get better with age, avoiding synthetics. Slowly and thoughtfully adding new styles to our collection, avoiding overproduction.
As a fellow small business owner, I know how hard it can be to find a work/life balance and take care of yourself. How do you find time to prioritize your mental, physical, and spiritual health?
I’ve found that working with my spouse helps with this. We have each other’s back and let each other know when we as a team or one of us needs a break or needs to prioritize ourselves. I also think it’s helpful to schedule things we know we need, so we know to carve out time.