Each brand has its own origin story, its unique tale of how it became what it is today. Here’s part one of ours, the story of the woman behind Hallo Jane.
Jaynie Nieuwoudt, founder and creative behind Hallo Jane, gives us a little peek into her life and reveals a bit about how she got to where she is today…
“I grew up in a small town in the Free State. My dad a farmer and my mom a teacher by occupation, but she runs a butchery and factory that my dad started when he was younger.
“I attended high school in Welkom and lived in the school hostel. Hostel life created some of my best memories which I’ll cherish forever. It builds character, teaches you how to be more independent and a great deal about how to deal with the things life throws at you.
“In my matric year, I met Rudi, my best friend and the one that makes my heart skip a beat! We were soul mates from the very start.
“1st year varsity I attended the University of Free State (KOVSIES) to study integrated marketing communication. The following year I changed to Fashion Design, deciding to follow my true passion – to create. I finished my 3 years at the top of my class with distinctions and awards, including best academic student, best year end range (2nd year), best year end range (3rd year) and most innovative.
“During this time Rudi (now husband) had moved to the Western Cape to pursue his career. This allowed me to be such an overachiever in Fashion School, as I buried myself in work during semesters to try to tame the long-distance sorrows. I visited him every holiday break to only have fantastic vacations in the Cape, where I fell in love with Pringle Bay, the gorgeous little coastal town in which we currently reside.
“During fashion studies, I also took part in the Durban July where I went on to become on of 10 national finalists for the young designer award. Thereafter I took part as a national top 10 finalist in the Vukani Awards which is an African Fashion Platform that gives young designers a chance to break into the fashion world. I won the award for the most innovative designer and overall top 3 in the fashion range during that event and went on to become a judge the following year.
“Thereafter I tried my own thing for a while in my hometown and a while after decided to move to the Cape to be with Rudi. Struggling for a couple of months to find a job because I only had one year experience, I got appointed at a boutique in Stellenbosch as a junior designer, pattern maker, and shop assistant. I loved it there, and learned a lot about myself, the industry and people in general – how to treat people from a shop assistant’s point of view and how they treat you…
“After more than 2 years of working in Stellenbosch, Rudi and I tied the knot. During that time he had lived in Pringle Bay and started his business there. It was going to well to move away, so he convinced me to move to Pringle Bay.
“I was initially against the idea of moving to such a small coastal town – having had dreams about living in New York while studying…hahaha! We gave Pringle Bay a chance and I continued working privately as a freelance designer.
“When I think back now I can not imagine not wanting to move to this beautiful little piece of heaven. It reminds me of the small town where I grew up. Where parents walk their kids to school and kids drive around the neighborhood on their bikes. Added bonus I get to walk the dogs to the beach every day!
“After a few months of freelancing it was tough. There was not a lot of money and jobs coming in. Rudi was willing to provide for me but I’d always been independent and in control over my wants and needs.”