Zara and Nicola have always been dreamers; shooting for the stars, falling down, getting up, and trying again. Not every dream has seen a successful reality. This is the one that called to them relentlessly, grabbed hold of them, and held on so tight that it refused to let go. That dream that gripped not only their minds, but their entire beings, is JIST.
The two sisters have always been passionate about handbags. From the time their eyes could capture their memories, they began to witness their mother’s loving acquisition of a vast number of timeless, luxury handbags. In their infancy, they were drawn to beautiful and wonderfully crafted, handbags. As they grew and began to fully develop their own fervor for luxurious items, their mother bestowed upon them her vintage pieces that seemed to be immune to the constantly shifting ages.
Zara marveled at the smells of the leather, the textures, and the structures. It was as if each handbag had its own spirit, its own identity. Nicola was enamored with the prestige attached to owning such prized goods. Carrying such an item caused the masses to revere the individual carrying it. What these young women knew not, was that their passion would see its incarnation in the creation of their hands.
In 2015, the two sisters traveled to their homeland, Nigeria, for the second time. Their eyes fed their spirits what their western environment could not; a myriad of African wax prints applied to unique and beautiful accessories. Amongst those accessories were fabric handbags. As soon as each sister rested her eyes upon this homegrown innovation, there was an immediate spark that united them. As JIST fought to experience its birth, that spark gave way to an insatiable fire; a fire that could not be quenched.
The young sisters thought they would see the realization of this aching desire in the fabric incarnation of JIST, however there was never any true fulfillment. They knew that they had not given true life to this that kept calling them. They halted their efforts until Zara saw the true form of JIST in her dreams.
JIST, struggling to manifest itself, showed its full potential to our Creative Director in the form of revelation. Shrouded in the materials of the West African people was the most beautiful handbag. Initially, all Zara could see as she gazed through that thick haze, was Kente. Beyond that, she could perceive that familiar aroma of luxurious leather and seasoned gold. When she woke, everything became clear. She told her sister what she had seen and immediately they labored to give birth to JIST.
After one and a half grueling years of creation, design, molding, and perfecting… JIST is manifested. It is given the life it was always meant to live. Every hope, every dream, every ounce of love and dedication... everything these young women are, they have rendered unto JIST to give it spirit.
To the entire world:
“JIST is a cultural gift to mankind. We hope your love for JIST surpasses our own mighty love for this body.”
- Zara and Nicola