Great Small Businesses: @jukebox.mama !

This week I interviewed a great small business: @jukebox.mama !

  1. Tell me a little about yourself:

“My name is Sarie Gessner and I live & work in Nashville, Tennessee making custom western wear for anybody who wants to spice up their wardrobe. I work with a lot of musicians making stage wear for performances or album covers, but I equally love working with anyone who wants to treat the world as their stage and wear some fun western clothing. 

      I started my designing & sewing journey when my grandma taught me to sew at a young age. After experimenting with making myself clothing in high school and participating in theatre, I decided I wanted to go into costume design. After a few years of working in various theatrical costume shops, I fell in love with western wear while living in Austin, Texas and going two-stepping to western swing music in the local honky tonks. I was doing a lot of hand embroidery at the time and started sewing some western shirts from some vintage patterns I found.

Getting an antique chainstitch embroidery machine in 2018 helped speed up the embroidery process while still retaining the vintage hand operated charm. I moved to Nashville with my boyfriend at the beginning of 2019 and launched Jukebox Mama while working part time for other designers before making this my full time business in mid 2020.

2. How did you come up with your business name?

“When thinking about a name for my business, I went through some song titles for inspiration and came across Jukebox Mama. There are a couple different songs called Jukebox Mama, one is by the legendary Link Wray in the early 70s and the other is a rockabilly song by Merdel Floyd. To me a jukebox mama is someone who simply has to get out on the dance floor when their favorite song comes on, which is definitely a feeling I (and hopefully my customers) can relate to!”

3. Can you talk a little bit about your process of how someone can order a custom piece?

“The process for ordering a custom piece starts with a conversation with my customer about what kind of garment and what kind of design details they’d like. Inspiration images are always helpful but not necessary. Once we get the basic design nailed down, I ask for a partial deposit to hold a spot in the order queue. After I receive the deposit, I will draw up a sketch for my customer so they can visualize the piece they’ll be getting and make any adjustments before I make the garment. I also send them a measurements sheet at this time so I can be sure to get the right fit. I’m usually booking several months in advance for custom orders. I’m so grateful that my customers are willing to wait for their pieces to be finished, and in the future I would love to hire more seamstresses to be able to get through orders in a more timely manner and have more ready to wear inventory in stock. I really do appreciate the patience of these custom order clients because with the amount of detail in each piece it does take a lot of time.”

4. What are your two favorite piece you created so far and why?

“One of my favorite western suits I’ve created was for Jim McGuinn, grandson of Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, and it featured the album art for The Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo on the back of the suit jacket. The suit also has saguaro cactus blossoms and lasso ropes embroidered all over the body of the suit to connect to the Sonoran desert landscape of Jim’s home. I loved working on something so personal with both a family history & music history connection. Jim is continuing those family traditions with his band The Cosmic Cowboys, and the suit was an excellent way to pay tribute to his grandfather’s legacy. 

      Another favorite project was an outfit I made for Sierra Ferrell to wear performing at the Ryman the night before New Year’s Eve. This was a very special project for me because Sierra’s album Long Time Coming was one of my favorite albums of 2021. It was such an honor to create a look for someone whose music I connected with so deeply, and my first time having my work on the Ryman stage. This look for Sierra was inspired by 1940s Hollywood cowgirls like Dale Evans, and every element of the design had some sparkle to it.

The vest and skirt were made of black sparkle lurex fabric, with silver leather stars surrounded by rhinestones and silver leather hand cut fringe. The third piece of the look was a western blouse made from silver star printed chiffon fabric with big sheer puff sleeves. Sierra is so spellbindingly talented and I can’t wait to hear what music she makes next! “

5. What is your favorite fashion decade any why?

“This is a tough question because I love embracing different decades in my personal style depending on my mood or where I’m going. For the longest time it was the 50s, but it’s been creeping later over the years and lately I’ve been very into the 70s both for fashion and music. The fashion in the movie The Love Witch and 70s horror movies has been a big inspiration in my wardrobe lately. Anything from disco glamour to 70s western wear I’m all about at the moment. 

      At the same time, my work will always be heavily influenced by the 1940s when Western swing bands like the one led by Bob Wills were very popular. There’s something so classic about the embroidery and construction details on those shirts and suits that will always be a major inspiration for my work. “

6. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“The next event I have coming up is the Nashville Boogie in late May, which is a weekend long festival for mid century music & culture, where I will be participating in the Western Roundup Fashion Show. I’ll have several pieces that I’ve made showcased on the runway there, along with designs from several other fellow western wear designers. The last time the Nashville Boogie happened was in 2019, so it will be so much fun to be back and see everyone again. The western wear community has been very welcoming, and I love a chance to spend time with fellow designers for us to all showcase our work as well as see some great bands all in one place. “

If you would like more information on @jukebox.mama The following contact information is below:

Email for custom order inquiries: jukeboxmamadesigns@gmail.com

Website: https://www.jukeboxmama.com/.

Instagram: @jukebox.mama

thank you Sarie for the interview!!!

Until Next time!

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