Problem Solving Through Design | MISSBISH Jackie De Jesu of SHHHOWERCAP
Some of the items that we use in our everyday lives are, simply put, mediocre. Oftentimes we forget that we don't have to accept mediocrity and have the power to reinvent. Jackie De Jesu did just that. As the founder and inventor of SHHHOWERCAP, Jackie took the mundane shower cap and made it not only beautiful but more useful than ever.
Her knack for reimagining the ordinary and her powerful drive to create has laid the foundation for her company's success. As an advocate for never accepting anything that is second-rate, Jackie continues to push for the best in all aspects of her life. Read our interview with Jackie below and find out more about what inspires her and what she does to reinvent daily.
How did you get your start in the design world? How did you turn that into a career?
I was always making things. I come from a creative family. So, I didn't have to convince anyone that going to school for design was better than being a doctor. They always understood it would be a great career and were completely supportive. It just kind of went from there.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced while creating your business? How did you overcome it?
There was a point where SHHHOWERCAP’s waterproof nanotech fabric wasn’t waterproof! I had spent almost a year by that time developing the idea and sourcing the fabric, and then once I got my first prototype into the shower for testing--the water pressure was so intense that it went through it! The fabric was "water resistant" and not actually waterproof. I seriously almost quit. But, instead I didn't. That’s when I went to dive deep into performance fabrics, the recent advancements in waterproofing technologies, and learned everything I could to find the perfect (WATERPROOF) one that we have now.
The shower cap is an everyday item that inspired you to innovate and create a business. What other everyday objects inspire you?
I'm less inspired by products that exist and more inspired by what doesn't. I'm inspired by the problems that need fixing and annoyances that we all experience. That's where the idea for SHHHOWERCAP was born and where all of our future innovations will stem from. My team and I are constantly listening to our friends share stories about the things that they use needing a well-designed solution. Chances are, if you're experiencing something and you wish there was a better way, many people in the world will be experiencing that, too. What makes it a successful company is then all in the execution. Inspiration is everywhere.
We love that SHHHOWERCAP is all about not settling for anything that makes you feel less than 100%. Whether that includes friends, beauty products, or significant others--showing the world a strong sense of self-love! Have you always felt this way?
That makes me so happy. To be honest, I've always had a rebellious attitude and made decisions based on the life I wanted for myself. Part of that is self preservation and part is just trying to live my best life. I recognize what that looks like is unique to each person. The ongoing decision to create the change you want to see translates to literally everything. Settling is a decision. Curating your best life in whatever form, whatever way you're capable of, is the ultimate manifestation of self love.
You've created a place for women to bond over something so simple--not washing their hair. How has it felt to know that you are able to make such an impact on women's everyday lives?
To put it simply, it's amazing. We joke that old school shower caps are the equivalent of granny panties. Literally the worst. They were a daily annoyance that we all just suffered through because we thought we had no other way. To hear women say that moment has shifted from one that made them actively feel bad to one that actively makes them feel great is the most powerful thing. People think it's just shower caps, but it's not at all. It's about feeling your best when you're at your most exposed--the nude.
“Settling is a decision. Curating your best life in whatever form, whatever way you're capable of, is the ultimate manifestation of self love."
You completely revamped the entire traditional shower cap--from quality to design. What do you do when you feel like some aspects of your life need a re-invention?
I take a small step forward. Thats how I've found the most success. No matter what it is; a gym routine, writing an article, drinking more water, a product redesign--it's all about the momentum to start and then the excitement usually fuels me to keep going.
What have you learned about yourself through this?
I've learned that I need (like need) forward motion and I seriously love goals. Sometimes, I set mini-goals for the most mundane things. For example, how long I can go without speaking a word in an Uber. Or how many different uses I can think of for a random object. I always need to be doing, thinking, solving, tinkering, and striving for something.
What advice would you give a young entrepreneur wanting to create their own business? What do you feel are the most important aspects you focused on in the early days of your company that contributed to your success?
First, just start. An idea in the back of your notebook will stay exactly that if you don't take the first step. Invest time, energy, and money in your branding and design. Every day, people are spending billions of dollars based on this. If you're a product or fashion brand, treat your Instagram page just as important as your website. Because it is. Find your voice and try to do things differently. If you're 100% yourself, then you'll never have regrets. In the case that you do, at least you'll be reflecting on something honest. And know your customer. Be fascinated by the problem you're solving and speak to as many people as possible. But, above all, deliver on your promise. If you're a service or a product, make sure you do what you say your company will. Because thats when people tell their friends, and then they tell theirs, and they tell theirs. It's a chain reaction that goes either way depending on that first person's experience.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
Dope women unafraid of doing big things. And a culture of empowering others to do the same.
Who is your personal MISSBISH?
My personal MISSBISHHH is Sara Blakely. Building what she wanted, how she wanted, and staying absolutely true to herself. She is my true north goals.
What are three hidden gems in New York we can discover on our own?
The graffiti stop motion animation on the Q train between Dekalb and Canal. I never take that line, so it makes me happy every time I see it. The hall of gems, specifically the opal collection, in the Museum of Natural History, and an afternoon of gallery hopping on the LES. You'll always discover an awesome new artist in one of the independent shows.
Photos by: Valine Brana