Brooklyn-based geek clothing shop, Jordandene, is the perfect mix of everyday cosplay, geek chic, and great design. The business focuses on garments with a nerdy twist. From nerdy aprons to tanks to sweatshirts, there’s something for everynerd! If you fangirl over Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Doctor Who, you’ll be pleased as punch.
When we heard Jordan had just launched a new section of her business, focused on geeky little kids dubbed “Younglings”, we wanted to make sure the Iggleverse knew! And on top of that, we’re happy to be giving away a piece of garb from Jordandene this month! Seriously, winning geeky goodness is always a good time! So sit back, grab a cup of cocoa, and read through this awesome interview we did with the incredible Jordan, and then enter to win some adorable geeky couture!
Get to know the designer behind the magic, Jordan Dené Ellis!
The International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club matches pen pals each month based on their top 5 geek loves. What are your current top 5 geek loves?
1) Harry Potter
3) Game of Thrones
5) Doctor Who
When did you begin your business? What first inspired you to start your business?
I first began my business in 2011 as a much-needed creative outlet while I had a really boring day job. It was just meant to be a hobby at first, but I’m thrilled to have been running Jordandené full time for the past three years!
Can you tell us a bit about the newest and tiniest addition to the Jordandene clothing line – Younglings? What inspired it, and what pieces are you super pumped about?
Kids have always been a huge part of my life. I studied to be an elementary school teacher in college, and I nannied for years when I first moved to New York. I’ve been trying to sneak kiddie products onto my site, but I finally realized that they need their own space, which inspired Younglings! The thing I’m most excited about is actually not a product, but a new feature I’m almost ready to launch. Because kids’ education is so important, I’m going to work with my favorite program Donors Choose to donate a portion of all the Younglings sales to help teachers get the tools they need for their students!
What is your workspace like? Do you surround yourself with anything that inspires you, or listen to music to get in the creative mood?
Right now my workplace is still connected to my main living space, so my geeky inspirations are pretty subtle (except my desk buddies: my Funko baby groot and two KillinMeSoftly plushies). But, I’m moving to a new studio this spring, and I fully intend to cover the walls with all of the lovely fan art I’ve collected and keep a wonderfully geeky mood board above my desk. I actually have a hard time being inspired by music, but I love listening to creative podcasts like Being Boss to get motivated.
Do you participate in craft shows or conventions, in addition to running your online store? If so, which ones?
Yes! I absolutely love conventions. I like to try a few new shows every year, but my staples are NYCC, AwesomeCon, Misti-Con, and LI Who.
Do you have a favorite product you yourself love to wear?
My favorite product to wear is my Sherlock tank (pictured above). I love the monotone white on white, which also makes it super easy to style.
What has been your favorite item to design so far?
My favorite item to design is still the first item I ever made, the geeky apron. I think my two absolute favorites are the R2D2 (pictured below) and NASA astronaut aprons.
Does anyone help you run the business? Do you want to give a shoutout to anyone who has helped you along the way or inspired you?
A ton of people help me run the business. My husband Joey does all the hand-lettering for my shirt designs, as well as my branding and web design. Two of my favorite people, Kira and Maggie, help with all the production of the screen printed goodies and handmade aprons. Elena at The Colorful Geek has taught me everything I know about selling at conventions and setting up displays, Tara at The Geeky Hostess has worked with me on collaborations and connected me with some really important people, and unlimited boss babes have inspired, guided, and supported me along the way.
What advice would you give to a geek girl just started out who wants to begin her own business?
The best advice I can ever give is to find a support group of kind, like-minded people. The path to starting your own business can be so overwhelming, and having people around you to guide and support you through that process is invaluable. You can share resources, ideas, and cautionary tales to help each other make the best decisions you can.
If you were a character from a book, movie, TV show, cartoon, or comic book, who would it be and why?
I think I’d be Hermione, but maybe with a few less life-threatening adventures. 🙂
Thanks for chit chatting with us, Jordan – and now to to giveaway! The giveaway is for your choice of a Jordandene t-shirt, tank top, or sweatshirt, depending what the climate is like in your part of the world! Contest runs from January 6 until January 15! What are you waiting for!? Enter enter enter!