Jodie John and Her Titty T-shirts

January 31, 2018

 

A love affair, that all started in 2016 with a follow on Instagram. You know those people, that you kind of know through other people but mostly just through social media? Well, this is Jodie John, someone I have followed on Instagram for years, her boundary-breaking artwork and quirky style has always added a little bit of an edge to my feed, now she's breaking the internet, one tit t-shirt at a time. 

 

Two years on from being her very first customer, I sat down with Jodie to talk all things nude, t-shirts, and entrepreneurship. Jodie, a twenty-year-old Fine Art student from Pencoed, South Wales, has taken her passion and skill for producing art and has launched her very own line of clothing, including t-shirts, hoodies, caps, and bags, and it all started with one line drawings and a matching tattoo. 

 

Jodie's business kind of started out as an accident, she and a university friend had been doing single line nude portraits and decided to get them tattooed, this was followed by people requesting the images on bags, (me being one of those people, holla), which eventually grew into a make on request sort of process via Depop. As the demand for nude tote bags grew, Jodie started getting requests from people asking if she made t-shirts, and what the consumer wants the consumer gets; what started off with a couple of tote bags has now grown into an affordable, street fashion brand with the celebration of the female body at its heart.

 

Since starting her business on Depop in 2016, Jodie's brand has grown tremendously, owing to the great network of people she has surrounding her. You can now purchase Jodie's products on her recently launched  website https://www.jodiejohns.com which has a gallery of custom-made tees, tote bags, caps, hoodies, long sleeved tops, and so the list goes on. Like many savvy millennials, Jodie relied a lot on social media apps to guarantee her customers when starting her business. By using Depop, Jodie was able to target street fashion connoisseurs with a brand appeal that goes beyond just supporting small business owners, but also aims to diversify the way the male

 

 

and female body is dressed. For Jodie, someone who enjoys playing with gender fluidity, its really important that her brand appeals to not only women but men too, in order to fight the censorship of the female body. The bold colours used on Jodie's products demand to be seen in celebration of all things nude and woman. Her work is slightly nostalgic of the second-wave-feminist movement where the likes of Hélène Cixous and Georgia O'keeffe demanded attention to the female anatomy as a way of reclaiming the power taken from the female body. By incorporating all this into a street fashion brand accessible through social media, Jodie is opening up new waves of conversation surrounding the ownership of the female body. 

 

Jodie's personality really comes across in her work as well as the unique shopping experience she offers, when she first started out, Depop was a great platform for her as people were able to message Jodie about her products, requesting colours and additional texts, maintaining a customer relationship at all points of the design process. Jodie has a real sense of approachability about her, something that really comes across in her Instagram, where she now gains most of her customers. Talking about Instagram as a business tool, Jodie discussed the struggle she faces with being able to advertise her products on the app due to the nude nature, even admitting that one post was formally declined by Instagram due to the fact they 'do not advertise nude images' - its clear to see that Instagram is run by the likes of Anne Widdecombe (anyone watching CBB this year will feel my frustration on that one.) Like many other people that use Instagram as a business tool, Jodie stressed her frustration over the new algorithm that prevents posts from being shown on your feed if they don't receive immediate engagement, but she does enjoy the freedom and connections it has provided her with. Instagram has allowed Jodie's business to grow from an extra bit of pocket money whilst at art school, to a full functioning business with the help of her finance guy, aka little brother Aaron John. 

 

With such a strong network that ranges from an Instagram community to family support, Jodie has big plans for the future, featuring in the first edition of student magazine Lemons Mag, due to be released in March, and hopefully, get involved in festivals like Pride Cymru this summer. Along with younger brother Aaron, Jodie has roped in the help of her mother who is keen to give up anytime she has to help Jodie grow her business, along with the donation of her living room floor which has become Jodies workshop. 

 

The thing I love the most about Jodie is her refusal to sort of 'work for the man' in any way, and this doesn't just mean her entrepreneurial business set up, but the way she wants to keep it as affordable and as real as possible. When discussing the pricing of her items, Jodie insisted that she wants to keep the prices of her tops low. As an art lover, she's passionate about making it accessible for all kinds of people. This genuine quality really comes across in her designs and customers are guaranteed to receive a product that Jodie has hand painted herself, making every piece a one of its kind. This customer satisfaction is something she really cares about and is actually rewarding her on a personal level, as someone who has struggled with her mental health, Jodie's business has given her a new sense of positive direction and motivation.

 

Her platform as a businesswoman has given Jodie the ability to share her struggle with mental health, something she tells me has not only opened up a floodgate of support for her but has encouraged her customers and subscribers to speak up and seek help. I think without fully knowing it, Jodie has begun to really make a difference in peoples lives by selling t-shirts that not only stand for freeing the nip but encourage self-expression and self-love. 

 

Keep doing your thing Jods, you're a Hell Of A Girl. 

 

 

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