Close to 50% of businesses fail within the first five years of opening. While there are many factors that contribute to this, it shows the sheer amount of focus and perseverance needed to find success launching a business. This is particularly true in the ever-changing world of fashion. In a world where big brands and local boutiques are competing for the same customers, you have to have more than an idea to succeed – you have to have the “it factor.” Something that catches the attention of fashion lovers and keeps them coming back. Jacqueline Purcell and Shanda Harper, the co-founders of JP HARPER NYC, have proven that they have exactly that. Their passion for fashion and determination to succeed has led them to create a fashion brand that is bold and beautiful. With clients from around the world, JP HARPER NYC has established itself as the go to brand for fashionistas and celebrities looking to express themselves with unique and eye-catching designs.
Big Dreams and Humble Beginnings
JP and Harper both grew up in New Jersey, and bonded over their insane obsession with fashion. Harper learned how to sew from her mother which ignited her eye for design at a young age. Meanwhile, JP living just one block away was learning her way around her new sewing machine, teaching herself how to make patterns.
When the two crossed paths as teen moms their shared interest in all things girly sparked an immediate connection and fueled their enthusiasm for design.
Early on in their friendship the duo would often go fabric shopping and daydream about owning a business together one day. They made an attempt to start a fashion company in their twenties, however, family and life responsibilities made it clear that it wasn’t their time. Once their children were adults, they seized the opportunity to bring their ideas and dreams to life.
Beauty and Beyond
JP and Harper’s first endeavor wasn’t in fashion, but it was the perfect step to their future venture. Their first successful business, Fat Ass Lashes hit the internet in 2017 and they steadily grew in popularity and exposure. “One of the biggest moments for us was being invited to do a pop-up at Henry Bendel – our childhood playground.”
Their success would lead them to running a kiosk at a mall – where they continued to explode. “We were located near stores like Sephora, MAC, NYX and ELF, and still exceeded our sales goals. It was an amazing time.” That one year stint allowed them to hone their business skills, gain some momentum, and most importantly – they were able to create a loyal customer base that would fuel the beginning of their fashion brand – JP HARPER NYC.
When the power pair launched JP HARPER NYC online, their first clients were close friends and family. However, they quickly started cross promoting with their booming eyelash business and things started taking a turn. They found their brand quickly catching the attention of fashionistas and celebrities who were drawn to their bold and unique designs.
Never Stop Dreaming
When they were young, JP and Harper would visit New York City and their favorite store Henry Bendel. “We would walk through the store and dream of the day when we could afford to buy something without checking the tags and maybe even own a store ourselves one day.” Well, they have reached that point. Although JP and HARPER waited years before their dream of opening a fashion brand became a reality, their patience definitely paid off.
The result? A fashion brand that is quickly taking the entire world by storm. Although, their brand’s success is certainly something to be proud of – their dreams are so much bigger. As JP HARPER NYC continues to gain momentum and the duo forges ahead with building their empire, they are looking to inspire others to believe in themselves, never give up on their dreams and pursue their passion. “We want to lead by example and remind other women to tap into their gifts. If we can do it, they can too.”
If you are interested in learning more about JP and HARPER and want to catch up on their latest designs, visit their website at JPHARPERNYC.com