January 29 2019

Ubuntu – Handmade in Brooklyn

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi! My name is Joslyn Allen Fecik and I currently live in Brooklyn, NY. I’m from Cleveland, OH originally, but moved to NYC 5 years ago after getting a job off to design clothing for a well known resort wear brand. I still work in fashion as a Designer and I’ve been married for 4 years to my BFF.

What exactly is ShopUbuntu?

ShopUbuntu is just our IG handle, the brand is called Ubuntu. It’s a jewelry brand that sponsors 5 children at an orphanage in Haiti by donating a portion of the profits from every sale. The line is inspired by color, travel, the oceans–all things I love!

What inspired you to start Ubuntu?

I went to Haiti on a missions trip in 2013 and volunteered at an orphanage called Notre Maison. Many of the children have special needs there, but they’re so full of joy and light! I fell in love with them! When I returned home I wanted to start sponsoring them but had just graduated college, moved to NYC, and gotten married so money was tight but I had some beads left over from a jewelry making hobby. I started making and selling bracelets and the rest is history :).

How did you come up with the name?

I heard the word Ubuntu described in a story a long time ago and I loved the idea of a word that meant that we don’t have to beat each other to have a good life and that the best life is actually when we can enjoy things together as people. It means ‘I am because we are’ and when I heard it, I loved it. When I started the line I was like “What was that cool word?!” and Google helped me find it haha.

You share a portion of all profits; can you tell us about that?

A percentage from every sale gets donated to the orphanage to sponsor our 5 children there. The amount varies every month, we donate whatever we need to in order to make sure the kids are covered each month.

Is there a favorite product? And are your products only found online?

I don’t think I have a favorite product but I love anything in rose quartz because the soft pink color is sooooo pretty. My products can be found in a few boutiques around NYC and in the Hamptons!

What is your favorite part about running Ubuntu?

I’ve always loved making things and working with my hands, but I’ve also always loved selling things and making money from them (I used to sell my Beannie Babies at the roller rink to make some concession stand money lol) so I think I just love making and selling a product. I also love sponsoring the kids; it really is an honor to get to do that.

What is your least favorite part about running Ubuntu?

Creating content for instagram, it is the never-ending job lol I wish I had someone to do that for me!!

Stay Fit and Healthy

How do you spread the word about your company?

I reach out to stores I think would be a good fit for the brand when I come out with a new line. I also do trunk shows and use instagram but like I said. creating content is so time consuming so I only like IG when I have a good amount to post.

Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?

When you get tired, learn to rest and not to quit (Jenna Kutcher). It can be hard and confusing and there will probably be a learning curve but don’t give up and remember your ‘Why’.

Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? ☺

“Do it for the one”; that’s something I’ve been saying a lot lately. I think most people want to change the world but they underestimate the power in
changing just one life.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Thanks so much for the interview!!! <3

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