Gracemade’s Journey of Faith and Fashion with Founder Jasmine Rennie
Established in 2016, Gracemade isn’t just an apparel brand; it’s an exposition on the way modesty is perceived, redefining it as a celebration of self-worth, empowerment, and creative expression. The brainchild of founder and creative director Jasmine Rennie, Gracemade stands as a testament to the harmonious fusion of style and spirituality.
Rennie’s journey from seeking validation in the external to finding her identity in faith birthed the concept of Gracemade, which is based on acceptance and empowerment, embracing one’s worth, stepping into authenticity, and celebrating diversity without compromise. “In the past I would dress in a revealing way because I craved attention and was looking for validation and acceptance… and began to lead with my body, a pseudo confidence, to fill those voids,” says Rennie. “It wasn’t until I came into a relationship with Jesus that I discovered my true worth and value weren’t found in those things but in my identity in Christ.”
From mid-length dresses to versatile shirts and tunics, the brand’s minimalist designs display a contemporary interpretation of modesty that goes beyond mere clothing; it’s a philosophy that celebrates personal convictions. Rennie’s vision resonates deeply with those seeking to authentically express themselves while honoring their beliefs. “Modesty is not a concept exclusive to Christians,” she says.
Crafted and curated in Los Angeles, Gracemade pieces bear the stamp of high ethical standards and meticulous attention to detail. Beyond fashion, the brand’s commitment extends to giving back to the community, with a dedication to impact lives positively. With every Gracemade purchase, a portion of the proceeds is donated to charity.
The Folklore Edit spoke to Gracemade founder Jasmine Rennie about her approach to design, balancing faith and fashion, and maintaining a unique brand identity.
Jasmine Rennie, founder Gracemade
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I am a woman of faith, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a multifaceted creative.
Could you tell us about your background. Did you always want to work in fashion?
I knew I wanted to be an artist since I was a child but I remember my mom telling me that artists didn’t make money. So I started discovering different ways to express my creativity and ultimately landed on fashion in high school, which led me to attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and the rest was history.
Could you share the inspiration behind starting Gracemade and how your faith plays a role in shaping the brand’s mission and values?
I knew I wanted to start my own fashion company one day but I didn’t know what that would look like. It wasn’t until I rededicated my life to my Christian faith that I was inspired to reflect the transformative work that God was doing in my life into the concept for Gracemade. This is seen through the product we create, our commitment to give back, and our impact on our community and the environment.
Modesty and personal style often intersect in unique ways. How does Gracemade strike a balance between offering fashionable clothing while adhering to principles of modesty?
The way I interpret modesty from a biblical perspective isn’t grounded in legalistic rules; rather, I hold the belief that God prioritizes the intentions of our hearts above all else. Therefore, in my design approach, I stay away from rigidly adhering to a fixed set of principles. Instead, I try to consider the essential aspects of a garment that hold significance for a woman who desires to dress more modestly. This approach doesn’t compromise style but ensures that she can feel effortless and beautiful while wearing our pieces.
Each Gracemade piece represents a blend of faith, fashion, and values. How do you ensure that your designs resonate with a diverse range of women while staying true to the brand’s essence?
Our pieces are an unapologetic expression of the values that are important to me but never done in a preachy way. I never set out to create exclusively for those who hold to the same beliefs that I do, and I think our customers are a reflection of that. We serve women from all walks of life that can appreciate the line for what it is while wearing it in their own way.
Sustainable manufacturing is an important part of Gracemade’s ethos. Could you elaborate on the steps you take to ensure that your pieces are both stylish and produced with ethical standards in mind?
Being good stewards of people and the planet has been important to us since the
beginning. Some ways we do our part is by using sustainable or natural fabrications in our collection, adopting a slow-fashion production model to eliminate waste, and by producing in locally in Los Angeles we are able to ensure that our production team have a safe working environment and are being treated fairly and with respect.
In a world where fast fashion dominates, how do you encourage your customers to embrace a more thoughtful approach to their fashion choices and consider the impact of their purchases?
We try to educate our customers on the value and benefits of purchasing ethically made clothing. I believe that customers are eager to vote with their dollar so once they know better we give them the opportunity to do better.
Expanding into wholesale can be a significant milestone for a brand. What led you to consider wholesale, and how do you plan to maintain the unique identity and brand essence of Gracemade while reaching a broader market?
Wholesale was always in the game plan for Gracemade as my background in the fashion industry is in wholesale and I’ve seen what a wider reach can do for brand awareness and growth. Gracemade has such a strong DNA and we’ve tried to be intentional about making sure that it translates offline by adding little touches such as thoughtful, encouraging words on the hang tags and information about the benefits of the sustainable materials used on each garment. This way we can still promote our brand ethos wherever we are.
How do you envision the The Folklore Connect’s wholesale platform benefiting your brand? What would you say is the main reason for signing up to join the platform?
I joined The Folklore Connect because I knew it would be a great opportunity to expand the brand’s reach. I hope that through The Folklore Connect we are able to get in front of the right retailers for mutually beneficial partnerships.