Jules Haskell is a native New Yorker so, naturally, he knows a thing, or 300, about style and swagger.
This knowledge has definitely proven to be an asset as he’s made a career for himself in fashion – parlaying his own online clothing and accessory store into paying gigs as a wardrobe stylist.
His retail and styling company, Treats & Threads, has been open for just over half a decade and is based in South Williamsburg. Haskell has an eye for what works, and he’s bold enough to mix looks. Trusting himself, and staying driven have given Jules the freedom and independence it takes to be an entrepreneur in Brooklyn.
Originally hailing from further east than his current Brooklyn stomping grounds, Jules has lived in the borough ‘on-and-off’ for stretches at time. His current stretch has been his longest - eight years.
I got to know Jules through Chris Carr (EatTheCake, Brooklyn Wildlife), at various events and parties hosted by the photographer and impresario. When we finally had the chance to sit down together this summer it was like catching up with a relative. We commiserated over “the same old bullshit” ie: working with people who changed their minds after the fact, how corporations constantly try to box out the little guy, keeping everything in writing, and chasing the dream.
Having a dream, and going after it with passion is one thing. But you’ve got to be ready to bust ass and hustle if you mean to keep going in Brooklyn, NY. Jules Haskell is about that life. Below our Q&A:
Ruth Nineke: What is a typical day or set of days like in the life of Jules Haskell?
Jules Haskell: A grind! If I’m doing overnight work then I’ve been working since the day officially began at 12am. Then it’s emails and sometimes setting up clothes or products that need to used in a shoot or sold. 3-4 hour naps are a treat if no shoots scheduled between 1-6. Mail out items. Meets customers/clients and do it all over again. If I happen to have a slow day, get another one or two in before working again.
RN: What inspired you to start Treats& Threads? How long have you been doing this?
JH: Having the option to be free of any one person, or organization dictating my money and schedule. Naturally, I like sales and I love clothes. The styling wasn’t something I expected to happen. I started dressing my clothes for sale on mannequins. I noticed they could look better if dressed them up differently and spiced it up. When things look better that usually translates to sales. I moved to better things and started working with models. Never thought I’d be doing this but I enjoy when people are happy with my work. I’ve been running T and T since November 2006 and wardrobe styling for over 2 years.
RN: What is your biggest passion?
JH: Avocado. LOL besides anything related to such, I’d say marketing. May sound odd but there is a lot of phycology to it. I love learning what makes people tick. Seeing what attracts people to a brand or item. It’s exciting to learn statistics and figure out why the numbers went the way they did.
RN: What motivates and keeps you going?
JH: Getting paid. Real deal right there. I don’t think I’m alone on this. I’m not rich but I can turn a profit so that keeps me in the game. I’m doing something I love so its not necessarily about a HUGE payoff but I do need something.
RN: What is your favorite part of T&T?
JH: Doing the art direction for shoots is fun. Being able to influence someone’s career and future. That is really cool. I like to meet new people and help work on portfolios and magazine work. I have helped people book work with my styling. There are times when [my] advice gets people on track. I have inspired people to change their lives positively. Its about creation that people can use. I love that.
RN: Least favorite part?
JH: The slow months [in] retail. I get more sleep in though.
RN: What was a major highlight of the last 12 months?
JH: Producing my company calendar. It took months upon months to produce due to tweaking, edits and scheduling. To finally see the finish product, I was ecstatic.
RN: How has 2012 gone so far? Most exciting, or fun project of the past 5 months?
JH: 2012 is flying by. Not sure if that’s good or bad. The most fun shoot I had was with a model named Brittany Raye. We shot using different light techniques than I’d used before. I pulled out an outfit that worked once before and redid it in a way that surpassed the first try.
RN: What projects have you got coming up this summer?
JH: Its time to start shooting my next 2 calendars. [Choosing what the] content will be is interesting. That’s always a surprise!
RN: What advice/encouragement would you lend to someone considering a start in fashion/styling/merchandising or pursuing any creative-business endeavor in Brooklyn?
JH: My advice is before you do anything, do something. Research what you like then intern or get a job in that field first before committing whole life to it. Granted, you can always change paths but sometimes its better to travel with a “map”. I say get in with the community. They will help you. They will support you if you support them. You get more out of things with a good foundation of like-minded individuals.