The Evans Group CEO,
Jennifer Evans, has spent over 15
years leading and developing new practices within the garment industry.
Born to a family of conscientious
entrepreneurs, Jennifer knew early she was destined to forge her own path
in her field of choice, but couldn’t have guessed then that high fashion
would be her vehicle to do so.
For four years, Jennifer worked as Director of
Development for Marta Kappl Couture in San Francisco. While in that
position, she sought high-quality workmanship for the designer's custom
pieces. To find it, she moved to New York to lead the acquisition of
couture and tailoring facilities, where she learned the unique processes
of creating high-end apparel and, with a nod to her future, learned the
needs of the workers in the industry.
With a deep desire to
contribute her energy toward creating substantive change in people’s
lives, Jennifer branched out to the non-profit sector, ultimately spending
four years as Director of Development at the International Academy of
Irvine, (CA). Combining her background in fashion with her learned
understanding of how to address social issues through training and
education, she created a social enterprise program aimed at training
garment workers from mass-production factories to sew high-end clothing in
small volumes, serving independent designers. The program,
originally intended as a fundraising measure for the school, was inundated
almost overnight with orders. Unwittingly, Jennifer had sewn the seeds of
The Evans Group.
The needs of the garment
industry workers Jennifer met in New York years before informed her
process, and so the tenets of the Evans Group have included, since the
beginning, a circle of commerce and contribution through domestic work
that includes year-round, living-wage jobs and education for employees.
With these principles in mind, Jennifer set up her own independent shop in
8’ x 40’ of space, (a standard shipping
container, actually!), in Laguna Beach, California, and got to work.
Demand for TEG’s high
quality, and support for its sustainable practices, grew quickly. To date
they have served over 300 independent designers, both emerging and
established, and created over 40 new industry jobs, paying a living wage.
February 2010 brought the launch of The Factory, an
unrestricted retail space in the SoMa area of San Francisco. While
functioning as a kiosk for The Evans Group's development services for Bay
Area-based designers, The Factory also produces an eponymous in-house
label in order to keep seamstresses working in between the high seasons of
the traditional fashion world. With innovative events that engage large
swaths of local fashion industry creatives, Jennifer plans to duplicate
The Factory model in cities around the country.
Throughout the years, Jennifer’s faithful golden
retriever and company mascot, Jack, her beloved family and friends,
international travel, active lifestyle, and the frequent dinner party,
have kept her at once sane and continuously inspired.