Raised on a cattle ranch near Butte, JLynn Hausmann has all of the trademarks of an authentic cowgirl.
Yes, she can ride. Yes, she uses her family’s cattle brand as a company logo. And yes, she loves strong, tough denim.
But her heart is in fashion design, and although it has taken her away from Boyd County, Hausmann definitely has been inspired by her Nebraska roots.
Jeans -- something she knows a lot about -- make up the majority of her first line and will be shown Friday as part of Omaha Fashion Week.
Growing up on the ranch just shy of the South Dakota border, Hausmann spent a good share of time in denim, she said in a phone interview from her California home. So did her Dad and her two brothers. Back then, Hausmann remembers often getting her denim at The Buckle, and her Dad wore Wranglers.
She knows the strength of the fabric and its durability.
“It’s authentic,” she said of the fabric. That is what she wants from her fashion line, too.
Hausmann studied design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, graduating with a degree in fashion and textiles in 2004. Additionally, she did summer coursework in London and Paris. After college, Hausmann worked at one of the industry’s most prestigious stores -- Neiman Marcus -- in Arizona, while getting her master’s degree in business administration.
With the foundation laid, Hausmann headed to Los Angeles to get her label launched. One reason she turned to denim was because it has a personal connection for her. Plus, everyone can relate to it, she said. Her first line will offer six distinct styles, which come in different washes and colors.
Each style is named after a family member, she explained. For example, the bootcut “Dolly” is named for her mother, the “Ava” for a tall cousin. The jeans will sell for about $160 a pair.
The family cattle brand is her trademarked JHaus logo -- the “J” stands for Jennifer. For even more authenticity, she used hexagonal buttons that look like a heavy-duty bolt.
Even though she lives only one-half mile from the beach, her allegiance to her hometown is strong. Hausmann likes to get back whenever possible to see her nieces and nephews and get design inspiration. And she loves to return for her favorite event, Butte Pancake Days, held annually around the Fourth of July.
Showing at Omaha’s Fashion Week on Friday is a great start for Hausmann’s first collection, she said, which is in full production.
In Nebraska, the JHaus line is being sold in Lincoln at Sunny’s Boutique and the Post and Nickel and in Omaha at the Denim Saloon and Skyz Boutique. It is set to be sold in several other stores around the country, and she is hoping to get a chance to get picked up by larger stores in the future.
A one-of-a-kind design that has caused a lot of attention is a red carpet dress that includes chicken wire in the partially backless inset. Another evening gown is made entirely from burlap.
And in the fashion world, it is never too early to get started on the next round of clothes. She’s hoping to diversify from her all-denim line, adding kids and menswear and even home decor. Look for lace, more skirts and trousers in her women’s line, she said.