When Logan Brown was a 1L at Harvard Law School and preparing for an interview, she realized she needed something to wear that would make her look the part. She went shopping for a pantsuit but had trouble finding anything that was both professional and practical. Hearing the same concerns from her colleagues, Brown decided to solve the problem and launched Spencer Jane, a clothing line that specializes in formal yet comfortable apparel for women attorneys. Brown is a native of Lawrence, Kansas, and interned with Scott Douglass McConnico in Austin after her 1L year. She will be returning to Scott Douglass McConnico as in intern this summer.
What led you to launch Spencer Jane?
During my first year of law school, I went out to purchase a pantsuit in preparation for my first round of legal interviews. Like every other time in my life, it was an ordeal. I couldn’t find anything that made me feel confident and was comfortable. I asked my friends where they shopped for professional clothing, and they shared my frustration. That’s when I realized this was a common problem. Originally, I was going to write an article about the time women spend searching for professional clothing. I created a survey asking women about their experience purchasing and wearing pantsuits. The survey ended up getting filled out by over 2,000 women. After reading through the responses, I started working on Spencer Jane. I want to support women chasing their dreams and build a community.
Spencer Jane is named after my grandparents. I grew up in Kansas, spending time on the family farm. I am inspired by their perseverance through setbacks, their ability to create opportunities, and their commitment to supporting their community. I want Spencer Jane to represent women supporting women to turn dreams into a reality.
How did you go about getting the company started and what research did you do beforehand?
I have always appreciated high-quality clothing and definitely believe that what I wear can impact how I feel. However, I did not have a background in clothing design, manufacturing, or retail. To get started, I read every relevant book I could find, listened to thousands of podcasts, and spoke with everyone I could. I did informational interviews with professional women to learn about their preferences and habits. I reached out to professors and utilized university resources to set up the business. I also connected with industry experts on LinkedIn. When I was encountering a new challenge, I would search for people on LinkedIn and ask if we could set up a quick phone call. I asked a lot of questions, and I am grateful for all the people that took the time to help me. I was also able to work with a photographer (Ryan Strong) and a factory that were willing to help me through the process.
How did you go about getting a factory to make Spencer Jane clothing? What was that process like? Where do you get materials, etc.?
I could not be more excited about Spencer Jane’s factory. We work with a luxury factory in Italy that also produces garments for Gucci, Moncler, and other luxury brands. I was fascinated by the fabric options and made it my top priority to find a comfortable, high-quality fabric. I found a pair of pants made out of the perfect fabric and used informational interviews to figure out the fabric’s manufacturer. The fabric company was able to connect me with a factory and they helped me refine the design. We tested a few designs and fabrics before everything was perfect.
How do you decide what clothing to make?
I knew that I wanted to start with pantsuits! I spent most of 2019 perfecting the pantsuit’s design. We were planning to begin production in March 2020. However, our factory shut down and pant sales dropped to an all-time low. I decided to put Spencer Jane on pause and see how the needs of women changed. I did more informational interviews and tweaked the blazer a bit. We decided to launch with the Quarantine Collection featuring our blazer, a pair of sweatpants, and a mask. It features our Ultimate Work-From-Home Blazer, which is machine-washable, stretchy, and comfortable. Our sweats are made from recycled water bottles. It’s the perfect collection for 2021.
Did you have any background in business? Was business something you focused on in undergrad?
I majored in human and organizational development at Vanderbilt University. I didn’t plan on starting a business but the degree definitely helped me think about setting up the company. I was able to reconnect with many of my Vanderbilt professors and advisers. They provided valuable advice and direction. I have also been able to cross-enroll in courses at Harvard Business School and take relevant courses at Harvard Law School. Both have been instrumental in the formation of Spencer Jane.
What was the first product that you launched? Why was it the first?
We launched with the Ultimate Work-From-Home Blazer to meet the current needs of women. I want women to wear our blazer, but more importantly, I want women to do what they love in our blazers. I care about speaking to potential customers, learning their pain points, and making sure Spencer Jane meets their needs. I learned that women wanted something comfortable but professional. As the world returns to a little bit more normal, women want to keep the comfort they have become accustomed to in quarantine. The blazer is designed to be comfortable enough for the couch but stylish enough for the boardroom.
How do you manage running a clothing company and going to law school?
It has not been easy! I have been able to bring Spencer Jane into many of my classes. It has been fun to directly apply what I am learning in law school to Spencer Jane. My professors at Harvard Business School have gone above and beyond to ensure the coursework is helpful. Beyond converging Spencer Jane and school, I try to schedule out my week, stay off social media, and use the Ivy Lee Method.
What are your plans for Spencer Jane after graduation? Would you focus solely on that company or do you plan on also pursuing a law career? Possibly working legal for Spencer Jane as well as being the founder?
I am not sure what my plan is after graduation! I am enjoying building Spencer Jane and I am also enjoying law school. Through the creation of Spencer Jane, I have been able to meet so many incredible women attorneys. Hearing about their jobs and careers makes me excited for my future.
What is your target group for the clothing?
I am focusing on launching with women in the legal profession. Eventually, I hope to expand to all professional women.
For more about Spencer Jane, go to spencerjane.com.