Nicole Bach was born out of witnessing a gap in the market for suiting and wanting to change that with a service tailored to women. The founders Jasmine Janowski (pictured left), Oksana Ringsma (pictured right) and John Chao (not pictured) came together while working for a luxury retail banner, after discovering they shared similar experiences seeing the obstacles women face. The collection of backgrounds in sales, business and styling between all three founders set the foundation for this concept. The core goal for Nicole Bach is to provide a solution for the growing market of professional women that need access to tailored garments. All garments are manufactured in Canada, from patterns drafted in-house, with a fabric selection curated from mills in Europe.
My first job was…
Jasmine — In retail, I worked at Dynamite as a sales associate.
Oksana — Technically it was working at a barn cleaning, but my first company employment was at a gas station when I was 15.
John — Scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins. It was the summer the first Sony PlayStation console came out and I wanted one bad. My parents told me if I wanted one, I was going to have to pay for it myself.
My proudest accomplishment is…
Jasmine — I’ve struggled with generalized anxiety my whole life, and I’m proud of new things every day for how I can push myself to new places and still live a full life.
Oksana — Starting Nicole Bach. There has been a lot of time and energy put into making a vision a reality, and getting to this point has been a big step for me and my partners.
John — I had a position as a recruiter at one of the Big4 accounting firms out of university. Early on in my career affirmation from legitimate organizations gave me the confidence to try hard things.
My boldest move to date was…
Jasmine — Taking a risk with my career and leaving fashion for a completely new role in pharmaceutical sales. I was looking to expand my experience into more relationship building roles as an account manager. I left something I was really passionate about so I could diversify my experience.
Oksana — Leaving a path with a company I was comfortable with to start in a new industry. I chose to explore the unknown, and that turned out to be a pivotal decision in my life that worked out for the best.
John — Starting this company. Most times, something really worth doing also requires a big price and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to anyone else. I knew I wanted to start a business that would help people.
My biggest setback was…
Jasmine — Myself. I’ve doubted myself and had a hard time believing in myself. I have been my own biggest setback because a lot of opportunities and experiences are hindered by my own anxieties and fears.
Oksana — A lot of my career has been sales-focused because it’s something that came naturally to me and the flexible hours meant I could work full-time while I was completing my degree. I didn’t realize that decision would have me so typecast as just a salesperson and how limiting that would be. I struggled after graduating to get recognized as more than that, and it really made me reconsider the direction I wanted to go in.
I overcame it by…
Jasmine — This is an issue that I am working on every single day to improve. I cannot say that I have completely overcome it, but what I can say is that I am always working on new ways to step out of my comfort zone. Self-care has been a large contributing factor in my journey.
Oksana — Using my experience with people and relationship-building to set the foundation for my own business.
“Stay true to yourself, because the right people will appreciate you for who you are.”
I got into women’s suiting because…
John — There was a blatant hole in the market and it felt like other people didn’t think it was profitable enough to try, even though the need was clearly there. Last year, after 5 generations of master tailors, the first-ever female master tailor opened her door on Savile Row where the world’s most famous men’s custom suiting boutiques are. She did it because she believed that women should also have access to services provided to men, not because she could run a profit or become famous. This is also why Nicole Bach was started.
A good suit …
Jasmine — Can be anything you want it to be because I believe women should have the freedom to express themselves through their clothing.
Oksana —Makes you feel confident and powerful. That can look many different ways, but for me, it means a good shoulder pad, functional pockets and breathable fabric.
John — Makes you stand a little taller, smile a little brighter, and feel like you can take on whatever you put your mind to.
If I had five extra hours in the day I would …
Jasmine — Sleep. That’s how I recharge.
John — Invest it in people. Our society is quite broken and I’m just one person. However, if I can spend time with people who care to make a difference and help them grow to reach their potential, then I’ll have a part in helping resolve many issues that need attending.
The best part of what I do is…
Jasmine — It’s connecting with people and helping women live up to their true potential.
The most challenging part of what I do is…
Oksana — We’re in a niche market and help women shop differently than they’re used to. There is a lot of educating involved and the sales cycle is longer than traditional off the rack retailers. There are also very few influencers and market leaders to look to, so we’ve had to really trust our own instincts.
The worst professional advice I ever recieved was…
Jasmine — A lot of people thought I should follow the same career as my mother because that was the easy answer.
Oksana — To get a desk job to pay my bills and live for hobbies on the weekend.
“A good suit makes you feel confident and powerful. That can look many different ways, but for me, it means a good shoulder pad, functional pockets and breathable fabric.”
My greatest advice from a mentor was…
Jasmine — Stay true to yourself, because the right people will appreciate you for who you are.
Oksana — No one owes you anything, so work hard and prove your value.
John — Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. I’m not great at a lot of things, but I’m proficient in a few things and when I put effort into something, there’s a positive result. I stay humble and stay willing to learn.
If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be…
Jasmine — A strong passion for the fashion industry. When it’s your hobby in real life, it’s easy to develop it into a career. Also, having a network of people in my life that support my goals.
Oksana — A thick skin.
John — Think about things before asking people questions. You don’t know what you don’t know, but if you show that you’ve put in the effort to problem solve, then people are much more likely to go above and beyond to help you.
If you googled me you still wouldn’t know…
Jasmine — That I used to be very gothic.
Oksana — That fine art was and still is a pretty big part of my life. I draw and paint and at one time went to an art school because I thought I wanted to pursue a career in the arts.
The future excites me because…
Jasmine — I’m excited to see the growth potential for both myself and my business.
Oksana — I have big goals for myself, and so far every year has brought many opportunities and surprises that I couldn’t have imagined, so I’m excited to see what the world has in store for me.
John — this is a totally new territory and I feel like we’re able to make some serious impact. This is not about us getting famous or rich, it’s about inspiring people to do the right thing and help others and hopefully, they will also follow suit.