Through the power of social media, we were able to connect with fashion designer Haley Solar of JUNIM LA. The Los Angeles native posted a photo of her Klipsch Heresy speakers on Instagram, tagging Klipsch, and grabbing our attention.
Not only were her speakers beautiful, but her clothing was equally spectacular. The 32-year-old started her fashion label, JUNIM LA, about four years ago, making women’s clothing in the Los Angeles area.
We reached out via Instagram and Solar enthusiastically responded. She is becoming quite the audiophile, pairing her Klipsch Heresy speakers with a Scott 299c integrated tube amp and a Thorens TD-160 turntable with a Grado Labs Sonato cartridge.
It turns out that her newfound passion stems from her boyfriend, Zach Cowie. Cowie is close friends with Elijah Wood, whom we have also made friends with through social media, building his Klipsch system as well as many others throughout the L.A. area.
Solar was kind enough to do a Q&A with The Klipsch Joint about this random (but awesome) connection, her burgeoning fashion label, the challenges of running her own business and what lies ahead.
How did it all get started?
Some crazy idea I had with my friend… we were going to make accessories out of vintage finds and start selling them at craft fairs on the weekends. As we were developing the idea, I just kept adding apparel and removing the accessories. JUNIM started evolving into a dress line and my business partner lost interest. When I was ready to quit my job with only $1000 in the bank. I used it all to pay for my collection and space at a trade show. I just closed my eyes, said a little prayer and a few stores picked up the line!
What have been the biggest challenges?
Trying to navigate a business that is changing daily. The digital world has made connecting with companies and customers so much easier, but it also produces challenges. It's a fast-fashion world and Junim is definitely not that. We are local and hand made, that's what makes us special.
What’s the number one thing you would tell someone who is trying to follow in your footsteps?
Don't take anything too seriously and surround yourself with good people.
What are your inspirations for your designs?
Touch! If find a fabric and I love the way it feels...it's in the collection no mater what.
How does music shape your work?
Music shapes my work in every way. It's what keeps me calm, gets me moving and sets the tone of each day.
Where is JUNIM LA headed?
We are opening up our studio space to customers, not just for shopping, but also for listening to records, hanging out, drinking coffee, socializing, etc. We are tapping into what makes the line special and going back to our roots of why we love this business. We are hoping to open up a retail location in the next year with the same love and warmth we have at home.
If you could bottle up the sound of the city of LA, what would it be like?
It would be a mix tape with new contributors each day.
What was the first album you bought with your own money?
Phil Collins, Face Value. I still stand by this choice.
What are your musical tastes and who inspired them?
My boyfriend is my biggest influence for sure. He is the most curious music maniac I could ever imagine. He doesn't just show you what's good, he takes you on a tailor made journey.
What song are you playing on repeat right now?
Buzzin Fly - Tim Buckley
What’s the story behind your Klipsch Heresy speakers?
Again, I have to hand this one over to my boyfriend. He couldn't hang at my house without a good system. He is the most insane record collector I know and is OBSESSED with Klipsch! He built my system, Elijah Wood's and pretty much every other audio geeks’ system in L.A. He ONLY buys Klipsch and spends most days polishing his Klipschorns :)
How would you describe their sound?
Warm, clean, perfect.
What are your friends/customers/clients impressions of your Klipschorns?
My favorite is when they get really pissed off, like, "THIS is what music is supposed to sound like? How have I been cheated for so long?"
What does quality sound mean to you?
It's a connection that I thought I lost. When I learned what good sound truly is, it's like I woke up knowing an entirely new language and it gave me back that feeling I had when I first fell in love with music.
Learn more about Haley Solar and her women's clothing line at www.junimla.com