Underneath the layers of Jay Honey

Photography by Jon Moore

Jay Honey: a graphic, bright and meaningful clothing brand representing those who don’t want to be singularly defined. Founder Kadi Miller attended Herron School of Art and Design and has always dreamed of creating her own clothing brand. Only two months have passed since launching her brand, and Miller has received amazing support and is looking forward to rolling out the next phase.

What is Jay Honey?
Jay Honey is a clothing brand I started that is for people who refuse to be singularly defined. I felt like a lot of fashion brands tend to market to one type of person or try to define the customer by one set of words. With Jay Honey I wanted it to be for people who aren’t so easily defined and who like to try a bunch of different styles, because that’s how I am.

Where did you come up with your brands tagline, “those who don’t want to be singularly defined?”
I don’t know exactly where the term “singularly defined” came from for me, but I’ve always been interested in people who do a bunch of different things. I never grew up as an artistic kid, I was very much into sports. I really wasn’t into the arts until later on in life, really until I went to college. Essentially it represents people who maybe seem one way but have all of these other things about them. I really think that’s how everyone is. You can look at someone and think they’re one way but when you get to know them you find out there’s all these other layers to their life. That’s really what I’m trying to express.

Did anyone inspire you to start your brand?
All the women in my family inspired me. The name, Jay Honey, came from my mom and grandma. My mom’s middle name is Jayne, so I took Jay from that. My grandma’s middle name is Honey, so Jay Honey! The logo is a bee with a fingerprint. I wanted it to be a personalized thing. It’s not my fingerprint but just for anyone who wears my designs, I want it to feel personal to them.

Where did it click that you wanted to start your own line?
I’ve been wanting to for a really long time, probably since I was in high

school, but I could never figure out how I could actually make it happen. So I just started searching and searching and I finally found a website that allows me to print by order, instead of having to have inventory of sweatshirts. So that made it possible for me to get my business started. I had no idea what the demand would be and if I did have to place an order, where I should even start with that.

Are you running the brand by yourself?
Yes! It’s a lot but it’s fun because I’m getting to learn every part of it. Like photography, how to build a website, how to connect with shipping and all that good stuff. It’s been a good learning experience and it’s not actually my full time job. I’m an art teacher at Center Grove High School. That’s my day job and this is what I do when I get home. I take inspiration from a lot of things, images and experiences that people share. Some of the designs, like the pink sweatshirt, are fun and silly, but others are more like the feeling of home, dreaming of the future and things I think all people think about. I want to create a cool design that looks good but also has a layer of meaning behind it.

Do your students approve?
Yes they do! That’s how I really know the designs are good because they would tell me if it was crazy. A couple of them have worn my designs. It’s very sweet. My students are great motivators because a lot of them are so set on what they want to become. Even with their style and how they portray themselves at school. They’re just so bold and fearless with that and I love that.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve designed?
I think the pink sweatshirt. It’s fun and that’s one I really didn’t plan out at all. I was just sitting in my office, looking at images and listening to music and it happened organically.

What’s the theme for your new collection?
It’s a pairing of images with text that play on each other. When you put them together it makes you think about the real message behind it.

How long does the process take from beginning to end?
The ideas are so different, some I have right away, and some I play around with for weeks at a time. Once I have the idea, I send it off to the printer and that takes about two and a half weeks for me to get a sample back. Once I get the sample, I spend a couple of weeks taking photos. Right now I’m in the process of finding other people to model them so I don’t have to all the time! All in all, it probably takes me three to four weeks to get a design done.

The next phase I want to do is find people who exemplify the idea and have them model them so I can include part of their story in the design.

What would be your dream item to design?
I would love to design a whole collection, like from shoes to accessories; a full outfit. Right now I have some accessories, some beanies and bags. Just to be able to sew everything and make it from scratch would be amazing. I’m definitely self-taught when it comes to sewing.

Be sure to follow Jay Honey on Instagram to preview her new collection and shop her designs on her website!