Musings on style & entrepreneurship — plus a few tidbits of wisdom she’s learned along the way.
JoAnna Hartzmark never set out to be an entrepreneur — until, that is, she found herself sitting in her West Village apartment, staring at the computer trying to figure out how to address the “ridiculous inconsistencies in women’s clothing sizing.”
So she created Revelle, an online platform to make women everywhere feel beautiful every single day by helping them find clothes that ACTUALLY fit — not by making them shop more.
Below, JoAnna opens up about her style evolution (punk rock high school phase included) and the ~life lessons~ she’s learned along the way.
If you had to describe your current style, and you only had the length of a Tweet to do it, what would you say?
I’m just as likely to be caught wearing studded combat boots as I am to be donning a pink cashmere sweater (ok, it’s probably purple because #Revelle). I don’t let rules or labels tie me down. Ever.
Who’s your style icon?
Zendaya. She has no fear in her style and somehow always looks fierce and flawless. I bow down.
One piece of clothing you can’t live without?
My grandmother’s silk white button-down blouse — I only inherited it recently after she passed, but it’s quickly become my can’t-live-without-it closet staple. It’s an oversized button-down and can be styled in so many different ways, and it reminds me of my grandmother whenever I wear it. She was a beautiful, stylish woman who lived in a different era of fashion, and I love feeling like I’m bringing a bit of that back to life when I wear this shirt.
In your opinion, what’s one underrated trend?
I’ve long been convinced that bodysuits are significantly underrated! They reemerged as a trend a few years back, and I think a lot of brands did them a disservice in making them appear inaccessible to many body shapes through their marketing (although of course there aren’t nearly enough inclusive options out there!!). To me, a bodysuit is a staple, because it’s so versatile. It transcends seasons and occasions, with plenty of options for basics or more dressy, that can easily be layered when it gets cold out. Justice for bodysuits!
What’s one fleeting fashion trend from childhood that you *regret* embracing? (no judgment)
Soffe shorts! I wore them nonstop, pairing them with oversized t-shirts stolen from one of my brothers’ closets. Luckily I don’t have too many pictures from those days, but I cringe just thinking about what I considered “style” back then. WHAT was I thinking?!
Take us through your style evolution!
My style evolution started with me stealing my older brothers’ clothes, so I certainly would have qualified as a tomboy in middle school. I was so determined to wear their clothes that I cut finger holes into my oldest brother’s long-sleeved shirts so that I could wear them without having to hike up the sleeves. I’m surprised he ever forgave me for massacring his wardrobe.
Once I reached high school I fully embraced the emo/punk rock persona, complete with dying my hair crazy temporary colors every few days to go with my outfits (it’s hard to tell, but my hair is technically dark purple in my drivers’ license photo from when I was 16).
I toned things down in college, but elements of my wardrobe have always been inspired by menswear and oversized looks. Now that I’m a full-fledged adult (I think?), I’m way more experimental in my style and willing to try anything, but my go-to looks tend to veer towards a classic-yet-edgy vibe.
If you could go back in time and tell your middle school self something, what would it be?
Stop wasting even a second of your time thinking about what other people think! People are far too preoccupied with themselves, so probably aren’t thinking about you much at all (sorry, it’s true) — and even if they are, the only opinion that matters is your own.
Where do you hope the retail world will be in 5-10 years? What do you desperately want to change? How will it look different?
Obliterate the size chart! People are slowly starting to accept that this supposed linear line of sizes is in NO WAY representative of women’s actual bodies, and I sincerely hope that in the next decade the retail industry wakes up and realizes that they have the power to do away with it for good and replace it with something *real.* I cannot wait for that day to come — and we at Revelle are doing everything in our power to make it happen even sooner.
What is it about Revelle that energies you when you get out of bed in the morning?
Thinking about the women we serve every day — both our members and our followers on Instagram, but also the incredible women behind me at team Revelle! They keep me motivated on days where I think I can’t take the pressure anymore, and the amazing feedback we get from our members fuels my passion for our mission every single day!