Women of Pasadena: Jamie Haller

After two decades shaping Los Angeles’ laid-back look as a fashion designer for local brands EVER and NSF, Jamie Haller took advantage of the pandemic lockdown to pursue new creative passions. Whether it’s working on her eponymous shoe line or restoring historic homes, Haller discusses her unconventional workdays.

What surprised you about working in the fashion industry?

Even though most of fashion is populated by women, the industry—especially the denim world—is a boys’ club, so you’re working around a bunch of men. Not everyone takes direction well from a woman, so you have to figure out how to best communicate without ruffling the structure.

How does this skill translate on your other projects?

Construction sites are also full of men. I really had to learn how to work with people on everybody’s different levels.

You launched your shoe collection during the pandemic. Did that shift the dynamic?

I’m fairly new to the shoe industry, so I’ve just got my head down and am doing my thing. After not traveling during lockdown, I finally went to Italy last summer and met the people I had already been working with for a year and a half. It was exciting to meet them in person.

What is your typical workday?

I have two kids, so I’m like a pinball, all over the place. I try to spend one or two days in the office, but I might also be on jobsites or in my warehouse packing shoes and filling orders. I’m typically going from 6:45 in the morning until midnight, but I’m spending time with my family in that time—going to gymnastics, soccer, and school with the kids.

What prompted the switch from fashion to interior designer?

In 2012, my husband and I bought income property as a personal investment plan. Duplexes and triplexes were our retirement strategy. All of a sudden, I was restoring these income properties as a hobby. My introduction to Craftsman style was when we bought our 1905 Craftsman in Angelino Heights. We had to carefully gut and restore it and I fell in love with that process.

What brought you to Pasadena?

There are a lot of Craftsman homes in Pasadena, so I get a lot of people asking me for help here. I appreciate a town that celebrates historical homes.

What’s next for you?

For my shoe line, I wanted really cool, beautiful, comfortable shoes that go from day to night and dressy to casual and look good all the time. From October to March, I wear my penny loafers every day, but I’m coming out with new sandals for spring that I’m really excited about.

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