Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.

This week we chat with Jacqui Hoang, founder of luxe brand, Sleeping With Jacques. What initially intended to be a sleepwear brand – as Hoang describes herself she wanted to be the “female counterpart Hugh Hefner – has turned into a truly versatile clothing label blurring the lines between sophisticated loungewear and edgy partywear.

Truly a creative at heart, Hoang, who hails from Melbourne, Australia, sat down with Emirates Woman to delve deeper into the Sleeping With Jacques ethos and how she was inspired to launch this luxury brand.

What was your favourite subject at school?

I was always a creative so art was my favourite subject, as well as art history, literature and philosophy.

What was your first job?

Retail assistant at Dangerfield, when I was 19. I was really into music festivals so it was a fun place to work for music and fashion.

What made you want to enter the world of fashion?

To make women feel good. I love dressing women and having that moment when I see that smile on her face when she likes what she sees. That gives me pure joy.

Can you talk us through the inspiration behind your brand?

After reading Laurie Penny’s Unspeakable Things, which is a book based on equality for the new world, I had this moment of “Why not be the female counterpart of Hugh Hefner?” But I know two wrongs don’t make a right, so designing Sleeping With Jacques was my way of living my best all-day in silk PJs life.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

Being a single mum, I wanted to be an example for my son showing him that you can follow your dreams at any age and at any time in your life. It was also important for me to have the flexibility so that I could be there for my son growing up. Our current society does not cultivate a strong support system for working mothers to care for children. Our society does not strongly support, celebrate and revere the mother role. I wanted to be part of the community that is creating a culture and work environment that is.

What are the key elements of your role?

Maintaining the ethos of the brand in every aspect of what we do, with nurturing our community and partnerships and exploring new concepts and ideas. Also staying on the pulse of what’s important in our community by always learning and educating myself so that we can make sure that we are actively involved and supporting our values.

Talk us through your daily routine.

I woke up early this morning and meditated, then went for a walk through my local park, bought a bomboloni and had it with some fresh OJ down at my local deli before starting the day with my beautiful team at the SWJ HQ. I will be going to see a show tonight with some friends that is part of the Melbourne comedy festival and will go for dinner in the city after that.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

I believe our purpose in life is to discover our gift and share it with the world. There are 2 sayings that defined how I grew up: do what you love and you will never work a day in your life, the second being; you have two hands: one to help yourself and another to help others which has shaped this belief.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.” – Willy Wonka.

And what is the worst?

That you can’t have dessert for breakfast. I love living my best Italian life.

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

For me, the biggest challenge is starting. Though, once I started I had the most incredible support from my friends and family which helped launch the brand to go gangbusters. I was struggling to keep up whilst at the same time looking after my son, my stepson, my household and the business whilst being a single mother. This time of my life opened my eyes to the struggles women faced. Mothers. Single mothers. Businesswomen. Business mothers. These women continue to define the intention behind Sleeping with Jacques.

What are the future plans for your brand?

I’m super excited to launch our latest collection titled: PLAY. During the time of creating this PLAY; it was a reminder for me of why I am a creative. I believe “We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams,” a quote by Willy Wonka which for me defines what it means to be a creative so for this collection I wanted to create escapism, a reflection of what we need in our current time – some joy and laughter. During a zeitgeist where the world feels so heavy, as a creative in the fashion community, I felt inspired to bring forth some joy, some lightness and some frivolity when we need it most.

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Images: Supplied