Up Close and Personal With Jennifer

As many may have heard, we have recently launched our shop name, MaRKET ASSEMBLY. Our name reinforces our story, our purpose. We love empowering ladies and encouraging others to do the same. It's no joke running a business, a shop, and for some of us also running a household too - raising up our next generation! We wanted to create or _aSSEMBLE stories from our community of ladies in hopes to inspire all of us to keep going, growing, doing, enjoying and evolving our purpose + our life's work. After all, us boss ladies are better together, right?!?

We hope you become part of MaRKET ASSEMBLY and enjoy what we have for our first ever series; "UN_aSSEMBLED: Up Close and Personal With Jennifer Lapka"

UN_aSSEMBLED // 001: Jennifer Lapka

Jennifer Lapka, Founder of RightFully Sewn, is one of poise, class and integrity. So many are inspired by watching her and her team. Rightfully Sewn is changing the landscape of Kansas City. Their efforts do not go un-noticed. She's made a big impact on growing the local manufacturing community. She's an advocate for social change, fair wages, and connecting our local community with big names like Carbon 38! But through all of her growth, she remains humble, real and full of grace. 

We thought what a better way to launch a new series than to start with her. She encourages the "lady boss" in all of us. We have _aSSEMBLED a list of questions from some of her dearest friends! We hope you enjoy her answers as much as we did!

  1. What was your biggest motivation in starting your business? I have always been fortunate to be surrounded by people who are passionate about helping others. Growing up, I watched my mother and grandmother serve strong roles in their communities, and as an adult I worked for the late Henry Bloch who was raised to understand, "As soon as you have three meals a day, it's time to help the next person."
  2. What was the one thing that you struggled with most and how did you overcome it? I used to be a shy, super-diplomatic person who was afraid to speak my mind for fear of being perceived as a "dumb blonde" or offending anyone else's sensibilities. Over time, I realized I had to empower myself so that I might help empower others. I believe in equality, pro-choice, immigration, and many other highly-political topics. There is only one way to overcome a shortcoming, and that is practice. I practice speaking my mind every day in front of my staff, on public panels, on TV shows, in magazine interviews, and more. Each experience informs the next.  
  3. How do you overcome adversity? Through communication, understanding, and compromise. There are always multiple sides to every story, every argument, every war. It is important to take the time to talk with all sides, be empathic to their views, and then develop a plan that demonstrates compromise. 
  4. What do you feel was a transformational experience in your life? Growing up, I was very close to my maternal grandmother and grandfather. So much so, when I was 11, I lived with them for a summer to help my grandmother take care of my grandfather who had just come home after going through brain surgery. He was bed-ridden and so took care of everything for him. If was incredibly formative, emotional, and humbling for all of us. They are both gone now, and I miss them terribly. They were educators by trade, well-loved by their community, and a huge part of who I am.
  5. Most valued piece of advice you've received? In turn, most valuable advice you've given? Jane Chu who was CEO of the Kauffman Center when I worked there told me once: "Jennifer, don't let perfection prevent progress." That was so helpful, I share it often with other entrepreneurs. You have to get something out there, let people react to it, then make it better. 
  6. Favorite way to unwind? I am a huge proponent of working out. Personal training, cardio, yoga, barre, spin. Give me a great teacher who shares my taste in music and voila! I am focused, energetic, happy, and ready for what's next. 
  7. Most irrational fear? Being in a car that plunges underwater! It was a recurring dream when I was taking drivers' ed class and it's stuck with me. The cause, I'm sure: the instructor had our carload of students drive around a lake once.
  8. Most powerful or useful professional skill you've developed? The power of listening. It is imperative to be an effective leader of our team, to understand how to effectively engage people from the community with our initiative, and to navigate our organization through market changes. 
  9. Gold or silver? Both!
  10. Pleats or fringe? Both!
  11. Italian or French food? Both!
  12. Something that makes you laugh - seriously laugh? My husband. After 23 years of being together, he knows me and my sense of humor better than anyone else. 
  13. Favorite song? I can't name a favorite song...I've experienced so much amazing music throughout my life! Right now I'm stuck on the band, Christine and The Queens. Love playing them when I'm in the kitchen. My young friend, Trey, turned me onto them. 
  14. Celebrity girl people say you look like? A young Meryl Streep.
  15. Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly? Grace Kelly. I visited Monaco in 2008 where she became Princess Consort of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier. Almost 80 years after her death, shop owners still had her portrait in their windows. I know nothing of her personally, but she obviously made a lasting impression on her adopted country and its people. 

To support Rightfully Sewn read more here!

Photography by @samstownusa
Clothes by: Elk the label, Emerson Fry and Amina Hood

We will be launching these every month and if you have someone in mind let us know! Stay tuned for our next series of questions!