Growing up, Yifat Jovani was told her passion for fashion could never be anything more than a hobby. It wasn’t until she immigrated to Canada 10 years ago that she decided to forget the naysayers and turn her hobby into a viable business.
Recently, Jovani moved her home-based company into a studio on Hastings Street near Gamma Avenue. The NOW dropped by to check it out and hear what Jovani has planned for the future of her fashion design company.
Tell me about yourself, how did you get started in fashion?
In 2008, I launched the business. It’s something that I always loved to do since I was a child. I used to make my dolls some clothes with my mom’s old fabric she didn’t use anymore, so that’s how it start (sic). My dad came from a background where for him, art was supposed to be just a hobby and not any more. … I took graphic design and drawing and what not, but all the time I had my dad (saying), ‘You can’t do it, you can’t do it,’ and then finally, I’m like, ‘You know what? That’s what I want to do.’ … I studied in Tel Aviv. And then I came here, and I finally had the courage.
In general, the business is clothing for real women – that’s the slogan. When I’m designing, I’m like, ‘OK, I want the woman to feel beautiful, I want her to feel happy because I know when I’m going to wear something, I want something that’s going to make me happy, and make me feel beautiful and powerful and feminine. … I believe when we feel comfortable with what we wear is when we feel confident to do whatever we want.
As well, my line is casual but with a touch for evening wear. … You can wear it from daytime going to the office and then at night with different accessories, go out for cocktails or party or dinner or something.
What keeps you going?
It’s my passion. If I wasn’t doing it I think I would be miserable. It just makes me happy. I really love to create women’s clothing.
What does success look like to you?
What is success? It’s like all the time to look forward to do more. I’m happy where I am now, but I have big dreams. I want to go further, I want to go international. This is part of my plan. … I’m very ambitious. I’m not afraid. I’d like to be a worldwide designer and touch a lot of women and make them happy.
Why did you choose Burnaby for your studio?
I live in Burnaby, just a half-block from here. It just makes sense to me.
How long have you lived in Burnaby?
Five years now.
When did you immigrate to Canada?
Over 10 years ago. Before we used to live in Vancouver on Commercial Drive, and then five years ago, we moved to Burnaby, and we love it. It’s really nice and family-oriented and friendly.
What’s next for you?
I really want to focus to go international.
For more information about Jovani and her business, check out her website at www.yifatjovani.com.
This interview has been edited for length and grammar.