Art, Community and Retail at Jessie Andrews’ Tase Gallery
Talking all things art, fashion and female entrepreneurship the coolest It-Girl on the West Coast.
You might recognize Jessie Andrews from the pictures of her you saw on your Instagram Explore page; after dropping out of high school back in 2010 and heading out west to pursue what came to be a successful career in acting and modeling, she quickly became one of the coolest ‘it-girls’ in the city of Los Angeles. A decade later, at only 28 years old, she is the founder and CEO of four successful businesses, a globally sought-after photographer, innovative designer and fashion week front row mainstay. But all of that was not enough for Jessie’s driven, entrepreneurial spirit.
Today marks the launch of her newest project dubbed Tase Gallery — an LA-based art space that combines the future of community, art and retail. Open to the public, the gallery will house a strong lineup of installations from notable creatives like Ganna Bogdan and Hugo Comte, as well as a shoppable experience for Jessie’s multiple brands.
The product from labels including celeb-approved Bagatiba jewelry, Basic Swim and Jeu Illimite will flow through the installations and allow the customer to interact with the product, serving as an in-person shopping experience and launch platform for collections. There is a clearly palpable LA cool-girl vibe flowing through the gallery space: mid-century modern furniture with pieces from USM Haller, Wassily Chairs, Hans Wegner Flag Chair, Poul Kjaerholm chairs and custom design desk & tables all dish up an extra dose of inspiration and art to the gallery’s visitors.
To celebrate and honor the launch, we spoke with Jessie about her personal relationship with all things art and fashion, as well as what being a female entrepreneur is like in this day and age. Spoiler alert: there will be some helpful advice for all the budding female entrepreneurs out there, too.
Read our full interview with LA’s coolest boss babe below:
V MAGAZINE Congrats on your new gallery opening! How long has this project been ‘in the works’?
JESSIE ANDREWS Thank you! I did a case study pop-up in 2019 to see if people wanted to shop my brands since we only sell online. I recreated my studio in a store and showcased our products a little different than normal retail would. People loved it. I loved it. I’m different. I want the shopping experience or how people see my products to be different. About a year ago, I had this idea to combine my love of fashion and art, and to display fashion like art — so the ‘retail gallery’ concept was born.
V You are also a founder and CEO of four successful businesses, including the celebrity-approved brands Bagatiba and Basic Swim. How has that informed your working on this art space that combines the future of community, art and retail (if at all)?
JA I think being able to create fashion that people love and wear is an art form in itself. It means I have taste; if my product was ugly and bad quality, no celeb would want to wear it and people wouldn’t respect what I do. I surround myself with friends who have taste — so Tase will be full of things in good taste, that will then attract those who desire it.
V Imagine that I am a visitor at Tase Gallery — walk me through the space!
JA You would pull up to a beautiful white building in the most coveted part of Melrose near The Row, Bottega Veneta, located directly across from Vivienne Westwood. Entering the natural light-filled space you’re greeted by a friend that will check you in a give you the low-down. “Welcome to Tase. Feel free to interact with the installations and let your mind explore the space. Please let us know if you’d like to try on or buy any of the products you see.”
You’ll take your time, take pictures and ask questions. I might be there asking how you’re doing; you might want to buy something and checkout in our office or sit in our patio area. You might want to shop our other brand on an iPad and we’ll be able to pull it for you if it isn’t out. You’ll get a Tase Gallery bag with a pen or lighter, and you’ll leave feeling inspired and full of experience.
V You say that the gallery will “allow the customer to interact and form an emotional connection to pieces” — how so?
JA Rather than walking into a store, flipping through a rack and buying something, we offer an experience that will help you build a connection with the product. Take the hand scanner, for instance: your eye catches a beautiful grid of black images on the wall of scanned hands layered with jewelry, which gives you visual stimulation and intrigue. You can choose a piece of jewelry right underneath it to wear, then scan your own hand. The jewelry you choose and the way you place your hand brings your own creativity into the process. Then your image will come out and you’ll be able to take it home with you! You’ve just built a physical and emotional connection with the product you put on — it was part of your experience and if you buy this product, then you also have a story to tell everyone else about it!
V The gallery will also introduce Hugo Comte’s new book and photo show — a big name in fashion photography and production. How did this partnership come about?
JA The gallery is opening with my installations called ‘This is Tase’ — an introduction of what a retail gallery is and what Tase stands for. Hugo is the first show outside of the rotating installations I’ll be doing in between exhibitions.
I’ve known Hugo for a few years now, and I’ve always wanted to work with him on something. When he told me about the book, I said we should do something at Tase — big prints, signed books, but, most importantly, give people the experience of seeing his images that are so attention-to-detail without any pollution. Pollution as in the ‘comment, like, promote, ad buttons’ on Instagram, or not on an iPhone screen. I told him what my vision is for Tase was, and he loved it!
V Tell us about the future collaborations you have lined up with your friends & creative accomplices over the next few months — I’ve heard Ganna Bogdan, Claude Home and Gordon Winarick will be involved, too. 🙂
JA I have a Rolodex of amazing creative friends that I want to do something with! Benjamin Edgar from the Object Company.; Jet Leparti, a 22-year-old painter from Georgia; Nadia Lee Cohen, who just released her first book called ‘Woman’, which I was in; Ganna is a multi-media artist who will bring music, art & movement into the space.
Gordon Winarick is a painter that has already shown his first collection at Tase pre-opening to private clients. Maggie from Claude Home has impeccable taste in mid-century furniture, she’s going to curate her own section at Tase! I can go on and on, but everyone will just have to sign up to our mailing list to see what’s next!
V Have you always had an interest in all things art & fashion? It seems like you are very driven and have a strong entrepreneurial spirit also — at what point did you decide to build businesses based on your interests and experience in the industry?
JA I wasn’t into either when I was growing up, but I’ve always been good at doing multiple things at once. I’m curious and driven; I like to challenge myself, so if there is something I don’t like or I’m afraid of, I push myself to explore it. I never liked jewelry growing up, but the first piece of jewelry I have ever owned was something I bought for myself — so I decided to start making affordable quality jewelry that women my age could buy for themselves.
V What was your favorite part about making this project come to life?
JA Inception. Keeping a list in my phone of all the installations I want to do, sketches of the layout, buying sinks and making logos. I loved renovating the building (it took a full COVID year!), designing, building furniture, organizing and all that jazz.
V And the most difficult/challenging one?
JA Dealing with contractors. Not everything was as perfect as I expect it to be; trying to control other people’s work ethic, schedule or attention to detail to meet my expectations is almost impossible. If you want something done, sometimes you just have to do it yourself (or learn how to do it — story of my life!).
V Any advice you could give to all budding female entrepreneurs out there? Is there anything you would have done differently over the course of your career, knowing the things that you do know now?
JA Never regret any decision you make as long as you believe it’s the right one. I did everything I believed was right at the time, and I’m so happy because I am where & who I am now because of it.
V What’s next for you, anything else you’re currently working on/excited about? What’s going on in the world of Jessie Andrews at the moment?
JA New collections coming out for Bagatiba, which I got to work with glass on. Candles & room spray! Mesh pieces for Jeu Illimite that have these graphics I made printed on them. Then Basic Swim installations at Tase for summer! I’m mostly excited about being able to collaborate with friends on projects. I’m really just supplying a space, ecosystem and hand with anything I can to help make their career or passion evolve!