Jennifer "Jen" John is a documentary filmmaker (with an Emmy award under her belt), former news reporter, passionate about the outdoors and sustainability, and founder of Pang Wangle. She launched the brand in December 2017 after failing to find fashionable clothes designed specifically for hot, buggy climates...like New Orleans. The garments are versatile, stylish, and equipped with built-in Insect Shield.
The brand has steadily grown and recently launched a new crop of products. To celebrate, she and Pang Wangle are hosting a tropical-themed party at the Tchoup Yard Patio Bar on Thursday, March 5 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
To see how this entrepreneur conquers her day, read on for John's morning routine!
6:15 a.m. I have never been a morning person, but I do have some of my best ideas earlier in the day, so I try to have a routine and I think it helps me stay focused. As soon as I wake up I make Cool Brew iced coffee and sit on the couch with a blanket on my legs and read the New York Times Daily Briefing on my phone. Then I look through NOLA.com to catch up on the local headlines. While I’m reading I sometimes make notes on my Trello Board about how to approach different work tasks for the day or week. An idea for an Instagram post, a potential brand partner I should reach out to, or a podcast story idea for our soon-to-be released podcast, Adventure Bug, about inspiring women who work and play outdoors. Whatever comes to mind.
7:00 a.m. I put on my work out clothes and go to the kitchen, turn on NPR for more news, and make lunches for my kids. Mia is 16 and Mac is 13. They are very self-sufficient these days. They get themselves up, dressed and ready for school, and they come in and out of the kitchen while I’m in there, so I try to be available during the morning in case they want to chat about something. Usually they just rattle off the things they want me to buy or need me to do. Teenagers. I also make sure the kitchen is all cleaned up because I often work from home and when that room becomes my work space, I don’t want to stare at any dirty dishes. It will drive me crazy!
7:35 a.m. I drive the kids to school at Lusher Charter School and I’m home before 8 a.m. I check emails and go over my to do list for the day and the rest of the week. I mark the tasks that need to be done today in red and put arrows by the most important tasks for the next day. There are so many moving parts to starting an eCommerce brand—ordering hang tags, prepping inventory, writing blog posts, meeting with suppliers, buyers, publicists, etc.—that I spend a little time every day trying to stay as organized as possible.
8:00 a.m. My husband Jake Springfield, Director of Photography and co-owner of Tempt Films, has a constantly changing schedule depending on whether he is on a shoot or not. If he’s home, he will get our dogs Jane, a chiweenie, and Dicey, a pit bull, all leashed up and ready for a walk. I say, "Wanna go for a walk?" and they leap and run around like it’s the most exciting offer they have ever heard.
8:30 a.m. I either go for a quick run in Audubon Park or go to a bootcamp-style workout class called 504 Fit Camp. It’s also in Audubon Park and I’ve been doing it on and off for 10 years. It’s an intense workout and I love it! Some days—maybe once a week—I have a meeting or some other reason I have to skip the workout and put on grown up clothes. And of course, there are a few days a month when I get really slammed with work and end up wearing my yoga pants all day without ever working out! I try to avoid that at all costs.
10:00 a.m. I try to schedule meetings between 10 a.m. and noon so I usually have someone to connect with. We are working hard on getting new retail partners, so I’m talking a lot with our Director of Sales Vanessa Blais. We’re growing our Amazon store so I check in twice a week with our Amazon marketing firm. I also keep our accounting up to date, and publish content to social media. We’re planning a big launch party at the Tchoup Yard Patio Bar on March 5th to coincide with the Travel Goods Show, which happens to be in New Orleans this year. We have invited the entire attendee and exhibitor list to the party! Plus, we’re exhibiting at the show for the first time and there are many details to work out about displays, graphics, publicity, wholesale line sheets, and media press kits. It’s a very busy time for Pang Wangle and I wouldn’t have it any other way.