[image-1] Jordan Jackson didn’t always know that he’d own a clothing store. The proliferation of online merch-marketing, though, led him to owning a store in Northwoods Mall fairly organically. What started as Instagram store, 21 Ace, quickly became a popular enough project that Jackson launched Birch & Pen, a boutique opening in Northwoods on Sat. Nov. 3.
“The majority of my customers were from Instagram,” says Jackson of his fashion origins. “There were a lot of influencers asking to collaborate and I’d send them merchandise and they’d wear it and post about it.” The influencers, posts, and inevitable ‘likes’ grew, and now, with the help of his mother and fellow entrepreneur, Keisha Smith, Jackson’s opening up shop in Northwoods.
“I didn’t expect people to be inspired,” says Jackson of his store. At 19 years old, Jackson is the youngest store owner in Northwoods. “But that’s happening even before we open.”
Jackson wasn’t always interested in fashion, but once he saw his cousin successfully selling jewelry on Etsy, he realized that his knack for picking out cool clothes could make him some money (his Etsy attempts didn’t pan out, FYI — proving that Instagram is, indeed, where influencers live).
As for his style, well, Jackson likes what he likes. “I don’t really like a lot of the trends. I’m not really a name brand person,” he says. “My style inspirations would be Jaden Smith, a lot of the stuff he wears is different. For females it’d be something like Kylie Jenner.”
Birch & Pen will have male and female clothing, as well as accessories, and maybe even shoes. And you can bet it won’t have what the other stores in the mall are carrying. “I didn’t know I was going to have a store inside of Northwoods and when I would go shopping inside [of the mall], every store would have the same feel,” says Jackson.
Needless to say Birch & Pen will not have the feel you may be used to in Charleston. Jackson moved to the Lowcountry from Baltimore six years ago and says one of the things he noticed was that “everybody was wearing the same thing.” Maybe you’ll join him in changing that.