Megan Jinnah – a fashion merchandiser, a mom, a tennis player, and a lover of versatile, sustainable style – came to launch Guerriers after more than 15 years of working in the corporate fashion industry.
We talk turning challenging life-changing events into strength, the power of community, and making a uniform to inspire confidence - for anyone.
How would you describe your style?
I have always found fashion to be a form of self-expression and something that should be fun. My own style varies but I tend to gravitate to casual pieces with a bit of an edge. I am never the most dressed up person in the room and I don’t believe that simply wearing the “it” brand translates to good style – it’s about making an outfit your own. I tend to keep things pretty simple while not super basic and my goal with the Guerriers collection is exactly that – create stylish, wearable pieces that have some unique details.
Who are your icons? What is it about them that inspires you?
From a fashion/style perspective women like Zoe Kravitz, Nicole Richie, and Kate Lanphear come to mind. They all have the ability to make an outfit their own and, while super stylish, they don’t look like they are simply following trends or trying too hard.
I’m also really inspired by the amazing women I’m surrounded by. Their stories, confidence, humor, and support help me continue to grow every day.
When do you feel most confident?
I really believe confidence, for me, has increased with age. I care less what people think (still have work to do there) and have simply become more comfortable in my own skin. I think living in New York City for over 15 years really helped, too... it embraces individuality in a way that is so special.
What’s your daily routine?
Like most people, my life, and day to day, turned upside down in March when the quarantine started. The pace has been a bit slower but I have a 1 year old, so there’s been some consistency in terms of a schedule.
I’m up around 6 and spend the morning with my son and husband. Start working around 9. No two days are the same but I try to squeeze in a workout in between calls and emails. The day flies by but I do intentionally pause my work day early enough to have a couple of hours with my son before he goes down for the night. I worked long hours for so many years and really believe there’s more to life. Balance, for me, is key. So we hangout, get outside, and do the usual nightly routine before he goes to bed. Then it’s on to dinner with my husband, prep for the next day, followed by tv or catching up on work before calling it a day.
Describe a time in your life when you felt like a modern warrior.
I think the first time I truly learned how capable I was when I ran my first marathon. Running wasn’t a huge passion of mine but I had recently graduated from college, wanted to get healthier, and saw a sign for the Aids Marathon Training program while riding BART in San Francisco. I signed up on a whim, raised money for AIDS research, and trained consistently. I don’t think anyone, including myself, thought I’d follow through! I did, and grew stronger physically and mentally from the experience.
Years later, after years of dating people that weren’t “right”, I started a relationship with a wonderful man who was later diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. His cancer was very aggressive, he experienced numerous setbacks, and he passed away from the disease while doing hospice at my apartment in Lower Manhattan. To say that it was an intense time is an understatement, but I am forever changed from that experience and reminded daily how quickly life changes. After he passed, I grieved. I always knew he wanted me to be happy and how fortunate I was to have spent that last year caring for and learning from him. I also knew it was up to me to decide how I want to grow from that life experience. I started spending time with friends again, taking classes, and figuring out myself.
Years later, and after a lot of bad first dates, I met my husband. He also had a story and welcomed mine. He has taught me a ton and truly supports me, how I’ve gotten to be the person I am, and pushes me to continue to grow. When I turned 41, we found out I was pregnant. It was an exciting and super surprising time. I have always been told that would not be an easy road for me. At 30 weeks and 2 days pregnant, I was admitted to the hospital with severe preeclampsia. Being the patient suddenly put all those experiences years ago to work. I asked questions, appreciated all everyone did for me, trusted in the team, and stayed positive. My son was born 3lbs 3oz. He spent 53 days in the NICU and is such a little warrior.
I am an open book. I think hearing people’s stories helps us realize we aren’t alone. I believe we all have stories and really try to turn my experiences into moments of appreciation and possibly comfort for someone else going through a difficult time or provide a little hope...hope is such a beautiful thing!
How do you relax and unwind?
Having worked in fast paced, stressful jobs for many years, I have always found it really important to relax and get out of work mode. I try to be active daily. What that entails has changed but moving, for me, is so important and helps me clear my head.
Spending time with friends and family – dinners, drinks, and conversation – is also super important to me as well as the occasional night to myself to watch whatever I feel like, do a face mask, and simply have an early night!
What keeps you going?
People - my husband, my son, my family, and my friends who are like family.
Something you’re obsessed with right now:
Right now, more than ever, finding a little time for myself!
Words to live by:
There are so many quote/inspiring words I’ve heard – the one that comes to mind is “When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”
What’s your hype up song or anthem:
This is hard, I listen to so many different types of music but right now it’s Common – The Light.
What led you to start Guerriers?
Having spent most of my career in corporate America, I knew for years that I would love to start my own business. The idea came from two places/needs 1) the fact that I was playing more tennis and simply struggling with what to wear and 2) I was working from home and wanted to wear pieces that were comfortable, fashionable, and versatile. I wanted pieces that could be worn to work, workout, or to meet friends and, in each instance, look totally appropriate.
What were some of the hurdles you had to overcome in starting your own brand?
First and foremost, just taking the leap. I really credit my husband for giving the encouragement to just go. That said, when I came up with the idea for Guerriers, never did I think I’d be launching during such a trying time for the country. While the pace of life and work has changed as we are all wearing 100 hats, I’ve certainly questioned things but never felt discouraged. I really believe the reason we are launching Guerriers is to create an inclusive, dynamic, diverse, and open-minded community where acceptance and celebrating differences is what it’s all about. I’m also so fortunate to have an amazing team – I can say with 100% certainty, Guerriers wouldn’t be where it is today without their support, dedication, humor, and amazing energy!
What does Warrior mean to you?
A warrior is confident, capable, resilient, inspiring, and emotionally strong. When I was a kid, I associated the word with soldiers fighting in wars but the meaning has evolved. I’ve come to realize we are surrounded by the most unassuming, amazingly fierce humans who have a story and are truly warriors. They have encountered hardships and tragedy and chosen to not let it define them. We just have to be open to hearing one another’s story.