As CEO of a burgeoning brand and a licensed therapist with two private practices, Scarsdale native Jamie Karia thinks of herself as an “alpha woman” who feels a responsibility to inspire change. After launching a fashion-and-gift company, JJK1LOVE INC, in 2014, Karia renamed her business J’aime in 2017 and joined forces with her brother, Vijay Karia. Nowadays, J’aime sells items ranging from designer clothing, leggings, and athletic wear to kimonos, tote bags, and even fun skateboards for kids. Plus, customers can feel good about their purchases, since the company donates a significant portion of their proceeds to a host of worthy causes.
According to Karia, J’aime is a socially conscious fashion brand motivated by the question: “How can we use fashion as a platform to speak to the masses?” Through her foundation partnership model, Karia has designed leggings for hand-selected organizations, and proceeds from company sales go to such groups as Freedom For All, Child Mind Institute, Children’s Alopecia Project, Elephant Crisis Fund, Vibrant Emotional Health, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Foundation House, and the Canadian Centre For Mental Health and Sport.
Books For Kids, a program dedicated to promoting literacy among inner-city children, is the company’s own flagship aid organization. For every purchase made from J’aime, $1 is donated to this foundation. For Karia, who grew up with learning disabilities, the cause is deeply personal. “I can be a mentor to people who think they can’t achieve just because they have a disability. It’s not true,” she says. “I think you can educate people about how you feel through art and through fashion.”
Although the pandemic has drastically impacted her sales and charity work, Karia has managed to evolve both her brand and her philanthropy. J’aime offers designer hazmat suits in a number of prints, along with matching masks and gloves to complete the look. “This was actually before Naomi Campbell had her hazmat suit on Instagram,” laughs Karia. Last summer, she and Vijay partnered with a few celebrities to host a virtual summer camp for children with alopecia, hoping to provide kids with a sense of community during an abnormal time.
Unsurprisingly, Karia has a few other irons in the fire. She has designed her own jewelry line, with the goal of empowering people after tragedy, loss, or trauma, and is working on a one-of-a-kind children’s interactive, online book series. “I am hoping to package everything I’ve learned in education and psychology,” Karia shares. “This is my way of giving back to our present and future children.”