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Joined Feeling

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

For Emma Miles, navigating the job market was top of mind after graduating from McGill University in Montréal, Canada, where she majored in sociology and linguistics. The advent of the pandemic spawned by the coronavirus, however, and the shutting of borders dashed those hopes. Miles, like millions worldwide, added the word pivot to her vocabulary and worked in marketing and project management.

There'd be more!

“At the beginning of quarantine, my sister and I tie-dyed some T-shirts as a fun activity,” she told Tuesday Style Fashion (TSF). The fun activity was shared on social media where the response was both immediate and positive. Friends reached out asking if she could dye them a shirt!

Never one to waste a crisis and what she saw as a possible business opportunity to create a brand that is 100% Jamaican-made, she set out, through trial and error, to perfect the tie-dye process. In fact, all the pieces are hand-dyed by her. The process of trial and error to perfect the tie-dye techniques, although tedious, has become a labour of love and has reaped rewards.

“I've been so overwhelmed by the support I've received. About half of my customers are actually international. It's been incredible to see people in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as other Caribbean countries, wearing 100% Jamaican-made tees that I've personally hand-dyed. It's shown me that people are really valuing Jamaican-made products.”

The label's name, Joined Feeling, has also piqued interest. “I've always been drawn to colour and I knew that I wanted the brand to signify my love of colour,” she explained. “What immediately came to mind was Grapheme-colour Synesthesia — a neurological condition that I have. For as long as I can remember, I've been associating colours with specific numbers and letters. In doing research, I realised that not everyone did this and that it could be an important perspective to share.”

While the word 'anaesthesia' means 'no feeling', 'synesthesia' means 'joined feeling', she explained.

Miles sees her customer as someone who wants to express themselves through what they wear, and is open to wearing colour. Indeed, in launching each collection she chooses colours and designs that she would wear herself, but most importantly, that her customers would gravitate towards. “I try to create a variety of designs that would appeal to anyone — so far, there are options for those who'd like a subtle pop of colour, something neutral, or a bold, multi-coloured look.”

Miles is currently working on a new collection that will be launched very soon. Follow her on or Instagram: @joinedfeeling

Facebook: @ joinedfeeling