As a former professional dancer, the act of creating has always been an important part of my life. Ballet careers are fleeting, but the experience and lessons taken from twenty-five years devoted to this art form left a tangible, lasting and influential mark on me.
Through ballet, we learn discipline, resiliency, granularity and perspective. As artists, we have the distinct privilege of pursuing a path of passion and purpose. We are granted tremendous opportunities to learn from a variety of magnificent creatives, teachers and peers – many of whom are women.
These diverse women are invested teachers and mentors, respected role models, fierce competitors and unwavering friends. Being in the constant company of such dedicated and generous women made an enduring impression on me, ever nudging me to become the fullest version of myself.
I founded Jai-Dee Dancewear to celebrate the women of ballet, support the arts and advocate for all things good. Considering our current culture of overconsumption and excessive waste, sustainability is the heartbeat of our company, ensuring we give more than we take. Our ethical, earth-friendly leotards are statement pieces, designed to help ballerinas express themselves and move with greater purpose.
Jai-Dee is Thai for kind-hearted. This name places our core values center front and also is a grateful curtsy to my Thai-American daughter. Kritsana, adopted from Thailand, is my why. She has taught me that love is the highest art form and that kindness always matters. It’s because of her that we sew the beautiful spirit of Thailand into our American-made leotards.
KATHERINE HARTSELL, FOUNDER