Cary Vaughan
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Photography by Valeda Beach Stull
Interview by Yasmine Ganley
Cary Vaughan is the co-founder, along with Jenna Wilson, of Ace & Jig, or in her own words: “maker of textiles, creator of clothing.” Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, Cary currently resides and thrives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two children, Alice and Paul.

We admire Cary’s unique business approach to the fashion industry, steering the Ace & Jig brand to also incorporate touring events, community sales and swaps. She has helped to rewrite the usual structure of what it means to own and run a business, all the while creating opportunities for creativity, community and longer-lived-in garments. Our admiration grew into collaboration in 2015 when we launched the Milena Silvano x  Ace & Jig limited edition coats, featuring a variety of A & J textiles combined with our patchwork sheepskin. Our collaborative spirit continued into the following year with detachable sheepskin collars made for their Ace & Jig Capella coat.

What does ‘community’ mean for you, and how do you experience this through Ace & Jig?
Community is family and friendship. It’s our support network, which we turn to for big laughter and tears, who we lean on in life. ace&jig opens a door to a larger international community of diverse women who initially bond over ace&jig , become friends, and ultimately support each other. I am very proud of this powerful brand that can connect people.
What are some elements or textures you love to have in your personal or working space?
Color, varied pattern, worn textiles with lots of soul, Ace & Jig scattered around, textures from natural elements such as wood and stone, tile and brick, antique EVERYTHING- this is where the stories are hidden and found.

What does the word ‘ritual’ mean for you, and how do you honor such moments throughout your day? 
Ritual, to me, means some sort of routine, order or sequence. My morning ritual begins with coffee at 6am; shower; breakfast for kids; lunch for kids; and all of us out the door by 8am for the walk to school.

Do you collect anything? If so what, and how/when did this start? 
Yes, basically everything. I am not a minimalist. Sometimes I call my collections “series” HA. Not sure how or when this starts in a person. For me, I think my grandmother aka “Big Ma” was a large influence: big personality, with 8 kids, an antique dealer, a collector, and a hoarder! I used to work estate sales with her when I was 6-years-old. I have a beautiful faded sky blue silk Japanese kimono and antique carved wood brocade dressing screen that was hers. My Brooklyn home provides a physical boundary (which my husband is very grateful for) that keeps these collections in check.

Do you have a spiritual practice? 
I wish I could say I had a spiritual practice – does being a woman count as a spiritual practice? Being a mom, boss, or wife? Does taking deep breaths in moments of stress count?!

Do you have any routines surrounding health and beauty? 
I love skincare and makeup. I do indulge in a 5/10-minute skincare ritual everyday of putting lotions and potions and makeup on.This is ‘me time’. My ten-year-old daughter says, “I’m never wearing make-up!” and I’m thinking, “GREAT”. My mom rarely wore makeup but my grandmother did. My grandmother’s beauty routine consisted of taking a lipstick and smearing it on her cheeks for rouge and taking it all off with Pond’s cold cream. Do you know that smell? Always think of her when I smell it. On the health front, I walk a lot!

We believe women have an innate sense of instinctual responses to situations. 

Have you experienced a moment recently where you trusted your instinct? Every minute of every day.

Please share a gift or a surprise that the experience of motherhood has given you:
So many gifts! A few:c1. Love for your child conquers exhaustion every time and propels you forward. 2. Rediscovering the basic joys of life with your child: taking a very slow walk, collecting rocks and sticks, finding patterns in nature, handclaps, and dance parties!

When you are feeling stuck, uninspired or unmotivated in your practice, how are some ways in which you pull yourself through?
Honestly, this rarely happens. I may feel exhausted at times but always feel inspired and motivated. It’s more like; there is never enough time to execute all the ideas.

a book -
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

an artist -
Louise Bourgeois

a plant -
Flowers. With a strong preference for ranunculus

a podcast-
How I Built this by Guy Raz

a film -
20th Century Women by Mike Mills

Cary wears a Milena Silvano x Ace & Jig coat combining Cary’s favourite A & J textile: Patina, with our signature sheepskin patchwork.