Jessilyn Personnel – Interview with Todd Wayne
Jessilyn Personnel has been placing fashion industry professionals since the last 80s. Here is the conversation with had with Todd Wayne, Jessilyn’s founder…
Tell us a little about yourself.
TW: My name is Todd Wayne, founder of Jessilyn Personnel. I was born and raised in Manhattan as a 60’s child and got my start in the fashion business, working for my father who owned a sportswear manufacturing company. Our warehouse was on West 39th Street, where I spent most weekends and Summers. I was responsible for shipping and receiving and after I graduated, my father gave me a job running production.
After a few years when I was looking to leave the company, I went to a recruiter for a job. That was the first time I ever met someone whose responsibility it was to help others find positions and I suppose it made an impression. I’ve always had a good sense of people and enjoy connecting them to their passions. For the last 30 years I have had the great fortune of meeting and placing the best people on Fashion Ave.
You recently celebrated Jessilyn Personnel’s 30th anniversary! What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about that?
TW: Well my first thought is, I’m getting old! I’m surprised I made it this long but I feel honored to have been a part of building companies and placing the best talent into the biggest fashion houses this town has. This block has changed a lot in 30 years, but through it all I’ve tried to build a reputation for myself and my company, as someone companies can trust. I have met so many wonderful people along the way, many of whom I’m still best friends with today.
How did Jessilyn Personnel come about? What inspired you to create the company?
TW: That first day I went looking for a job at a recruiting agency, I ended up walking away with an offer to be a recruiter. Fast forward 4 years and I realized that my true calling was to run my own business in this industry that I love. My passion for people and fashion is what inspired me to start Jessilyn Personnel and I named the company after my daughter.
In what ways has Jessilyn Personnel grown in the past 30 years?
TW: When I first started, I was only placing domestic atelier professionals but the world has shifted and factories have moved overseas. Jessilyn has evolved to meet those demands and now we work in many other categories, domestically and internationally.
What’s ahead for Jessilyn Personnel?
TW: We’ll always have a strong footprint in New York, but want to continue to expand our business globally as our relationships offshore grow and our talent base expands to meet them.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
TW: I truly want to express my gratitude for all of my vendors who have given me their trust to help build their organizations and sincere thanks to the tens of thousands of applicants that I’ve had the pleasure to work with and placed throughout my career. We’re excited for what the the next thirty years has in store for us all.
Click here to learn more about Jessilyn Personnel.