21st Guest: Jesse Joeckel

We’re teaming up with lululemon to host some dinners out East this summer. Each one will have 20 guests. Big for a dinner party. But here’s the thing: Though we’d like to, we can’t fit everybody at the table. This is where you come in. You’re all the esteemed 21st Guest. We want your input on the conversations around that table, for you to ask questions and be a part of the party. Let’s get the conversation started with our own Jesse Joeckel.

The underlying theme here is “doing a solid.” From the story of how Jesse had to rely on others to get Whalebone going to ways we can all help one another. Your questions are going to do the party a solid and get them talking about what you want to hear. Do us one, and check back in the next edition for where can send your burning questions. Or just email us your thoughts on this or anything at hello@whalebonemag.com.

Jesse is the founder of Whalebone. When he’s not wearing one of his own Whalebone designs, you’re apt to find him in lululemon. 

Photos by Austin Eckardt

Who’s the most inspiring person to you?
I couldn’t say one specific person, but I’m inspired by anybody who wakes up in the morning with a smile on their face ready to set out and do whatever makes them keep that smile on their face until the sun sets and they close their eyes again. We’re not here for a long time, so we might as well enjoy it.

What’s the biggest challenge you ever faced? Who helped you get through it?
Starting Whalebone. I won’t say it was this hard struggle like a lot of people go through day to day but as a kid in his early twenties with absolutely no idea what he was getting himself into… there were many challenges. Challenges like living with your parents for longer than someone in their twenties would like to admit just to save money and keep the dream alive. Thanks, Mama!

How have you learned the value of paying it forward?
What comes around goes around, I think it takes way more energy to be negative then to spread a little positivity. This town I live in has taught me a lot about that, people help each other without expecting anything in return, and when you get the chance to return the favor, you don’t think twice.

What’s something anyone could do to pay it forward?
Try and do something nice for someone other than yourself every day. Sometimes the smallest gesture goes a long way to making someone’s day just a little better, even just a simple “hello.”


A time you wanted to help, but couldn’t or didn’t get to?
I’m pretty shy, so there are times I hesitate to reach out to people I don’t know that well. I’m working on that…

Best advice you’ve ever gotten?
I’m sure there’s some magical quote that goes here but I don’t have it. All I know is that everything passes, as worried or as stressed as you are about something in the moment, just remember in the long run, well, it probably won’t really matter.

One piece of advice you wish you’d gotten but didn’t?
Not to be corny but… health is wealth. When we’re young, we think we’re invincible, which seems almost true, but, we have to start paying more attention, and sooner, to what we put in our bodies every day. This over-processed society we live in has got to slow down and get back to basics. Plant a garden. Share with your neighbor. Reuse. Recycle.

I get most inspired by looking at new places differently.

Where are the places that you go to to find inspiration?
I love Montauk in the fall, It’s a great time to reflect on a busy summer and decompress. I spend a good amount of time in the offseason traveling with my wife all over. I get most inspired by looking at new places differently. Meeting new people. Opening books instead of my phone.

What’s a small way to do someone a solid anytime?
Smile, look said someone in the eyes and ask them how they’re doing today.

Pay it forward by:
Leaving it better than you found it.

So you’re a lululemon ambassador, what has that experience been like for you?
I’ve been introduced to a lot of genuinely great, happy people. They definitely know how to bring like-minded humans together and without any underlying agenda other than, “Hey we like you, we think you’re great, here’s another person we think is great and you can be great together.” My favorite part about it is that they let you just do you. That’s all. You get out what you put in.