Our Story

Founder & Designer - Jenay Ross

Hours Lost Started On A Whim

I was in a philosophy class at the University of Southern California when the thought of starting a clothing brand popped into my head. I didn't know why or how, but I couldn't shrug off the desire. Despite being an already stressed, full-time journalism and music industry student, I obsessed over the idea of building my own brand. I knew I wanted it to embody a concept I believed in and could support. I wanted to create something that resonated with people. I wanted to inspire.

The Name Game

The name "Hours Lost" was inspired by a poem I read in one of my favorite classes I took at USC. This poetry course focused on different types of loss. We read poems about the loss of people, loss of self, loss of car keys, and so on. It was often a depressive 90 minutes, but a lot of valuable reflection can come from melancholic thinking. That's me speaking as a positive realist.

One day we read "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop:

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

The line "the hour badly spent" cycled in my mind. I evaluated how I was spending my time and how I could do a better job utilizing it. I have always been a go-getter who tries to seize opportunities left and right, but I was (and sometimes still am) also a bundle of anxiety and insecurity, and no stranger to the natural setback of procrastination. I realized too many meaningless actions were distracting me, and decided I wanted to make some lifestyle changes. I wanted to encourage others to do the same and that's how "Hours Lost" became my brand.

This is Just The Beginning

I spent a summer reading and watching graphic design tutorials, and worked on potential shirt designs. When Hours Lost became less of a whim and more of an actual business venture, I turned to my peers for support. With the help of friends, family and even a few strangers, the launch of Hours Lost was funded by a Kickstarter campaign in 2011. 

For the next two years, I designed eight items, sold them on the Hours Lost web store, vended at a couple fairs, and rode out the journey. In 2013, Hours Lost went on a low-key hiatus so I could concentrate on graduating from USC, finding a full-time job, and spending a summer working the Vans Warped Tour. 

Circa 2015

In April, I launched a new Hours Lost web store and have continued to design and manage this brand by myself. My voice is behind every email, every Tweet and every handwritten thank you note to customers. During the summer of 2015, a dream came true and Hours Lost had a tent at the Vans Warped Tour in Ventura, CA, where I was able to interact face-to-face with new and long-time supporters. 

I have been lucky enough to work with other Creatives who have offered to lend a hand or share some advice as I continue to grow this brand. I am so thankful for everyone's support while I run Hours Lost, in addition to working a full-time job in music management. 

Hours Lost is for you. Hours Lost is for me. This brand is a reminder that we, as humans who choose to truly livehave control over how we spend our time. It's up to us to open our hearts, build gateways of opportunities, believe in the cans instead of the can'ts, and determine what will make us happy. Refuse to waste time or to allow someone to waste it for you. Explore your potential and don't turn your back on your passions.  

Jenay Ross
Founder + Designer