"THE EMPRESS OF LIFE"- Jill Donnelly
Hi Jill, I met you by accident in Portland at your Pop Up Store. What first caught my attention was very unique and clean clothing and accessories designs, then I saw you: beautiful, authentic woman with huge passion for what she does. All put so great together! You really impressed me and made my day, for real!
I’m doing a series about women who are special, inspiring and strong- “The empress of life”. You are for sure, one of them!
- Tell us a bit about your business:
We’ve always uncovered new designers, blended worlds of inspiration, and welcomed those willing to share in the story. Over the years our central character hasn’t changed, but our approach has. Where once we scavenged, now we curate.
Forty years ago Baby & Company broadened the fashion lens in Seattle through an eclectic marketplace. today with respect and reverence for the craft of design, we magnify the intelligence and artistry of newly found designers and those we trust to push themselves-and us-to evolve beautifully. Because, isn’t that what life and love are all about?
- Who is the woman buying at your store?
We are here to share the beauty and craft of fashion with people who want to express their individuality and values through their personal style. They are well traveled with an appreciation for high quality and craftsmanship . We make the connection between a designers intent and craft to our clients life. She is cultured, evolved, self confident, creative,thoughtful, expressive genuine and enlightened.
- What is the biggest obstacle in your business?
Too much product in the market place. We are being bombarded by Mega- Brands, Mega Fashion Groups, Mega e-commerce sites... Mega everything. Everything is about FAST.
We are committed to the Slow Movement . It is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snails pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather then just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to clothes to food to parenting.
- You are buyer, what makes you to decide on purchase to your store?
The customer. I am committed to making our customer want everything in the store. I listen, watch, style, and keep a close eye on whats happening on the Street, not just the magazines. I hang out at cool cafes and observe the best dressed in every city i visit. I love fashion. It’s a hobby, a passion, a sport a career .
- What is the best advice you would give to someone who wants to follow similar, business like you do?
Work in a small boutique. Learn the business . Create a very good network of people you want to work with. Know your audience. Love the customer. Love to please. Always try to do better each day . Never stop learning and stretching your imagination. Keep it FUN. Carefully build a strong team of individuals who share you vision for the business.
- You look like very confident, fulfilled and energetic, how you keep balance and how you stay yourself, authentic in the fashion industry?
First, I love to be busy. I love selling beautiful clothes. I love women. I love dressing women and making them feel really good about themselves. I love creating projects, I love my whole entire team of employees . I love the intensity of this industry. I love and hate the competitive nature . I like to create community thought my store. I love telling stories.
All these things keep me inspired, energized, confident and fulfilled.
The Balance thing......... working on it but, I do practice yoga palates and running to decompress and destress.
- How would you define your personal style?
I saw the term used to describe Katherine Hephburn, one of my all time fashion muses Rebel Chic. I love it. I have a definite Tom Boy slant to my style. I like bit of Preppy Lux. However, I love to pull out something chic and classic like my other fashion muse Audrey Hephburn for formal or evening. I love great trousers, brogues , fine shirting, perfect fitting jackets, to die for sweaters. I love the elegance of the 1940’s glam.I was obsessed with Downtown Abbey!!
I am very confident in my look and it really energizes my spirit to dress great! I work on it everyday. It communicates who we are to the world. They don’t know us personally, they can only judge us by our clothes or appearance .
I often ask people, “ What do you want your clothes to say about you?”.
- What’s your favorite piece of clothing/ accessory, that makes you feel amazing?
I have a Pink Cashmere Coat by one of my favorite designers SCHAI that is so luxurious to wear. Coats in general are my favorite thing to love to wear!
- I know you are traveling to Europe. What differences, if any, did you recognized in women, their aesthetic and behavior?
A world of difference . In Paris anyway, it is part of a mannered society to present oneself nicely to show respect. I love this rule. For this reason everyone looks put together . the Europeans love to dress well. It’s a pleasure . We are much to casual and sloppy in the US.
- When you feel the happiest?
When I am doing charitable projects.
Tell us your little secret?
I’m a stoner- really, i love to smoke pot and create!
What woman inspires you? There is any you would like to meet? Elizabeth Warren .I would LOVE to meet Diane Keaton.
What women would you recommend for that interview?
I will think on that.
- Life quote? ” Live in the moment, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering”.
- You are amazing, thank you for your time, With love,
Jill and her husband Wayne.
My selfies and variations with couple vanguard pieces from Jill's shop: