Business Name: Chilly Jilly, a maker of female clothing and accessories
Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories
Business Location: Cornelius, North Carolina, United States
Reason for starting
I did not set out to start a company, I simply had a problem that I thought was common to most women. Every summer I would find myself FREEZING in air conditioned restaurants or at business conferences, along with all the other business women, I was freezing in conference rooms. I hated dragging along a bulky sweater or jacket everywhere I went (and half of the time I left it behind). I created the Chilly Jilly Wrap to solve this problem. The Chilly Jilly Wrap, folds up into a compact silk bag that fits easily into a purse so it can be whipped out whenever and wherever a chill strikes. In designing the Wrap, my goal was to create something that was casual and dressy, as well as attractive and affordable to most women. The unique microfiber material is lightweight, comfortable, warm, stylish, wrinkle resistant and machine washable. Today, Chilly Jilly has expanded to offer a full line of fashionable and comfortable products made of the same unique material. The line includes the original Wrap (comes in a variety of colors and doubles as scarf for winter or bathing suit cover-up in the summer); Oversize Wrap (just like the traditional Wrap, but with more coverage); Wrapper Blanket (does all of the jobs that the traditional Wrap does, but with a few added uses like extra coverage at breezy outdoor events, an impromptu picnic blanket, nursing cover-up or a convenient travel blanket); Jilly Jacket (a classy and cozy all day coverage accessory), Lounge Pants (great for travel, exercise and everyday lounge wear. Features a fold over waistband and a long inseam that can be cut to length with a smooth unfinished hem); Gloves (have a thin fleece lining and come in their own silk bag, so gloves will always be clean, close by and together) and the Duelette (a fashionable bracelet that stretches out into a hair-tie. Durable non fray bands are adjustable to any size and come in black or white with 14k gold or silver plated beads, or a combination of the two).
How do you define success?
I think the company is successful it does what it set out to do. My personal success is defined by how happy I am in what I am doing.
My biggest business success has been in the achievement of building something from nothing.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
The biggest business challenge has been not in the creating of the product but in getting the product out to the public. I had a lot of help from the media in doing this and spent a lot of energy reaching out to them.
Who is your most important role model?
My role models stay right in my family. Each member of my family have had successful careers without losing sight of what is important. They keep me from sweating the small stuff.