Travel Tee – Kinda

Years ago I found these cute t-shirt fabric zip up hoodies at Abercrombie & Fitch. It was the perfect weight for the South and I bought every color they had. Years later, I’ve finally retired them, but still wish I had that perfect layer.

Enter, the Wander Wrap in tee-shirt fabric. Problem solved! Even in the Summer, road trips, airplanes, boats, beach evenings and sunrise coffees can get a little chilly. This wrap is the perfect layer. I’ll be proving that very soon when I beach-test the first one.

We also have a light sweater weight one coming out. It is a little heavier for those Winter and Spring trips and the softest natural fabric you will love to wrap up in.

And, I love to share that they are being sewn right here in town by a local Alpharetta mom.

Stay tuned… First ones available before Winter Break.

Mondays with SMIJ: A Day in the Life As An Entrepreneur Graphic That Gave Me Life

Oh my goodness! Pat saw this on LinkedIn last year and it was so perfect. As we put together our “Mondays with SMIJ” Series I thought this would be a great place to start. I’m linking up the article attached to this graphic by Bruno Portela of Lingfy.com.

It is a great read if you are in business for yourself. He shares one piece of advice that we have definitely learned.

Sometimes you can’t do anything in the moment to move in the right direction. You can get paralyzed by that and just stand still. What we have learned is to practice “energy creates energy”. We have learned to just do something. Get out and meet someone new, go for a run, start a new book, attend an event..anything.

We have over and over created momentum. In Pat’s business, it has been almost 100% referral-based. When he feels a slow down or is winding up a project sometimes he does a few cold calls. These cold calls always trigger a totally different prospective client to call him. We have proved over and over the power of putting energy out there. It always comes back.

Here’s a take-away I’ll put into action. Often, the balance of parenting and running a business are anything but balanced. I find myself at home or school with very little flexibility to do the business. I’m totally fine with that and choose this life 100%. When I am in these phases I tend to rely on social media as my only business strategy. You can feel productive getting “likes” and comments or running a give-away. In reflection and from this article, I see that I need to be careful to not waste time doing things that aren’t good for my business just because I can’t do anything else in that moment. Feeling busy isn’t the same as being productive. I need to back away from social media and see what other actions may make themselves known in the gap.

Anyway, great graphic and a great article to kick off our first Mondays with SMIJ. The entrepreneurial life is a wild ride.

4th of July in Style

I really don’t even know where to begin on all the festive options we have for your 4th of July. Lots of red, white and blue and Summer prints. You’d need to celebrate for two weeks to wear them all. Ok, let’s do that! Well, maybe that won’t work…

If you need something fun that will work anywhere – pool, beach, fireworks, parade, party, Braves game, Atlanta United match or anywhere else, try our newest trucker hats.

These are super lightweight, velcro closure in the back, our signature anchor (of course) and that beautiful flag right up front. I made sure these had that yellow outline to give it a real pop of sunshine, too.

Grab both colors and have a great 4th! They are available at Henry & Pearl along with lots of other stylish options for your 4th.

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Currently Scarf Obsessed

Scarves offer up about a million possibilities. I’m currently loving them around the neck, tied to a bag, in your hair, around your wrist and wrapped around a bathing suit. Depending on the size, you can do so many fun things. Let’s talk hair alone… Tie one around your head 70’s style for a concert or beach day, go Jackie O style and cover your head for a windy ride, tie one around a pony tail to take it up a notch or use one as a head band.

I’ve made one extra of this tiger print if anyone wants it. I think it would be so fun with a black bathing suit and big gold hoops for a Resort day. I’ll be posting more options soon as I see them.

St. Patrick’s Day 2018 is a SATURDAY, Y’all!

We love St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it’s a sign that Spring is upon us, maybe it’s that our gray and black Winter wardrobes get that much-needed pop of color or maybe it’s because it’s the first time many of us have ventured out since October. Whatever the reason, it is one of the best days of the year. This year it’s on a Saturday, too! We at SMIJ take our role in your St. Patty’s Day very seriously. We have NEW tees and hats just for you! Grab one on our website or at Henry & Pearl. Also, more to come next week.

From Jetsetters to Home Bodies, Henry & Pearl Has Your List Covered

Thanks to Henry & Pearl’s amazing selection of gifts I was able to get quite a few presents purchased already. Not only that, I found gifts I’m so happy to give. Each gift passed my 3-second-test, which is simply that I must love something 100% within the first 3 seconds or I don’t buy it.

I found things for my jet setters, tech buffs, Christmas fanatics, fitness addicts, interior decorators, fashionistas, Milton lovers, hoop girls and hostesses. And, each item is under $50, some way under $50.

I’m including a Sneak Peek below. This is only a sample of the gifts available in the shop.

1. Everyone needs a Yeti drink holder. I use mine at Tennis, in the car, at the beach, literally everywhere. Now, they come in all sizes and price points.

2. If you have a hoop girl in your life, know that we can always use a new pair. If they are like me, they are always losing one – or just always want shiny new ones.

3.  These zip code hats come in 2 styles and many colors. They also have “USA” or “Cambridge” and “Milton” choices. These hats are designed so you’ll buy one for you and a friend.

4. The most fun needlepoint keychains for Home, lake houses, beach houses, play cars and keeps. You won’t be able to get just one!

5.  Key chains for the southern girl.

6.  Trim the tree in needlepoint style.

7.  Giving keys have been my go-to gift this year. They are designed to give and give again. Read the story on the display. So much fun to give.

8.  Pop sockets because no one can live without these gadgets. I’m on the wait list for the attachment for the car that it hangs on.

9.  Cute little hostess gift.

10.  These are essential if you have someone in your list who is on-board the sneaker trend. These pretty little socks keep them comfy while hiding in their booties or sneakers.

11. For the jet setter, beautiful luggage tags to set luggage apart and keep them in adventure mode.

12.  A candle is always a good idea. These assign a customized scent to the local cities. All smell great!

13.  I love gifts that can be used. This soap and lotion dispenser will carry someone and their guests right through the holiday season.

Stop into Henry & Pearl with your list in hand. Great gifts and they’ll even wrap them. Stress-free and fun!

Congratulations, Blessed Trinity

I’m so excited to see how great Blessed Trinity football is doing this post-season. Way to go, Titans!

Findlay Rowe and Serendipity in Roswell have our Game Day and green and camo “30075” hats and Henry & Pearl in Milton has this “BELIEVER” sweatshirt to help you support your Titans.

Shopping Local Never Looked So Good

So, this is cool. In their words, “Citizen Supply is an artisan marketplace that brings quality handmade and small-batch goods to Atlanta’s urban shopper in a truly unique retail experience.” “Unique” and so very cool. This very loft-like space houses all kinds of creative, unique things from fashion to art to children’s items. I love seeing people’s creativity – think the cream of the Etsy crop in a brick & mortar shopping experience. I could’ve stayed for hours, but shopping with a hungry 4 year old doesn’t allow for such craziness.  I’ll be back soon with Dancing Goats coffee in hand and kid-free, though. Who knows… maybe SMIJ by Jill Cover-Ups will earn a vendor space there someday.  Dreams… 

What Makes Me “Shop Local”

I love to shop local boutiques and stores.  They have unique things, a cool atmosphere and the owner’s personality and style can really come across.  I do know that some people can feel a little intimidated to enter a smaller boutique because you might be the only one in there, you don’t know the price points or sales approach – you basically don’t know what you’re getting into and you’re afraid to check it out and leave without buying anything.  I am a professional browser and never feel bad about doing just that.  I’m often getting an overview and then someday when I need something, I may think of that store and be back to spend.  I think store owners realize this is part of a shopper’s process and welcome “browsers”.

I thought it might be fun to share why this Shopper stops into local boutiques.  What makes me enter one and not another?  Here is my list of attractive qualities in a local shop.

  1.  Welcome Signs.  This doesn’t even have to be an actual “sign”, but it doesn’t hurt.  When a store has a cute “open” sign or a “sandwich board” with the latest info outside, it invites you in to visit.  My favorite is an actual outfit outside each day.  This really pulls someone like me right in the front door and gives me something to immediately inquire about.
  2. Events.  I love a store that does events.  This is a great way to show people like me the types of brands you carry or the type of customers you mostly attract.  For example, a brand trunk show, a “girls night out” and mom’s morning out or even just a “come browse and meet your local boutique” event is cool.
  3. Bright and cheery.  I love it when a store has great lighting, changing displays and clean and open spaces.  It looks active and like it’s merchandise is moving and changing giving me a reason to visit often.
  4. Active Social Media.  Often when I see a store and I can’t pop in right away I look them up in Google.  If they are active on social media with Outfits of the Day, Facebook activity with good reviews and look lively and engaged, it makes me want to stop in and follow them on social media.
  5. Consistent AND Surprise Inventory.  I have a few stores that I can count on to carry brands I like – Henry & Pearl to carry the latest MUMU, BiltHouse to carry big selection of Old Gringo, Mercantile to carry Johnny Was and the list goes on.  These stores are go-tos for these brands, but I also know they always have some new find or unexpected brands or pieces that are fun to shop, too.  They do the hard work at the Markets to bring us cool, new things along with our go-to brands.
  6. Carry Local Brands.  I love going to other parts of the country and locally, finding cool stuff and learning the story the “designer who lives in the area”.  I found the cutest cowhide purses in Sis & Moon the other day and found out they were made locally.  How cool!  Being one of those local designers (SMIJ by Jill), I especially love to hear the stories.  It really gives a store a character and connection to the local community and a great reason to stop in.

What makes you enter a store?  This is my list of what draws me in!  Happy Shop Localling (not a word!)!  www.smijbyjill.com

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6 Ingredients = Great Meal & Great Toy

Beautiful Atlanta days call for patios and we found a great one in Roswell.  We visited The Fix Pizzeria and loved the food, the experience and the owner! Georgeanne waited on us and told us that she and her husband bought the pizzeria recently.  I love supporting a local entrepreneur – especially when I can support them by eating pizza.  The pizza was delicious – we got one “white” pizza and one “red” pizza.  It is cooked at 900 degrees for a very short time and is made with ONLY 6 ingredients.  That combination turns out to be delicious!  We highly recommend the food, atmosphere and service.  And, here is the most brilliant part.  Georgeanne brought both kids a blob of pizza dough to play with while we waiting for our food.  This was better than any coloring sheet you get from other restaurants.  Best toy ever.  While they were occupied with their pizza dough, we got to enjoy  the beautiful weather, a conversation and peace and harmony.  Great experience.

Outfit details, too:  My latest obsession – Ray-Ban Gradient Sunnies |  Frye OTK Boots | Trucker Hat | Puffer Vest with Fur Collar (similar) | SMIJ Football Tees | Hudson Denim Skinnies | Everyday Silver Hoops | Thanks!