BIZ TALK: JILLIAN HARRIS
A long-time member of the #SmashTessFam, Jillian Harris is a mother, influencer, TV personality, entrepreneur and all-around super woman.
Jill and her team have been up to some seriously exciting things over the last while, including helping us create your new summer essential, the Lakeside Romper. In this edition of Biz Talk, we are catching up with Jilly and getting the scoop on her go-to business advice, her new role as a farmer and more!
Where do you plan on wearing your Lakeside Romper this summer?
EVERYWHERE. I feel like I say this every time, but this Romper truly is a summer wardrobe staple. Not only can it be dressed down for beachside picnics, but it can also easily be dressed up for a date night out on the town!
With BC travel starting to open up, do you have any local trips in the books?
Yes! In fact, at the end of this month, I am making a very special trip to Whistler, the unceded territory of the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation to film my upcoming TED Talk!
Where are you most excited to go once international travel is an option?
I have been DREAMING of packing up my bags and taking a family trip to our all-time favourite place on earth, Maui, Hawaii! I can taste the Mai Tai’s already!
You bought a farm!! How is it going?? What are you finding most rewarding and challenging when it comes to maintaining a farm?
Yes, we bought a farm! I honestly still can’t even believe it. It’s more work than we had ever anticipated but we are loving every second of it. At this time, we aren’t exactly sure what we are going to do with the land, but we did decide to plant thousands of flowers and might try our hand at selling cut flowers. Justin and I both have a lot to learn as this is all new to us, but we are so grateful for all the support that we’ve been receiving from our community from lending us a tiller, to sending us Dahlia Tubers and providing ongoing support and answering ALL our questions. We are so excited to see how this journey unfolds and to have a space where the kids can run around, get muddy and adventure!
As a wildly successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give those who are wanting to start their own business?
I would highly suggest putting in the time in to determine what your brand is all about. Not only the products and/or services you offer, but how YOU want to show up in the world. Take time to craft your vision and mission statement along with your core values as these truly are the foundation of your business and will ultimately act as your compass going forward.
You and the team launched so many exciting things this year, which project are you most proud of?
I would have to say that the Jilly Academy is the project I am most proud of. We worked so hard on these courses from hours of brainstorming sessions to months of scripting, filming, editing, creating the workbooks along with countless reviews and revisions. Each and every team member played a massive role in the execution and creation of these courses. Not to mention, we also brought on Taryn and Angela from The Atelier Collective to help spearhead the project. It was a massive undertaking, but it’s been incredible watching them come to fruition! They truly are a reflection of my personal experiences and things we have collectively learned along the way!
You've had so many incredible conversations with leaders in the diversity, equity and inclusion space this year. What has been one of your biggest learnings in this work?
While my journey is still far from over, I think one of the biggest learnings I have personally is my need to UNLEARN. For the longest time diversity, equity and inclusion were not top of mind for me. In fact, I THOUGHT we were leading with a DEI focus all along and that truly was not the case. This past year and a half have really opened my eyes to the countless ways we could really level up diversity, equity and inclusion throughout all aspects of our business and just how important doing so is.
Who have you looked to for business mentorship to get you where you are today?
It’s hard to name just one person as there have been so many instrumental people in my life that have taught me entrepreneurial lessons. I’ve learned so much from my parents who were both entrepreneurs. But I also feel like my many roles from 14 years old to now, from dishwashing, beer cart driving, cook, hairdresser's assistant, interior designer, restaurant designer and TV host have all shaped how I do business.
You're a busy gal—how do you unwind and practice self-care?
I have come to learn JUST how important self-care is. I used to pack my days so FULL of back-to-back meetings that I would barely have time to go to the bathroom and while days like this still occur from time-to-time, I am more cognizant of time blocking DOWNTIME into my schedule and getting really strict with my personal boundaries!
What are some of your fave Instagram accounts to follow at the moment?
You’re the best in the biz, Jilly! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us😊 You can shop the Lakeside Rompers here!