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That’s a wrap!

December 3, 2009

I love scarves. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I have amassed quite a collection over the years! They add a splash of color and interest to my wardrobe and often add a dash of whimsy, as well.

And, like any collector, my friends and family continually feed my habit by presenting me with fabulous new additions for every birthday, holiday and anniversary. I recently received a gorgeous silk square based on the artwork of Picasso that my mom found at the Louvre, a vintage nautical-inspired piece complete with depictions of an ocean liner and turn-of-the-century wooden deck chairs in lovely, muted colors, and my new favorite — an animal print Valentino from my friend Vincenza’s vacation trip to Italy.

So I was thrilled to learn about a new scarf/wrap/sarong called a Chilly Jilly. Not only are Chilly Jillys beautiful, they are so useful. They are lightweight and are so small that they can be kept right in your purse in their own little bag. But the best part is that they do not wrinkle.  I actually have to say that again – they do not wrinkle. Hooray!

I was fortunate enough to speak with the designer responsible for this minor miracle, Jill Boehler. The following is an excerpt of that conversation. Enjoy!

What was your inspiration to create the Chilly Jilly?

In the summer of 2007, my husband and I had just enjoyed a beautiful summer day in Massachusetts with friends.  We were prepared to end the day with wonderful food and conversation at a local restaurant.  As we entered the restaurant we were overcome with a blast of cold air that continued throughout the meal.  My friends and I found ourselves taking turns leaving the restaurant and stepping outside just to warm up.  As I looked around the room, I noticed several women covering themselves with napkins because of the air conditioning.  Most were in short sleeves because it was a warm summer day.  As my husband took his reading glasses out of his pocket to read the menu I remember thinking, “wouldn’t it be nice if there was a wrap small enough to put in your pocket for times like these.” That was my inspirational moment!

What is your design background?

I have no design background.  I have a MS in Speech Pathology and Audiology and was a speech pathologist for 27 years.

Tell me about your design process. How did you finalize fabric choice? And what were you “hits and misses”?

We are still going through some “hits and misses” as we grow.  We think the product is better and better with each change.  We are close to a “bulls eye”. The fabric find was difficult but in order to meet the criteria there were few options.  It had to be light weight, soft, crease resistant, and provide warmth.     We expanded the colors and sizes because customers asked for some variety.  We are trying to stay neutral because the product is designed to be kept in a woman’s purse “just in case” and we want it to match most clothing.  The bags are more fun now and colorful.   We have also added an ELITE line which is more luxurious both in fabric and bag.

We came across the brooches at a trade show. One of our rep groups was showing a Chilly Jilly with the brooch and we thought it looked great as an added accessory with bling.  They are magnetically fastened.  Great on the Chilly Jilly or anywhere else.

Where can I buy a Chilly Jilly?

You can buy a Chilly Jilly at any of our listed retail locations or on our website itself.  Information for both can be found at our website.

What’s next?

In the fall we are adding Chilly Jilly gloves to our line.  We are very excited about this product. They are a great fabric and each pair comes in a cute pouch similar to the Chilly Jilly pouch. They will be available in brown and in black. There is a preview picture on our website.

Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and social activist. In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for Style on a WHIM, It’s how you play the game!, and Success Won’t Wait!

 

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