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I knew, but, I didn't know

Jill Alexander

On any given day, I get to experience the most amazing gratitude.  One of the benefits of having my main office in our Scotts Valley store is that I get to hear customers trying on my clothes for the first time.  If they don’t know who I am, I don’t tell them.  If they know who I am, I usually will leave the room so that they feel free to give real feedback about what they’re trying on.  Most times the conversation starts something like this, “I hate shopping, I can never find anything, that won’t look good on me,” and the dreaded, “that will be clingy.”  Once we get past all her dislikes, (mostly about her body), she goes into the fitting room a little skeptical, and comes out transformed.  The dialogue sounds more like, “I had no idea I could wear this, I usually don’t like prints, this fabric feels so good, and I can’t believe this fits me.”  Then she usually shares her past shopping experience and raves to us about how different we are.  The experience usually ends in hugs and happy tears, and she leaves feeling better about herself than when she came in.

A few months ago, I received a Facebook message from a woman in the south.  She had heard about me years ago when I first started this business in 2009, and has followed my career ever since.  She never bought anything, or tried anything on, she was just intrigued with my story, loved the photos of my clothes, and impressed by the comments she read from other women about their experience.   When I delved in a little deeper with her, I asked her why she had never tried anything.  She explained to me that she was on a fixed income, and had been saving her money for a jumpsuit.  Saving her money for a jumpsuit!  I was blown away!  A woman, whom I’d never met, was saving her money to buy something of mine.  I was so choked up, I couldn’t breathe.  After we sent her the jumpsuit, she was so grateful she sent us photos in her new outfit, with her family, on her birthday.  The joy on her face was tangible.  She thanked me profusely and told me how owning that piece made her feel so special.  That jumpsuit could never make her feel as special as she made me feel in that moment.

 I’ve always known what we do is different and although I’m passionate about changing the shopping experience for women, I never really realized the profound effect it would have.  When a woman spends her hard-earned money on her appearance, shouldn’t it make her feel wonderful?  Isn’t that obvious?

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  • Kathleen O'Brien on

    Just recently found you and your clothes make me feel just the way you described – I feel beautiful and I’ve gotten so many compliments in just this short time, I know I look go too! Thanks so much Jill!!

  • Julie on

    Jill, I’m a HUGE fan of yours, your authenticity, warmth, hard-working passion and genuine care! Thanks for this heart-warming story, Jill. I was one of those… never ever thought you’d get me to like shopping again. YOUR DESIGNS and the experience of your shop have been transformational for me. You’re a household name around here. In the best way possible!

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