Jill is the founder of Rustic Cuff which has been featured on Good Morning America, ABC’s The View, The Wendy Williams Show, and E!News. Her products have been worn by Oprah, Giuliana Rancic, Britney Spears, Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Kathy Lee Gifford, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and countless other celebrities, and recording artists. She has appeared on Oprah and her products have been featured on the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is a Law Professor at The University of Tulsa. She is a former practicing attorney. Jill is married with two daughters.
Jill has always had the creative gene and her cuffs are addictive. She was teaching law and one night she turned her creative side on and now she is a successful entrepreneur turning her passion into a business.
She educated herself and started making cuffs in her garage. The spark of creating made her lose sleep and propelled her to keep going.
Jill really wanted to be on the Oprah show and she did whatever she could to get on Oprah. One day, she wrote a letter to Oprah to be on the re-gifting episode to tell her story. She went on the show and was ready to tell her story. But on the show, she got negative feedback on from the etiquette experts. A wonderful, positive experience turned sour. She went home and emptied the gift closet. Years later, she filled the same gift closet with all the cuffs that she created. She decided to not be defeated by what happened on national television. She turned the negative experience into a very positive path.Trust in the process instead of fighting it.
Her first ever customer was a friend who worked at Saks. She gave it to her as a gift and people started calling her to buy it.
What was the first ever lesson in entrepreneurship that you learnt?
- Surround yourself with people that know tings that you don’t. Fill in the gaps with what you don’t know well.
- Find the people in the things that you are weak in.
Thrive15– where you can find mentors in every aspect of business.
Who was the first person that you hired?
- You don’t feel like giving up control. But it is important to delegate.
- Hired people that she liked. Not necessary that they are the best. But they grew together.
Hire before you really need someone. #employee #hiring
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- Hire people that you like.
How do you keep your team motivated?
- Hiring the right people.
- Give them the freedom.
- What you get is loyalty and dedication.
- She tells her employees – If you have anything to say about anybody, go to them directly.
What channels are working for you the best?
- Facebook and Instagram.
- Find one or two that you enjoy and you can build your customer base there.
- What would make me want to follow a company? photography, humor and interesting pictures.
- Most of the reach is organic.
- Pictures and relatability of putting personal pics. People understand that they are not buying from a corporate.
- Get email addresses from social media.
Unique ways to get the word out-
- Jill took her cuffs, personalized it and sent it to celebrities. She started it off with something fun she wanted to do and eventually it started featuring in magazines and on TV..
- Doing a lot of due diligence and sent it out.
- Reach out in a very quality way.
What is your success trait?
- Building relationships.
- Treating everybody with respect.
If you could offer a first time entrepreneur one piece of advice, what would it be?
Everybody gets a great idea but they can’t get to point A to B- Do not give up. If you have a passion, always go back to it. Don’t abandon the passion.
What trophy would you want on our mantle?
Worlds best mom/wife.
What is your guilty pleasure?
What are you currently reading?
What is your Productivity hack?
What is your personal motto?
Never cry over something you can buy.
What would you do different if you were given another chance?
Be an Olympic gymnast.
You can reach Jill Donovan at:
www.thrive15.com Code: Rustic
Instagram: Rustic Cuff
Facebook: Rustic Cuff