I began this company a few years ago with my youngest in diapers. My plan was always to do this part time and learn as much as I could by the time she entered kindergarten. My five-year plan was to pursue this more full time once she was in school. That is now. I am focusing on proactively growing the business this year with new retail partners, Mart visits, etc. I have so many things planned, including trips to Chicago for fabric sourcing, Miami for the 2018 Swim Show and Nashville to work on new beach wear designs, including the cutest resort pants EVER, new shorts and new cover-up designs.
Of course, we'll be on the beach every chance we get, too. We have some SMIJ signs in Mercantile in Seaside, Fla., and we love an excuse to go visit 30a and Mercantile.
Are your products made locally?
Yes, and that is a core business value for us. Our tags say "Made in the South". The cover-ups are designed here in Milton and sewn in Nashville.
The tees are also designed in Milton, and they are sourced locally and then printed by my dad who I pulled out of retirement. He prints my tees in between rounds of golf and tennis matches. He has been in the T-shirt printing business for 20+ years on the side of his "real job."
Do you create custom products?
We work with booster organizations and schools to create custom SMIJ tees to be sold exclusively through their events — orientations, games, spirit wear, etc. We currently have a very popular one selling fast at Cambridge High School. I also work with my retail partners to create custom designs for their stores — ZIP Code tees, high school color tees, college game day tees and our popular St. Patty's Day tees, etc.
What is your favorite trend for fall?
As a self-proclaimed "suburban mom in jeans," I tend to follow the trends in
denim and casual styles. This fall season I'm looking forward to all the cropped
denim with released, boot-cut and staggered hems. These are designed to show
off the fall shoes, and I'm a big fan of anything that loves shoes as much as I do.
I'm also loving the variety of sleeve styles this fall. Basically, anything BUT a basic sleeve goes this year. Then, bringing me right back to high school is the luxe, but
casual look of the velvet-look this fall. It's showing up in T-shirts and other
casual pieces. Sneakers continue to be "in," and my personal collection is
definitely growing. Love how comfortable yet stylish this fall is shaping up!
What product is your biggest seller right now?
Fall is a big tee season for SMIJ year after year. We sell them through our retail partners. Henry & Pearl in Milton has been everyone's go-to for SMIJ tees and I appreciate their partnership so much. Our high school colors, college colors and Game Day tees are always anticipated and big sellers. We love H&P customers! We have new "Tailgate Y'all" tees coming out which I predict will go fast. Also, I'm working with a local company and friend from my church, Alpharetta UMC, to make SMIJ Game Day hats for the first time ever. Both should be available by September. By the time this article comes out our "Tailgate Y'all" tee will be in the store, and I'm so excited for that one!
Of course, we are always planning for the next beach season for our cover-ups. Thanks to the school breaks built into the calendar year round,cover-ups are always in season. Personally, I'll be on the beach October and December, at least!
Please share anything else you would like our readers to know about you, your website or products.
I love to write the blog. It's my way to share my love for fashion and style with those who love it like I do. I also love my local area and the U.S.A. I love to share experiences with our city, trips beyond our area and local small businesses. I am fortunate to have SMIJ in 12+ local stores (listed under "Locations" on my website).
In the North Fulton area, we are in Henry & Pearl (30004) in Milton, All Inspired (30022) in Johns Creek and Serendipity (30075) in Roswell. They all carry ZIP Code tees for their area. Henry & Pearl is the first store to give me a chance and I'll NEVER forget that. I love to work with them! It's a great local store with the best team.
The best way to stay up to date with SMIJ is to follow us on Instagram (smijbyjill).