MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — There’s a new fashion line going from sketch to store in Central Pennsylvania.
Two Midstate women are working together to design quality items fit for everyone, all while facing challenges as working mothers and running a women-owned business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jessica Rillo and Margaret Miller felt something was missing for their customers at Three Little Birds Boutique, with stores located in Mechanicsburg and Hershey. Passionate with their work, the two formed the brand JoFlower.
The process to creating a piece is not easy. It all starts with sketching.
“Margaret and I sketch things, figure out what we like, what we don’t like,” Rillo, also the brand’s Vice President, said.
Then it’s time to create. Each detail is carefully designed, down to the stitching.
“We really want good quality fabric,” Rillo said. “That’s been the most important part, and also the hardest part.”
The clothing brand, JoFlower, was launched this past spring at Three Little Birds Boutique. While it didn’t launch until this year, Rillo and Miller had the idea right before the pandemic hit.
“Our first meeting was the Wednesday before everything shut down,” Miller, the owner of the boutique, said. “We were in NYC and we just got done like a seven-hour meeting. And when we got home that weekend, everything shut down.”
As with everyone, the pandemic forced them and their kids home.
“At one point it was six kids, the three girls working for Three Little Birds Boutique, we had merchandise, racks of clothing, and just doing it from our home,” Miller said.
The pandemic also caused one store to close, but it gave Rillo and Miller time to build their brand.
The two even learned to make their own prints, meaning each JoFlower piece is unique, and fits perfectly.
“We noticed buying for the store that certain brands offer certain things for shorter people, taller people, only certain sizes, so we wanted to create a brand where all shapes and sizes can wear it and different heights as well,” Rillo said.
“We really want women to dress up again and feel confident dressing up,” Miller said.