Some of you may have heard me mention Bernadette here and there on Facebook Lives.
Although she doesn’t love being in front of the camera, she’s truly at the heart of Just Jill.
We thought, what better way to introduce her to all of you than featuring her on her birthday!
Who is Bernadette?
Bernadette grew up in the Philadelphia area. But because she has family near Baltimore, she spent a lot of time growing up there as well.
If you need to know one thing about Bernadette, it is that she cares a lot about her family.
In fact, if you ask her what she is most proud of in her life, her answer would undoubtedly be her daughter and three grandsons. “Having grandkids is the best and I am so lucky to have them locally and watch them grow up.”
My son, Trevor, plays baseball, so sports can often be a topic of conversation in the office.
While Bernadette doesn’t mind watching sports, she joked, “I have to be a fan of sports now, I have 3 grandsons and the oldest is obsessed!”
In her free time, Bernadette prefers being out and about.
She loves meeting new people and being able to help them when she can. She has been volunteering at a non-profit that provided retreats for women going through cancer.
When she is not volunteering, she likes to spend time outside. Namely, she enjoys walking, biking, gardening, and cooking!
Bernadette also loves curling up and watching a tv show or movie with her husband. The movie CODA has been a topic of conversation recently in our office!
She discovered her passion for working in retail working at a department store in Philly. She continued to pursue that passion at QVC, where she worked 25 years as a buyer… and it is where our story starts.
Bernadette’s Contribution To Just Jill
Bernadette and I met 25 years ago. At the time, Bernadette was a buyer working with silver jewelry.
If you ever watched me on QVC, then you may know of my obsession with Southwestern jewelry. As it happened, Bernadette has a soft spot for Southwestern jewelry as well.
Although we talked to each other at work, it was not until we began going on trips to the Southwest that we really got to know each other.
We visited events such as Southwestern Association for Indian Arts in Santa Fe and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!
We also bonded over Sterling Designers such as Robert Lee Morris, and Judith Ripka! So, essentially, jewelry brought us together!
After we had both left QVC, Bernadette approached me with some ideas about the direction Just Jill should go. In fact, she was the one to approach me with the idea of opening my own shop!
When I first opened the shop, I made it my goal to only promote products that I absolutely love. However, finding products goes hand-in-hand with finding great businesses with amazing stories.
Here at Just Jill, Bernadette handles both merchandise and customer service.
I am thankful that Bernadette and I share a common passion and goal for bringing attention to both small businesses and women-owned businesses.
Speaking of our vendors, I asked Bernadette what her favorite products are and here’s what she had to say.
As our merchandise gal, she has quite a few favorites!
“I worked with Jen from PowerBeads to help design these bracelets for you. I’m not always the creative team member, so it was a nice chance to get to sit down with her!
“These bracelets aren’t a traditional breast cancer awareness color. But, I think it adds a layer of depth to it.”
“It’s an easy accessory for anyone going through breast cancer, a survivor or even just to wear as support to bring awareness to the cause and issue.”
“Most importantly, I’m proud that we donate a portion of each purchase to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”
“I have to mention the Just Jill Room Home Scent Spray.
“We worked for about a year to get this scent perfect. You know how candles lose scent over time? These don’t!”
“We loved the candle so much that we set about creating a spray as well and I am in love!! Oh, and we have a set of just the sprays as well.”
“I can’t imagine my home without it!”
“My main reason for adding this cardinal lantern to my list? It just makes me happy!”
“It’s one of our top-rated holiday items and I’m so happy you love it just as much as I do!”
“If you haven’t tried these jams, go get them right now! I have always loved these pepper jams because they’re the perfect combo of sweet and spicy.”
“Not to mention their Salted Caramels Cookie Mix, which might be my favorite cookie mix ever!”
“I have always loved caramel. It’s sweet and rich and hits the spot. What I don’t love is how it sticks to your teeth.”
“Part of the reason I love Hope’s is that these don’t stick to your teeth… so you get that great taste without that sticky feeling!”
“Every time I look at this tree, I remember one of my favorite aunts who gifted me something very similar when I got married.”
“As I get older, those memories become even more precious and I’m so grateful this item brings her to mind.”
“We could not decide which sugar scrubs we wanted to offer, so we just offered them all. While I love this product, I love the story more.”
Candace Abel’s mission was to find healthier products to use on her son who has a critical form of thalassemia major (a blood disorder).
“If we can put better things on the table, then we can put better things on our bodies, too,” said Candace.
“I try to live my life as holistically as possible, so her mission really struck a cord in me,” added Bernadette.
“I love nightlights because they’re the perfect gift for the grandkids. Actually, anyone that needs a little whimsy in their life!”
“Such a simple way to add some decor to your home.”
“You could ask anyone in the office and they will tell you that the Save My Sole Foot Cream has my stamp of approval.”
“Regardless of the season, this stuff is seriously a lifesaver. If you buy it, your feet will love you for it.”
“This is the best sunscreen I have ever used, and I am a sunscreen snob. I like to know exactly what I am putting on my body, and this checks all of my boxes.”
“It’s non-toxic, coral reef safe, and is great even for sensitive skin. It’s lightweight that it’s perfect for applying under makeup too! 10/10.”
“Hoops are the perfect staple for any outfit and while we have a lot in the shop, I prefer the simpler and smaller ones. I also love the thick tubing because they don’t get caught in my hair.”
“It’s literally the perfect earring for anyone!”
“There are so many options to choose from, so you are bound to find a dish that you love.”
“Honestly, I have a couple stashed for gifts (in case I need one quickly). It’s a fun, different and unique gift. Everyone loves them!”
I am so thankful that Bernadette is part of our team here at Just Jill. I hope you all love her just as much as we do!
From my office to yours,