Sisters set aside sibling rivalry to support successful venture
Three giggly sisters grew up in the same home with similar interests in girlish fascinations — ruffles and bows, fashionable clothes and the creative arts.
They were inspired by their mother, Carolee McMullin, who published tole painting books and started a scrapbook business in the mid-1980s. Family always came first though, and as the children turned into young adults, the girls became an integral part of the business, now named ADORNit of Hyde Park, Utah. Collectively, the three sisters are known as the ADORNit Girls: Georgana, 30; Alison, 26; and Jackie, 24.
The trio remembers as children and teens how they often stuffed packages for shipping, traveled to trade shows, worked part-time in various positions and developed a great enthusiasm for the company.
Jackie attributes much of their success to the fact that theirs is a family pursuit, and that they are looking for fresh, innovative styles, “not other people’s ideas.”
“We enjoy fashion, and we pull inspiration from the fashion industry,” she says.
In 2009, the company began designing and manufacturing quilting fabrics. It also sells clothing and accessories through a retail store in Hyde Park and recently opened a boutique in nearby Logan, Utah.
“ADORNit has a style for every age group, something that appeals to every woman,” says Jackie, company manager.
The sisters and their mother, the company’s founder and CEO, work together every single day, they have Sunday dinner together and other sporadic dinners.
“We’re always thinking and talking about work. That’s what makes our company different and, I think, successful. We have four brains together,” Jackie says.
When they aren’t together physically, the talented women keep the ideas flowing digitally.
“It’s so funny,” Jackie laughs, “we group-text all night long and send photos (on their smartphones). What do you think of this? Oooh, look at this.”
Right now at work, they are busy getting ready to ship to retailers a new line of fabric called “Crazy for Daisies” and a pattern book to go with it. The fabric collection is light and perfect for spring and summer projects, Jackie says.
All three daughters are married and live within 20 minutes of the business in Hyde Park. The two older ones have children as well. Georgana Hall is the company president; Alison Lindhart is vice president and an illustrative artist; and Jackie Berryhill is manager and handles public relations.
Besides the sisters, Carolee and her husband, Corey, have two sons, affectionately referred to as the ADORNit Boys. They also help by working in the woodshop with scrapbook and decoupage supplies, shipping fabric and stocking shelves — “the heavy lifting,” according to Jackie. Dad is involved, too, helping Mom make business decisions and driving a forklift in the warehouse. Sometimes even the sons-in-law “get roped into” the family business, she says.
In addition to the store work, the three girls write a collective blog and keep their fans updated on recent creative projects through Instagram postings and a Facebook page. Jackie enjoys working with mixed media, and recently posted a wreath wrapped with fabric and decorated with coordinated paper from ADORNit collections. Her older sister, Georgana, really loves sewing and quilting, so her offerings are usually related to stitching, Jackie says.
Here’s Jackie’s run-down of the four women’s specialties:
■ Mother Carolee is fond of bright colors and hand-draws many of her designs.
■ Georgana leans toward contemporary, modern looks with simple and classic lines.
■ Alison likes bold, loud and busy configurations.
■ Jackie goes for a soft, vintage feel.
As a cohesive unit, Jackie says, “we like to help each other, give input and mold ideas and make something wonderful.”
Their individual styles often influence specific fabric lines from season to season, so they each see their own work spotlighted.
But with all these great ideas swirling around all the time, can’t it be overwhelming and confusing when final decisions have to be made?
“Well, we all are very opinionated, and we are very truthful with each other,” Jackie explains, “but we respect one another, and we always trust Mom’s instincts. She has the most experience, and Carolee always has the final word.”
Bottom line in this family business: Mother knows best.