To Top

Conversations with Jill Bradshaw

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Bradshaw.

Jill, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My path to interiors was a long and winding road. I am California-raised but ended up at UT business school for a marketing degree. After graduating, I worked my way through the fashion industry before I opened up my first brick & mortar store, I Heart, in the Nolita neighborhood of NYC at 24 years old. After five years and a crashing economy, I closed my store and moved into Trend Forecasting. Before too long though, I got the urge to leave the city and my entrepreneurial itch drove me to move back to Austin and open another retail shop. This time I turned my interest specifically to vintage clothing and included a cafe option for coffee, wine and beer and thus Friends & Neighbors opened on E. Cesar Chavez St in East Austin in an old 1930s bungalow. After three years, I got pregnant and decided to take a break from work and enjoyed spending all of my time being a mother. But then I got itchy to create again! And I realized what I loved most about my retail experience was creating the environment itself. Over the years, I had fine-tuned my eye for pattern, color, and design and decided to pour all of my knowledge into my love for interiors. I started off assisting a designer in town doing small side work and then transitioned into a project manager/designer position with Shannon Eddings Interiors, where I am at today. At the same time, I was able to cultivate my own design aesthetic on the side with my Instagram account and website which features the kitchen I designed in my own home. I’m currently helping a client with their kitchen as well! If you want something, sometimes you just have to go out and make it happen!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. Closing my first store was emotionally difficult to say the least but through the process, I was also at my most creative – I was in a band and I made a small magazine. I got all the stress out and picked myself back up in order to begin anew. I had to figure out who I was outside of myself as a business owner. It took me a long time to figure out that running a boutique did not fulfill me in the ways that I wanted it to. It was incredibly stressful and felt like I was in a never-ending hamster wheel of trying to keep up. Motherhood, as dreamy and beautiful as it was, also did not fulfill me completely. I feel comfortable being honest about that because I think it’s important and something many mothers also feel. Interiors brought a light into my life that I had not experienced with fashion. And being able to find a way to learn, apply and create was something incredibly fulfilling. I believe it allows me to be a better mother in the end. We all have to find our happiness and balance in whatever form that comes in.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Fashion for me was a way to be a different person every time I got dressed. I was inspired by so many different styles and eras, I was never really able to define myself in one particular look. Interiors is the same for me. I may create one design aesthetic for one client but I have so many different points of inspiration that each time I sit down to design, I want to incorporate different elements. Also, I truly believe that each house has its own story and speaks to the design it requires. I love stepping into a house and having it tell me how it wants to be dressed.

I am a long-time lover of vintage – from clothing t0 furniture – and you will constantly see me frequenting antique malls in every city I travel to. I believe that vintage items bring an element of warmth and uniqueness that balance out more modern pieces. And similar to fashion, I am inspired by different eras and styles and always want to mix them up. I love combining traditional details and materials, one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and modern elements to create an elevated look. I think I provide a different voice than what is offered and I hope to attract clients that are looking for that.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I’m 43 years old and I changed careers at 40. You don’t have to be stuck in one job/career/industry no matter what age you are. Go after your goals no matter what. Take the risk – it’s worth it! You can always find a way to make it happen.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jackie Lee Young

Suggest a Story: VoyageAustin is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories