Coffee Talk with Jill Bauer


There are few things better than coffee and conversation, which is why we try to set up coffee dates (in-person or virtual) as often as we can. It’s a great way to catch up with clients and friends and chat with people we’ve been dying to meet.

Today we’re talking to Jill Bauer, your go-to gal for all things home. She’s a phenomenal baker, gorgeous decorator, and one of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet! (Side note: we started working with Jill several months ago on an exciting new project that we can’t wait to share!)

What got you started as a TV host and personality (on QVC, the Today show, and more!) and what major decisions did you make to evolve your career into what it is today?

From the time I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in journalism. I asked my high school journalism teacher which schools had the best programs, and he told me that the University of Missouri had one of the top journalism schools in the country. So, I left the sunny skies and beaches of my home in southern California after high school graduation and attended Mizzou. Once I started taking classes, I realized that I loved telling stories on camera, and pursued broadcast journalism as my major. While I was at Mizzou, I worked for the local NBC affiliate station as a morning and weekend news anchor and reporter.

From there, my first “real” job was as an anchor and reporter at WLFI-TV in West Lafayette, Indiana. While there, a colleague took a job at QVC and suggested I send in a resume. I was contacted for an audition, but I had to cover all of the travel expenses, which would have maxed out my credit card! It was my Dad, who upon hearing me say, “what if I run up all this debt in trying to pay for this audition and then I don’t even get the job?” responded with, “But oh my dear, what if you do?” And so, I auditioned with about 500 other applicants, made the next 2 cuts, and with things down to just me and one other was told I was too young and didn’t have enough life experience to relate to the customers. Luckily, a few months later, a change in management led to another look at my audition tapes and I was offered the job. At the time, I was the youngest program host they had ever hired.

I loved my years at QVC. 25 years is a long time to do anything and I basically grew up on the channel! It was a wonderful ride and I have nothing but fond and happy memories of my time there. What I loved most about being a host on QVC was the ability to simply be myself. I think that’s one of the reasons why what I do and my brand resonate with people…I don’t try to be anything other than just Jill. When I left QVC in 2019, I wasn’t really sure how my “second act” was going to evolve, but I was excited about having some creative freedom to start something new.

I never imagined that after just a few months of leaving QVC I would be featured as a lifestyle expert on the TODAY show. I was lucky enough to meet a former executive producer at TODAY who now works as an agent, of sorts. She introduced me to a producer on the Hoda and Jenna show, and well, the rest is history. I thought I might be on once in a while, but it’s become pretty regular. I’m usually on at least once a month, sometimes 2 or 3. I’m flattered they like the segments I put together and that when a topic comes up in their brainstorm meetings, the producers reach out to me because they think I’ll do a good job.

As a young journalism student, I had dreams of one day making it big and being on the TODAY show. I never would have guessed I’d be making my debut at the age of 50.

Share your advice for someone who wants to curate their personal home style and decorate their space on a budget?

The first place you should shop? Your home! Using things you already have in a different way or in a different room is such an easy way to change things up. Don’t be afraid to spray paint things to make them look updated and fresh.
Your home is your sanctuary, so make sure the things you display and are out in view are things that make you smile.

Textures and colors are easy to play with and change up each season in throws, pillows, and flower arrangements. Those are often how I refresh my space season to season.

It seems like you’ve seamlessly blended your career and life passions. Do you have any words of wisdom for how to achieve that?

I think there’s a tee shirt out there that says, “Do what you love. Love what you do.” I’ve been very lucky to be able to make a career out of what I love…which is essentially being at home and making our home living a place of comfort for my family. However, there’s nothing wrong with having a little side hustle that allows you to do what you love…you just have to be willing to make the time. You hear a lot about self-care. Self-care for me is decorating the house, preparing a new recipe, painting a table. And then I make myself vulnerable and share it with my followers. I make the time to do it and then I take the risk in sharing it. Once you do that, you may find that sharing what gives you joy is joyous to others too…that’s when you can look at making the shift and turning that passion into a career.

What are some of your goals, both personally and professionally, for 2021?

We have some really exciting things on the horizon with the Just Jill brand. My goal for the new year is to solidify the website as a go-to destination for all things home and continue to build on the authentic following on my platforms.

Personally, my goal is to spend as much time at the beach as possible. 🙂

Tell us one impactful thing someone has said to you.

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. I try to be mindful of this every time I open my mouth to speak!

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The Monthly Round-Up

Adorn Goods and our team have collaborated to launch a welcoming and intuitive ecommerce site! We’re so excited to be working with them to bring their thoughtful and delicious goods directly into your home. On the site you’ll find a shopping experience focused on blending the old with the new, antique with contemporary, mixing beauty and community.

We’re looking forward to working with Jill Bauer on a new project…but we can’t tell you very much yet! You may have seen Jill on QVC and The TODAY Show; she’s also a lifestyle expert, documentarian, and author…just to name a few of her incredible achievements. The Social Stylate team is beyond excited to welcome Jill into our group and can’t wait to see and share what we can do together!

New Client Alert! Introducing Beauty Little Secret. We’re so excited to join the BLS Beauty Tribe and help their team build the brand’s online presence. We recently launched their revamped website where they offer a curated selection of luxury beauty products and sell them at seriously discounted prices!

Our co-founder, Lauren Golt, wrote an article for Out & About Magazine featuring Wilmington’s hit pop-up Christmas bar, Blitzen. Lauren interviewed fashion illustrator and visual director Dallas Shaw, who (for the second year running) brought to life Blitzen’s den, giving us an engaging and personal look into the reindeer’s life outside of Santa’s roll call.

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Coffee Talk with Free Reign Founders

What personally motivated you to start the company?
Necessity is the mother of invention. Friends since childhood, we grumbled often about how hard it was to find a good bra for our small breasts. We never felt a need to wear a bra. For years, we would buy and wear clothing so you couldn’t see we were braless. This might be a shirt with two pockets, thick fabrics, or layers. Since we didn’t need the support, it felt crazy to wear an uncomfortable bra, and most bras were either too thin to provide coverage anyway or too “push-up” to be meant for us. The biggest insult of all was the underwire bra, rigid and unforgiving to body movement, an overly constructed shelf for little to hold.


What obstacles did you overcome to give you a totally unique perspective on what the market needs?
As smaller-busted women, all we asked for was a comfortable bra with a little support and coverage. Feeling completely misunderstood and underserved inspired us to create Free Reign – a line of comfortable bra tops with integrated lightly padded molded cups engineered to contour to the unique shape of smaller busts. We saw an opportunity to take what we were seeing developing in seamless activewear tops and apply that to everyday wear with soft fabrics, an innovative inner bra and a modern look. Our first product is the Everyday Tank, and we have plans to expand the line in the future. We’ve designed our apparel for the A and B cup woman. We know our customer. We are her.

What inspires you and fuels your creativity? 

We’re inspired by Guy Raz and the entrepreneurs whose stories he brings to life through his NPR podcast How I Built ThisAs with most start-ups, creating Free Reign has been a rollercoaster ride. There are moments that are thrilling and others so anxiety producing they make your stomach drop. Listening to the journey of other founders – the barriers they encountered and the pivotal steps they took on their way to success — is an ongoing source of inspiration and learning

What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs? 
Follow your dream. Don’t shy away from challenges because of fear.

Words to live by.

Do what you love!

P.S. Carroll lives in her Free Reign tank — from tennis to pilates to Zoom. The perfect everyday tank! 

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The Monthly Round-Up

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Our client, Lilliana Vazquez, launched her first podcast, DNA of a MAKER, where she has one-on-one conversations with true trailblazers for change. By partnering with MAKERS, she is fueling the women’s movement through storytelling to ignite change. Episodes reveal what individual traits set these high achieving women apart and how these traits shape who they are.

We’ve been working behind the scenes with Free Reign for over a year and are so excited that the site is launched and products will be available soon. They’ve created an innovative top with a built-in bra perfect for smaller-busted women that’s eco-friendly and built to last. Check out their kickstarter campaign going on now.

Our very own co-founder, Carroll Ivy, got engaged to her fiancé, Doug, on July 12th in St. Barts! We are elated and wish them a lifetime full of happiness and love.

Our client, Sunny Goode of LOVEVOLVE, created a mural in Richmond, Virginia to represent the need for evolving as a country through love, trust, and peace. Baby swaddles have also launched on the LOVEVOLVE site with a mission to create social change with the movement of love starting at infancy.

We would like to wish a belated congratulations to our PR Manager, Kathleen McFadden, who had a beautiful baby boy named Jude on February 11th! He is blessed with a wonderful momma and is so loved by the Social Stylate family!

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