ROCKWALL – It’s a true rags-to-riches story – right here in Rockwall.
Four years ago Taylor McMillan, 28, and her husband, Ben, who worked in IT (information technology), lived in a tiny apartment and desperately needed more money to pay for her medical bills. She has Lupus, which means her immune system does not fight off viruses, bacteria and germs as it should; resulting in inflammation, pain and damage to body tissue.
Now they’re running a multi-million dollar, international clothing business called Hazel and Olive out of a small, converted home near the Square in Rockwall.
How in the world have they come so far, so fast?
McMillan says she attributes their success to God’s help, and because they launched their online clothing business on Facebook and then a website at just the right time.
“God has helped us so very much,” McMillan said.”I had to do something to help pay for my medical bills and He answered my prayers.”
With a degree in Fashion Design from Wade College in Dallas, she purchased $300 worth of discounted clothing and started selling it on Facebook. Within a few days it all sold and she used the $600 she made to purchase more clothing, and off she went.
“Within six months of opening our business, we achieved a million dollars in sales,” she added. “We’re very grateful for the success we’re having.”
But they’re not just putting money in their pockets. They just donated $5,000 to the American Red Cross for flood disaster relief, they’re helping to support an orphanage in Guatemala and donate to Helping Hands and its health clinic. They intend to donate even more to local charities.
McMillan said they named their business after her great grandmother, Hazel Olive, who loved fashion. Her grandmother taught McMillan to sew, which she’s used to develop their own fashion line.
They sell 20 high-quality women’s clothing lines at reduced prices – several of which sell at Nordstrom’s – including dresses, tops, bottoms, sportwear, shoes and more. Website models are local girls, she said.
Last year they opened their first and current storefront at 304 N. San Jacinto. Their extended families work there, too. She said their new building will be completed later this year on N. Goliad and they can’t wait to move into their larger quarters. It will be nearly three times as large, she explained.
McMillan added they are very excited about the future, expanding their business and doing as much good as possible in Rockwall and beyond.
By J.J. Smith