“What Might Feel Like the End Is Often Just the Beginning”
Jill Donovan’s need for a creative outlet and lifelong obsession with cuffs turned into more than she could have ever dreamed. But not before being humiliated in front of 20 million people.
A self-proclaimed “regifter”, Jill was once a guest on Oprah and unexpectedly embarrassed by a panel of “etiquette experts” who labeled her as rude and tacky on air. Devastated and dejected, she turned tragedy into triumph. Jill taught herself how to make cuffs and gifted them to friends and family. Soon she was persuaded to sell her beautiful bracelets, and in three short years Jill’s grassroots beginning turned into a booming business with celebrities such as Miranda Lambert, Giuliana Rancic and Kristin Chenoweth sporting her designs. In March 2015, a Rustic Cuff bracelet that Jill gave to Gayle King was featured on the cover of Oprah’s O Magazine, worn by Oprah herself. A “regift” from Gayle to Oprah? For Jill it was the best full circle moment.
Today, inspiration for Jill comes from being mom to Ireland and August, aka “Peanut”. She is also inspired by her amazing customers, each of whom Jill would call a friend. She attributes the brand success to these loyal friends, locally and across the country.
Known for her big heart and generous spirit, Jill’s favorite thing is to inspire these traits in others. In recent months, she has inadvertently started an epidemic of RC gift-givers. Everyday she hears new stories from women who are moved to gift the cuff off their own wrist. For Jill that is what it’s all about. Not the bracelet, but the connection that is made between two people, often strangers, in that moment. Spontaneous moments. Full of hope, love, tears and laughter. This organic movement was named #RegiftRC and has become part of the company’s mission. The birth of Rustic Cuff stemmed from regifting gone wrong, but the ripple effect is regifting gone right.
Jill was born in Baltimore, raised in Pensacola and graduated from ORU where she met her husband Terry. She went on to get her law degree at the University of Tulsa, and was a practicing attorney and adjunct law professor at TU when Rustic Cuff was born.
In her spare time Jill enjoys break dancing, playing tennis, and seeing Barry Manilow and Michael Buble in concert. As much as possible.
Ireland and Peanut often make cameo appearances on Facebook and Instagram and are fan favorites. As well as Terry, who was Jill’s test model for her new men’s line.