Today we're taking five (or ten 😎) with our very own Creative Director, Jillian Wheeler. We chat about her life before Sonix, where she goes to for creative inspiration, all her holiday Gucci crushes and more.
So, first things first, did you always want to be an entrepreneur or designer?
Funny enough I think I've always wanted to do both! I have always been creative and interested in fashion, but I just didn’t know how that would fit into my career path. Both of my parents had a business background, so naturally I studied Business Marketing in college. I felt very unfulfilled creatively while completing my degree, so I started a side business through Etsy, designing floral hair accessories. It was a creative outlet for me at the time, but I was also earning a decent living from the business while going to school. I think that’s when I realized I had entrepreneurial drive but I needed to be creatively hands-on at the same time.
What part of being a creative director do you absolutely love?
I love having creative freedom. So many designers have to stick to one category but I get to have a hand in so many aspects. On an average day I can start designing case prints and then jump designing sunglasses, and start developing photo shoot ideas. On the opposing side, it can become super overwhelming, but at the end of the day I really do feel like I have a dream job.
What do you turn to for creative inspiration or motivation?
I love looking at runway trends for inspiration. I enjoy taking avant-garde trends and then designing prints in a more literal stylistic way that translate to everyday life.
What are the top things on your wish list this year?
I already received one of my christmas wishes from my husband! We got a 6 week old english bulldog puppy named Chashu. We already have a 4 year old bulldog so my house is pretty crazy lately! I'm also in desperate need of home decor! One Kings Lane has an emerald green velvet sectional that I'm dying for. And anyone who works with me knows my obsession for anything Gucci. I would die and go to heaven for a pair of princetown loafers or the GG Marmont Matelassé bag.
How would you describe your winter style?
I like to be comfortable and cozy! Skinny jeans, a chunky sweater and a peacoat. I've been trying to wear more color so I invested in this cobalt blue peacoat- it's the perfect winter staple!
What are your favorite pair of sunnies from this year’s collection?
I love our 'highland' frame. They have this understated, cool feel. I love them because they are as versatile as an aviator- you can literally wear them with anything.
What is your favorite holiday drink to order?
I love peppermint anything. Peppermint mochas are a favorite and this bar called Seven Grand in DTLA serves an amazing peppermint white russian!
Favorite Christmas song of all time?
This is going to make me look so uncool but I'm obsessed with the Hanson Christmas album. I would listen to it non-stop around christmas when I was in middle school! So now the album has this nostalgic sentiment for me. I make my husband listen to it every year when we decorate our Christmas tree, he knows he can't fight me on it anymore!
What is your most notable moment of 2016?
The moment Sonix Sunnies were picked up by Nordstrom- FOR SURE! I've been a sunglass fean since I was in high school. Eyewear has always been my ultimate style accessory and having the opportunity to have my vision translate into eyewear was a whole different emotional experience. I had been perfecting our Sonix Sunnies line for over a year, so seeing our collection in Nordstrom was a defining moment. I always have 'our girl' in mind when designing any Sonix product and seeing her relate to this new category is an amazing feeling. That feeling is what makes me love my job and love this brand.