Candid Keepers #326

With less than 2 weeks until the unveiling of Character Counts, I am pleased to introduce you to a beautiful lady with more class and pizazz than should be womanly possible.  Jamie Bjorklund of Fort Mill, SC is a fashionista at heart that was born for the position of Trunk Keeper extraordinaire.  Please welcome her into your HUGE hearts and your homes and let her do what she does best.

Q:  Hi there.  Tell us a little bit about you and your family.

A:  I’m a big city girl at heart that grew up in a tiny little town in Michigan.  I grew up an only child with my parents and was very close to my Grandma whom I gained an appreciation for apparel and design. I like to always be busy and around other people, meeting new people, and love shopping even it’s just window shopping.  Some of my favorite shopping trips are the ones where I don’t buy a thing.  I enjoy looking and taking in the retail environment.  Call me crazy, but every year I head out in the middle of night to partake in the craziness of Black Friday.  It’s really one of my favorite shopping days of the year! I live with my husband of five years, Brad, and my 3.5 year old daughter Abrey, they are a couple of the funniest people I know and I love spending time with them every day!

Q:  What is your favorite place you’ve ever lived?  Why?

A: Easy answer, Chicago.  I had grown up wanting to live in Chicago and work in the fashion industry.  It was my dream ever since I was a young child.  Coming from a small town the thought of living in such a big city seemed very intimidating. I stayed home after high school graduation and attended community college.  Never quite feeling fulfilled, that crazy Chicago dream remained in the back of my head.  I started researching Fashion Merchandising schools on the internet and found one in Chicago that I thought was the perfect school for me.   I booked an Amtrak ticket and this small town girl hopped on the train and headed off to Chicago.  Coming out of Union station stepping out onto the busy Chicago streets filled with cars honking, buildings that seemed to touch the clouds, crowded sidewalks, the city was filled with so much energy.  I just knew this was for me.  I still to this day think about that day and will never forget how brave I was to finally take charge of making my dream a reality, and the city of Chicago will always have my heart.

Q:  How did you meet your husband?

A: This is a good one!!  It’s not the most romantic story I know, but I met him in a bar on my 27th birthday! I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not like that!! It must be told I wasn’t super excited about still being single at 27, and was at a time in my life that I kept meeting all these 21 and 22 year old “boys” in the city and felt like no one my age was single anymore! So, I was out with some girlfriends that night doing a little (over) celebrating and one friend mentioned that a group of people her cousin knew were at this bar, so we all went to that bar for a change of scenery.  We arrived and it turned out her cousin was with her boyfriends’ group of like 30 guys.  Just as I was thinking this wasn’t going to be a fun night, Brad sat down next to me and started talking to me. He said “Hi, I’m Brad” and I looked at him and all I kept thinking was he’s another 21 year old (Brad looks like he’s about 10 years younger than he really is, SO not fair!!), so I responded in such an embarrassing way and said “Hi, I’m OLD”. Nice right!! For some reason he still kept talking to me and then called me a few days later and asked me on a date.  I kind of blew him off but then kept hearing how awesome he was from my friend and her cousin that I decided to meet up with him again at another bar night in Chicago a couple of weeks later.  After he forgave me for being so rude and not returning his call, we’ve pretty much been inseparable ever since.

Q:  Have you always known you would have children some day?

A:  Gosh no!! Being an only child with little experience with kids, I didn’t really understand kids and felt like they didn’t like me at all!! Actually the thought of taking care of one of my own was super scary!! Then shortly after moving to South Carolina (3 months to be exact) we found out we were pregnant.  I spent those first few weeks thinking “please let it be a girl” but totally expecting to have a boy.  I thought if it was a girl I could figure out how to take care of a girl, and plus I would have a new shopping partner, BONUS!! So at the ultrasound to find out the sex the nurse said “it’s a GIRL”!! Instantly I broke into tears!! And the first thing I did was went out and started to build this girls wardrobe, naturally!! I had always planned on going back to my beloved job as an Assistant Buyer at Belk, but the minute my little 10.1 lb. (yes, she was almost a toddler!!) bundle of joy arrived,  I looked at my husband and said I couldn’t go back to work! I never wanted to be away from this little girl, our bond was so strong.  LOVE her!!! Being a parent is the most amazing thing in this world; I could never even have imagined this at all!

Q:  What is the single most valuable lesson you’ve ever learned?

A: That if you want something you have to go out and get it, no one else can do it for you. You are truly responsible for your own destiny.

Q:  If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you want to have seen?

A:   Well there’s not really a specific event I can think of, but more like an era.  I am fascinated by the roaring 20’s. During this time there were so many changes to women’s lives, more people moved to cities instead of living in rural areas, and so many changes to the way we shopped and more nationwide availability of products.  I love all of the fashion,  the excitement of the time, and all of the innovation and  at that time.  It just seemed like it was such an exciting time in our country to be a young person. 

Q:  If you had to lose one of your five senses, which would you give up?

A:   Definitely smell. I have a super hyper sense of smell and won’t even make certain foods in the house because I can’t stand the smell that lingers for what seems like days to me.  I won’t even let my husband make bacon in the house; the smell puts me over the edge. Poor guy.

Q:  Do you have a favorite blog or website you visit EVERY day?

A: Facebook for sure, love Pinterest for home decorating ideas, and like to check out the new clothing uploaded everyday on Forever 21 and Modcloth.  The Matilda Jane blog is another favorite as well.. Obviously!!

Q:  How do you try to leave this earth a better place for your children?

A:  By teaching my daughter everything I can about morals and how to be a good person and to treat others as she would like to be treated.

Q:  What do you want them to remember most about you?

A:  I would want her to know how much I love her and how proud she makes me every day.  Abrey is truly one of the coolest, most loving, funniest, and smartest little people I know!

Q:  If you won a lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

A:  Spend it ALL!!!! Kidding!! I would pay off my student loans and then buy everyone I know something they’ve always wanted but would never buy for themselves.  The rest, my husband will love this, I would put in a savings account.  I am a horrible saver; if I have a dollar in my pocket I will find a way to spend it.  

Q:  What is your all-time favorite movie or TV series?

A: My favorite movie is The Family Man.  I love it because it’s about a man who thinks that money and power is what life is all about.  Then he goes to bed on Christmas Eve night and gets a glimpse of what would have happened had he taken a completely different course in life by not leaving his college girlfriend to work in London. He goes from a high powered investment broker with a Ferrari to a suburban tire salesman that drives a minivan.  He longs to return to his old life but soon realizes that money and power isn’t nearly as fulfilling as having a family.   It really speaks to me because wealth is not always found in the form of money.

Q:  What is the best part about working for Matilda Jane?

A: The best part beyond the beautiful clothing and fun ladies I get to work with is definitely the way I see little girls’ faces light up when they put on an MJ outfit.  It is really the sweetest thing.. Melts my heart.

Q:  How did you become a Trunk Keeper?

A:  It really started with lifelong love of fashion.  Once my daughter was born I knew that I didn’t want her to just wear whatever every other child was wearing.  I wanted her to look and feel special in her clothes just as I like to, whether in an outfit from Target or a high end boutique.  I have enjoyed dressing her from the start and the minute I saw Matilda Jane and the beauty of it, I knew right away it was something special.  Given my background, I really wanted to be back working in apparel again since leaving my job to be home with my daughter.  So I hosted a show and was HOOKED!!  I applied and waited for several months until a position became available in my area and was super excited to be hired.  This is something I plan on doing for years to come because it allows me to be flexible to be with my daughter, allows me to work with a clothing line I truly love and fully believe in, and I get to meet so many other moms and adorable little girls. I feel that I have the best job ever!!! I am so thankful every day for all the support from my family to make this possible.

Q:  Chocolate or Vanilla?

A: Um, BOTH!! I have the biggest sweet tooth!

Q:  What is your favorite part of Summer?

A:  Lazy days spent on the beach or at the pool.

Q:  Do you have any special vacations planned?

A:  We have an upcoming trip this spring to Disney with my husband’s family for his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.  I have never been to Disney and have heard from so many people how it’s the most magical place on earth.. I am totally going to turn into a 5 year old the minute I get there!! The best part about the trip is that we are going to keep it a secret from my daughter until the day we leave.  So if you are reading this and know me please DO NOT mention the upcoming D-I-S-N-E-Y trip to you know who!!! (Shhhhh…)

Thank you, Jamie, for allowing us this glimpse into your life with such humor and zest.   A true gem, indeed!

On another note, I am completely blown away by the generosity and the force in which the women of Matilda Jane have come together.  Just when I think your hearts can’t get any bigger, they swell with such intensity and love that I feel like mine is going to burst.  And when I say “women of Matilda Jane,” I don’t only mean the ones that are on payroll.  I mean ALL OF YOU reading this page that felt compelled to help the family of Amber Roussel.

Amazing, you are.

Every last one of you!

mary stewart - August 6, 2012 - 11:29 am

great article! Makes me want to have a little girl and dress her in Matlida jane. Cant wait to attend one of your shows! xoxo

Leslie Wills - August 6, 2012 - 11:27 am

What a beautiful lady and blessed to have her apart of our team! Love you Jamie! What a beautiful family!

Leah Burroughs - August 6, 2012 - 9:13 am

Jamie is Awesome!!! She is my trunk keeper, my neighbor, and most of all a great friend. She really does jump through any hoop possible to make sure her customers get everything they want. MJ hit the nail on the head when they hired a stylish mom like her to be a brand ambassador!