A lot can change in a year. For 39-year-old Jillian Harris, the past year ushered in the arrival of two new family members – daughter Annie, who turns one this month, and an adorable boxer pup named Peaches. Together with fiancé Justin Pasutto, three-year-old son Leo and another boxer named Nacho, the family of six live in beautiful Kelowna, B.C.
The mom, entrepreneur and host of Love It or List It Vancouver is busier than ever, whether she’s preparing for a big party, juggling personal projects or working on her popular lifestyle blog, and chronicling it all for her million followers on Instagram.
As part of her busy life, Jillian has recently teamed up with Joe Fresh to launch a stylish new pink PrimaLoft puffer called the Jilly Jacket.
Hello! Canada caught up with the Canadian star to learn about her exciting new collaboration, evolving personal style and life at home.
You partnered with Joe Fresh to launch the limited-edition Jilly Jacket. How did this partnership come to be?
I have been working with Joe Fresh since I started blogging. I recently started moving away from animal products, and Joe Fresh came out with the PrimaLoft puffer as an alternative to goose down that provided the same lightweight warmth without any bulkiness. When I tested out the jacket, I knew it was something I was going to have in my closet for a long time. It’s a limited edition, and it’s pink! I was sold!
As part of your partnership, you and Joe Fresh will be making a charitable donation of jackets to the charity Mamas for Mamas. Can you tell us a bit more about the charity, your involvement and why it’s important to you?
I found this organization here in Kelowna, and they have chapters all over Canada. They help low-income families facing various poverty-related struggles. When I started chatting with Joe Fresh bout this partnership, I asked if we could use this amazing collaboration to give to people in need and they didn’t bat an eye. Those are the kind of companies I want to continue to partner with and continue to be a part of my brand.
What are some of your fall wardrobe essentials from Joe Fresh?
Since I’ve come a mom, I’ve gone back to the basics. I would say a good pair of leggings, a couple of oversized sweaters, a pair of sneakers and a pair of rubber boots and some good layering essentials.
How has your personal style evolved since becoming a mom?
I used to wear heels and dresses all the time, but I completely get it now. A mom needs to be comfortable in something that’s breathable and movable. You’re constantly cleaning, bending over, picking up kids or running after the dog.
You’ve welcomed two new family members – your daughter, Annie, and your second dog, Peaches. How have things changed since welcoming them into your lives?
We essentially have four children. There’s always someone crying or barking or eating something that they shouldn’t be. Your reflexes are multiplied by a million, like, “Nacho, don’t eat Annie’s spaghetti!” I know we’ll look back and miss these times. We’re so fortunate to have what we have. You just have to pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the ride.
What’s the best thing about motherhood?
Watching their little personalities develop. Leto took a box of orange juice out of the fridge, set it down on the ground, and was pretending to read it. He said, “This says, orange juice: Catch my tiger by the toe, eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” He was “reading it off the box,” but that’s not what it actually said – he was just making it up in his head. It’s so fun watching them learn and grow and get a little sense of humour.
You recently hit one million followers on Instagram. You’ve said that you never want Instagram to depict your life is picture-perfect. Why is that important to you?
My job is to make things look beautiful – but I don’t want anyone to think that my life is always perfect and beautiful. We’re all working so hard to provide for our families, to be happy, to be stylish, to have a clean house, to put a good meal on the table and it’s impossible to do all those things.
When you’re not busy juggling work, what’s your favourite way to relax and unwind?
At the end of the day, when I feel like I’ve got everything under control, the kids are in bed and I’m starting the cleanup, I pour myself a glass of wine and light a candle. Justin and I also spend a lot of time in the garden. We just got a holiday trailer so I’m hoping we’re going to spend a lot of time outside camping. I’m not going to lie, I love working. I find it very cathartic. But like every other woman, I love travelling, shopping, wine, popcorn and chocolate.
What advice do you have for other busy moms who are also aspiring entrepreneurs?
Take it easy on yourself. I work with many small shops and entrepreneurs and they’re hustling, working so hard and so hard on themselves. All that matters is that your kids are happy and you’re happy. I know it’s easier said than done, but money doesn’t bring you any more happiness and any less stress. Being driven by milestones is more important than being driven by money.