Orlando, FL—jill-e designs, a little more than three years ago the upstart idea of two Kodak marketing managers, moved its headquarters from suburban Rochester, New York, to Orlando, Florida—a reflection of its success and plans for growth.
“We weighed a number of factors and decided that Orlando was the best place to locate jill-e designs for this next important phase of operations,” said Jill Wight, president of jill-e designs. “In a relatively short period of time, we’ve gone from idea to start-up to a company with a worldwide reach and a forward-looking strategy for a healthy rate of growth. Orlando is an ideal ‘base of operations’ for jill-e designs.”
The maker of sturdy, stylish camera and carry bags has taken space south of Orlando’s downtown business district. It’s the latest in a series of recent developments owing to an increasing demand for jill-e designs’ bags and an ambitious growth strategy by Wight and executive vice president (and cofounder) Gail Backal.
Earlier this year, the company hired Judy Wong, a veteran of both the photo industry and women’s retail products, as vice president of North American sales for the photo segment. Around that time, the company began laying the groundwork for a distribution and retail network in Europe. Since spring, jill-e designs has been working with an imaging industry consultant in Europe to connect with key dealers and distributors.
The company will be attending photokina in Cologne, Germany, for the express purpose of establishing a broad-based retail presence in Europe. A concerted effort to develop relationships with key European distributors will be complemented by an exhibit of the latest jill-e camera and carry bags—including new clutches, female-friendly backpacks and a jack day bag for men. Everyone who stops by the jill-e designs booth at photokina will receive a jack-branded Spudz (lens cleaning cloth) as a thank you. jill-e.com