Jillian McDonnell Recipient of the WAG Milli Award
For Jillian McDonnell, the magic began in high school at the age of 14 when she discovered that she could create metal treasures with a sketch, torch, jeweler’s saw and hammer. As her talents sharpened, she got her degree in Jewelry Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and decided to step out into the world and pursue a career in the jewelry industry. She found herself in a place that has provided an incredible environment for young talent since it was founded 30 years ago – D’Errico Jewelry.
Richard & Salvatore D’Errico saw a spark in her and let it bloom. They realized McDonnell’s vivacious energy extended beyond the jewelry bench and brought her to the front to work on their sales floor. “I definitely started out very timid, but they allowed me to climb a huge learning curve, and I’m much more comfortable and confident than I was when I started,” McDonnell says.
Unlike many artists, McDonnell was able to pull inspiration for her designs by working face to face with customers in a retail environment. Living in Westchester, NY, McDonnell has built a home studio and has started designing her own line: Jill Mac Jewelry. Right now, this line is only available in D’Errico Jewelry’s two stores in Mount Kisco and Scarsdale. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities Richie and Sal have given me,” she says. “To have my designs in the showcases of Westchester’s top jeweler is not just incredibly generous, but really exciting.”
Jillian is a life-long member of Lodge 7 in Yonkers/White Plains, NY.