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Commemorating The Original Refashionista: Jillian Owens

Jillian Owens began writing for her blog Refashionista.net in July 0f 2010. She had a love for thrifting and refashioning her thrifted items like many individuals and young adults do now. She wrote on her blog all the way up to July of 2021 but unfortunately was unable to continue due to her struggles with her cancer that had come back.


Owens' blog was an inspiration for me and what she wrote inspired me to not only write as she did but also to write about her. Fortunately, I was able to get in contact with her husband, Brian Morris, and ask him a few questions about her blog and her love for thrifting. He was very kind and open to discussing her love for thrifting and talking about her despite her passing.


Owens was a fighter and she did not let her first time having cancer affect her love for writing. Morris expressed that, he had, "No idea how Jillian was able to continue doing her work while going through her first bout with chemotherapy." He continues on and said, "I will always be amazed by how she powered forward to get things done. It wasn’t always easy and she had some very rough days, especially in the first few days after chemo."


This is Jillian Owens and we will always remember her as a fighter, blogger, writer, and refashionista thrifter:

(picture was taken from refashionista.net)


I also asked Morris about what advice he thinks Owens would give to bloggers now. He makes it clear that it's important to, "Write every day [and that] even if you don’t publish everything you write, writing is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. Write about things you love. Write about things you know, but above all, keep writing and keep publishing. It took years before Jillian’s blog began to pick up steam, but with persistence, she was able to succeed."


This advice is great for those who love to write but feel as though they are unable to succeed. I've definitely had times where I had felt that no matter what I write, my work will never be recognized or I will never be able to publish my writing. I've also had a fair share of writer's block. But, it is extremely important to write every day as Morris expresses. Writing every day helps you to not only exercise that muscle but also build your mind.

You can learn a lot about yourself the more you write.


Besides thrifting, Owens also loved to refashion the items she thrifted. Hence the name of her blog: Refashionista. Here is one of the items she had refashioned from her blog:

This refashioned dress can be found on her blog post: https://refashionista.net/easy-strapless-summer-dress-refashion/


In this blog post, she acknowledged the vintage tag, and she also made a "frumpy thrifted dress into a cute strapless dress". Not only did she refashion this dress, but in this blog post, she explained how she refashioned it with pictures so that her readers could possibly follow along with another thrifted item of theirs.


Here is a picture of Owen in the refashioned version of the frumpy vintage dress:

(picture was taken from Refashionista.net)


Morris also expresses how she learned to refashion these clothing items. He says that "Jillian graduated from the theater program at the University of South Carolina and had some experience with costume design from that degree. She never claimed to be great at sewing though! It was her goal to show people that if she could do this, anyone can!"


No matter what negative things are happening in your life or your struggles, Jillian Owens continued on to write and blog about her love for thrifting and refashioning. You can push on through the negative things in your life too and continue doing the things you love.


Not only did Jillian write about her refashioned pieces from her thrifting experiences, but she also helped others who might have been facing chemotherapy as well. She wrote a blog on December 23rd, 2020 called Looking Good When You're Feeling Bad: Chemo Headwear & Outfit Ideas (https://refashionista.net/looking-good-when-youre-feeling-bad-chemo-headwear-outfit-ideas/. ) Here, she inspires her readers who may have been going through what she was, and letting her readers know that it's okay to still be a refashionista like she was.


In this blog post, she even expresses, "If you’re rocking the bald look during your chemo treatment, I recommend taking the same bold, bright, and/or dramatic approach to your outfits. Why not break out those huge earrings you never wear & a chunky necklace?"


She was an inspiration to many and an inspiration to me. She is the answer to what thrifting bloggers and writers should be like.


Jillian Owens believed that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

and thanks to her and her strength, I do too.


Check out Jillian Owen's blog yourself:


And a couple of my favorite blog posts of hers (maybe you can learn to refashion something from her blog!)




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