The first episode in 2018 of Like a Boss is getting “silly” as host, and publisher of Shreveport-Bossier’s business publication BIZ., Sean Green is joined by 15-year-old entrepreneur Jillian Maxwell and her business Silly Socks by Jilly.
Silly Socks by Jilly allowed her to use her passion for volunteering and charity work by partnering with various non-profit organizations to raise awareness on specific causes.
“I love socks and working with charities so I decided to combine the two. I love marketing, like making YouTube videos, and now I can make YouTube videos to promote the products and do what I love.”
Jilly dreams up an idea for her socks and works with companies in the US to design and then sew them together. She hopes to be able to put them in local boutiques, and she wants the money to go back into the community.
“In Bossier, there wasn’t a product like this, or a business where you can buy fashionable socks made locally.”
Her first sock is an anti-bullying design and she’s working with the United Federation of Teacher’s Be BRAVE Against Bullying Program so that for every pair of socks that is sold, an anti-bullying book will be donated to an elementary school. Jilly will personally deliver the book and read it to the class.
A cause she wants to work towards in the future is fighting usher syndrome – a disease that affects both hearing and vision.
“Bringing more awareness to that would mean the world to me. If they could help find a cure, or even a way to reduce the symptoms or help people learn to live with it, that would be a dream come true.”
In addition to running her own business, Jillian is also the first student member of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m learning how to work with different people and groups. In a business, I’m not going to work with the same person over and over again. So I’m getting more exposure on how to do business with other people.”
A sophomore at Benton High School, she also serves as Miss Louisiana High School America 2018 and is a varsity cheerleader.
“I love going to high school football games to cheer on my Benton tigers. The community rallies around it and we packed the stands every single night and that makes me so proud to be from Bossier,” Jilly said. “In the future I want to go to LSU and be on the LSU cheer team. I’ve always wanted to do that ever since I knew what a LSU cheerleader was.”
But Jilly said that even with her all of her goals, she still plans to keep Silly Socks by Jilly going.
“I definitely want to continue this. It’s easy to balance school, activities and this so I think I can keep doing it.”