By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN Mary McCauley has been designing clothes for 25 years and has decided to add a girls’ clothing boutique to Dassel’s occasional store mix.
Jilly Bean, which will feature girls’ clothing sizes 2T to 4T, will open for business this Thursday featuring a design style she calls “very retro” with the ‘60s and ‘70s inspiration.
McCauley, who lives on Big Swan Lake, will share an office building with her husband, Mike Hulzebos, a software consultant, next to Jay’z Bakery on Atlantic Avenue in Dassel.
All of the clothing in her collection are custom made, one-of-a-kind pieces, McCauley explained.
Some of the pieces on display will include dresses, matching bags, sleepwear, pillows, and more.
McCauley’s sister-in-law will also have a few pieces of upholstered furniture suitable for girls’ rooms for sale, as well.
She does all of her work in-house and is excited to add her designs to the occasional stores already around Dassel including the Little Red Hen and The Mansion Antiques.
Like these other occasional shops in town, Jilly Bean will be open the last weekend of each month.
McCauley is looking for a jewelry designer to add to her quaint shop, which she hopes will become a destination store bringing potential customers from all around.
“I really want this to be a gallery anyone can use to display their work,” McCauley said.
She would like to use part of her space to have artists display their work with a percentage of the proceeds going back into the Dassel-Cokato community.
“This area is really supportive of the arts,” McCauley said. “I’ve met a lot of creative people.”
In the past, McCauley’s designs have mostly been women’s clothing, which she sold at a shop in Minneapolis where she grew up.
Women’s clothing is very difficult because every women is shaped differently, she explained.
Her five daughters became her inspiration to design girls’ clothing. She also has two sons, with the youngest being 3 years old, and two grandchildren, with a third on the way.
The name just “morphed” into what it is, beginning with her granddaughter, whose nickname is Addie Bean.
In the near future, McCauley plans to add boys’ clothing to her collection and changing the store’s name to Jack and Jilly Bean.
Design is McCauley’s real passion. She has actually been sewing since she was 9 years old.
“It’s a great creative process and outlet,” McCauley said, adding she even dreams of designs and construction.
“I hope [Jilly Bean] inspires other artists and designers to have confidence in themselves to reach a little bit more and try something new,” McCauley said.
Jilly Bean will be open the last weekend of the month, Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. McCauley is also making herself available by appointment. To contact McCauley for clothing requests or to display artwork, call (320) 275-9285.