Taylor has been awarded with Distinguished Achievement Award from Wade College, Top 40 under 40, and Top 100.
Although some have claimed it to be an idea of the past, Taylor McMillan Johnson, owner and chief executive officer of Hazel and Olive, has single-handedly proven that the American dream is still obtainable by those who are willing to work for it. After attending Wade College in Dallas, Texas and graduating as the class valedictorian with a degree in fashion design and merchandising, Taylor began her career in the fashion industry. Although everything seemed to be going as planned, misfortune struck in 2012 when her battle with Lupus, a long-term autoimmune disease took a turn for the worst. Taylor knew she would need to come up with another way to take care of her daughter from home. She did not know it at the time, but this would be the beginning of Taylor’s success story as a future entrepreneur.
Although it took a few days, Taylor clipped coupons and eventually saved $300 to purchase her first batch of inventory. She then sold the apparel to her friends online via Facebook. Soon after, business exploded, and Taylor began working 18-hour days. She hand-wrote all the addresses and shipped out every item by herself. In fact, business increased at such a fast rate that Taylor soon launched her own website, and within six months, she completed over $1 million in sales.
Hazel and Olive, Taylor’s clothing company, was named after her great-grandmother, Hazel Olive, who gave her a love for fashion. The store offers trendy, boutique-style apparel at reasonable prices. What started in her 500 sq foot apartment is now run with a team in a 6,000 sq foot facility. Although it is considered an online boutique, Taylor also opened her first store front in Rockwall, Texas in 2014. Whether customers shop online or in-store, “I am determined to provide the best customer service and great quality,” says Taylor. At Hazel and Olive, team members strive to provide customers with those standards and more.
According to Taylor, high standards, along with a lot of hard work and dedication, are what attributed to the rapid growth and ultimate success of her company. In addition, she notes that online boutiques were not as popular in 2012, so she was one of the first players in this industry. From the beginning, Taylor has felt lucky to have so many supporters. Therefore, she has always made herself accessible and takes pride in being “hands-on” with her customers. As a result, Hazel and Olive has a high retention rate as well as lots of referrals.
Another reason why so many customers remain loyal to the brand is because they know the company has a passion for giving back. Through their H&O Foundation, the company is committed to donating both locally and worldwide. For instance, every fall, they offer free brand new homecoming dresses to anyone in need on a rack outside of their store front in Rockwall, Texas. In the winter, the store offers free coats, and in the spring, they offer free prom dresses. They have also assisted the Red Cross with disaster relief, built a formula and wellness center in Mozambique, Africa, and supported underprivileged children in Guatemala. In order to continue their efforts, a portion of every purchase made at Hazel and Olive goes toward one of the many giving back projects H&O sponsors throughout the year.