Jill Kelly came to Clayton 13 years ago because of her husband’s job, and she never could have imagined where her path would lead her. A certified nail technician since she was 23 years old, Jill used essential oils in foot soaks and for reflexology.
When her son was labeled OCD and ADHD and the meds he was prescribed weren't working for him, she was forced to look for alternatives. She began researching the oils she had been using and how they could be used for wellness. “I didn’t realize the power of them,” she said.
Besides being a certified nail technician, this jack of all trades had also been making jewelry for just as long. It was a serendipitous moment when she decided to make bracelets as the carriers for essential oils. She used exotic wooden beads like sandalwood and rose wood to soak up the essential oils and provide aromatherapy to the wearer depending on their needs.
Wanting to know more, she searched for aromatherapy schools and found one in Asheville, NC. Jill spent the next two years studying to become a clinical aromatherapist. Now she was prepared to continue helping others by mixing blends of essential oils based on the individuals’ needs, such as stress, anxiety or depression.
With knowledge in hand, Jill began going to vending shows. Business was good but the vending circuit required a lot of travel. She began getting her products into shops around North Carolina as well, which also required a lot of time for restocking. “I decided to have my own place rather than run around to all of these stores,” she recalled. In 2015, The Market at Three Little Birds opened its first store in Clayton and JillErin Essentials was there. “I have been there since day one,” she said. When they expanded and moved into a much larger store, Jill was able to have a space, called JE Aroma Bar, where she could work directly with her customers.
This busy mom of two wasn’t done yet. Her path was leading her to something even greater. With a service heart, she knew she wanted to work with pre-teens and teens. “It’s all about bonding,” she said, “They are so worried about acceptance.” She began hosting workshops where these young people could come and create a bracelet for themselves and pick one of Jill’s blends, like Relax or Smile. The response was incredible.
Jill continued to think of other ways she could impact these young people in a positive way. Her next step was to get a 200-hour yoga certification that included theory, anatomy, and learning Sanskrit. “I never thought it was going to be this deep, “ she said. Once she completed the teacher training, she started teaching yoga for pre-teens and teens. When asked why she chose this particular age group she answered, “I want them to have a natural, mental wellness toolbox and to be able to work with their breath and body and have self awareness.”
Currently, Jill is working on a 100-hour teen yoga certification. She is learning about how teens’ bodies and brains grow. She’s also learning the difference between the male and female brain and how long they can hold attention, which is only about 25 minutes, by the way.
With her focus on serving others, Jill continues to fulfill her dharma, Sanskrit for purpose. “I love working with my community!” she exclaimed. With that purpose driven attitude she has opened JillErin Essentials Yoga Loft. Located in the Quintessential Wellness building, she offers pre-teen and teen yoga classes three nights a week.
The yoga classes aren’t just yoga, though. Jill definitely provides movement but also includes journaling, breathwork, and learning about different chakras. At one class, she gave each student a small succulent and they all sat and talked about nature and plant love. “I showed them that the plant could be their friend and they could talk to it and nourish it with water and the plant will love you back.”
JE Yoga Loft is a safe space for the next generation to be themselves and learn to live a balanced life. “I’m here for the good,” she said with pride. Jill is ready to guide these young people and show them how to be present. In the works are art therapy and aromatherapy workshops. In addition, JE Yoga Loft will host JillErin Essentials oils, bracelets and jewelry. She also works with adults who are seeking alternative methods to combat stress, anxiety, or just an essential oil that gives them a pick me up.
Besides being a wellness expert, Jill is enjoying the North Carolina life. When her husband isn’t working, he plays music regularly in downtown Clayton. Her oldest child just graduated from high school and her son will graduate next year. “Life is in full force!“ she declared.
Back to her son who started Jill on this amazing journey. He stopped using the medicine within a couple of months of being diagnosed and went fully alternative. Now he uses his own essential oil blend that Jill created for him as well as coping skills. His blend of oils includes sedative and relaxing properties to calm him down which, in turn, helps him focus better.
Jill Kelly is a light in Clayton that continues to get brighter. “I love working with my community. I want to be someone who offers peace and stillness.” Clayton is lucky to have Jill as one of its small business owners and community driven residents. Just another reason why Clayton is the best place to live in North Carolina.