5 things you didn’t know about LEIGH JERNIGANBy NIKKI ROWELL,
Currently, she is a resident of Madison, but she was born in Hattiesburg. She and her husband met while in school at the University of Mississippi. During her college years, she studied fashion and art history in Italy. In her spare time, she enjoys diving into true crime or historical documentaries. She will soon celebrate her daughter Jane’s sixth birthday.
Since she was a little girl, Leigh Jernigan’s dream has been to open her own shop. Now, Jernigan’s younger self would be proud to know her dream was realized when Taylor Collection opened its doors in 2011.
Jernigan earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing at the University of Mississippi. After college graduation, she and her husband were married and moved to Madison.
At that time, she began working for a few different companies doing advertising and marketing work before she decided to follow her dream of opening her own store.
“One day, with a lot of push from both my husband and my mom, I quit my job and pursued the store,” she said.
Armed with her affinity for fashion and business savvy, Jernigan established her boutique in Madison.
“I had always wanted to have a women’s clothing store,” she said. “I love helping customers and making them feel welcome. I love when they come in and want them to have a great experience.”
Creating a space where people can have a positive, fun shopping experience each time was important to Jernigan.
“A lot of times I feel like we socialize more than we do anything else, and I think maybe that’s a southern thing,” Jernigan said. “I hope that women feel comfortable and want to come shop and when they leave that they feel better than when they came in.”
Taylor Collection has a variety of clothing and accessories, which Jernigan selects while at market in Dallas.
“Retail can be trial and error,” Jernigan said about the process of selecting pieces for the store. Taylor Collection caters to women of all walks of life and ages from college-age women to retirees, from stay-at-home mothers to busy professionals and everything in between.
“I feel like being able to dress multiple generations is a good thing,” Jernigan said. “To have a shopping experience where mothers and daughters can go together was important.”
Typically, Jernigan attends market in Dallas, as she has formed relationships with sales representatives there.
“When I’m buying, I try to buy things that I think would be good for women in the Jackson metro area to wear to work, to wear to church, to wear to birthday parties, to wear running errands,” she said. “Everybody has different needs at different times of their lives.”
Jernigan’s goal is to have something for everyone. In addition to clothing, Taylor Collection also offers shoes and a variety of accessories, including handbags and jewelry.
While she loves the fashion aspect of her work, the part of the business that Jernigan enjoys the most is the people.
“I love helping people select and find the things that they need,” Jernigan said. “Mostly, to make their lives easier. I enjoy being there to help them.”