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2020 40 Under 40 Taylor McMillan-Johnson

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Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.



Taylor McMillan-Johnson started the online boutique Hazel and Olive in 2012 by saving $300 by clipping coupons to buy inventory.

The website hit over 1 million in sales in the first six months and has turned into a multimillion-dollar company, said nominator Mindi Johnson of New Element Marketing. It was one of few online boutiques in an industry that has grown dramatically.

“She is constantly told that she inspired others to start their own online business,” Johnson said.

Hazel and Olive has built a formula and wellness center in Mozambique, Africa, served in disaster relief and also gives back locally and internationally to multiple charities.

The company opened a storefront in 2014, featuring McMillan-Johnson’s own designs, as well as those of other new and upcoming designers, at 306 Washington St. in Rockwall.

In the early days, McMillan-Johnson rode her bike to the post office to ship packages shipped because she didn’t have a car.

“Not long after Hazel and Olive opened for business online in 2012, Taylor realized that with success, comes responsibility. She established her own Community Give Back Program through her business in 2016,” her nominator said.

“We give back through our company by giving away free homecoming dresses to girls in need, free coats to anyone in need and free prom dresses. We do not ask any questions,” McMillan-Johnson says. “We simply leave a rack outside for people to come by and get what they need.”

She earned a degree in fashion design and merchandising from the highly acclaimed Dallas-based Wade’s Fashion Institute in 2005.

McMillan-Johnson and her husband, Parker Johnson, have three children– Raleigh, 11, Malachi, 6 and Piper, 5, and two fur-baby Goldendoodles named Hazel and Oliver.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

Best Kept Secrets Boutique.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

Project Runway.

What other profession would you like to try?

I’ve never even thought about another career. Fashion is what I was born to do and have wanted to do since I could speak.

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

My great-grandmother, Hazel Olive. She taught me about fashion, about expressing myself through style and through her daughter, my grandmother, I was able to learn how to design clothing and sew. They both taught me to be confident in my own style and that I could do anything I put my mind to. They will forever inspire me!

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

There was never another option in my mind.

What is your favorite song?

Something Beautiful, Needtobreathe

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

Fashion that can trace its history to my great-grandmother, Hazel Olive.

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