I am Jillian Ortner, I’m sort of like a tumbleweed, I like to travel, and move around, and learn about different places and different lifestyles. But I married a redwood, a guy with the deepest roots, from a farming family, that has been right here, outside of Danbury Iowa, for 5 generations. In the past decade, we created the 6th generation to live here. He’s 7, she’s 4. Because I won’t be moving, ever, we travel. We try to take our kids on adventures regularly, and push ourselves to get out of our comfort zone, and go see new things, do new things, learn new things. Because of Lularoe, we have been to some incredible places, we wouldn’t have imagined going.
When I met my husband, someone told me to be careful, you can lose yourself in a family farm, especially in rural Iowa. And after 5 years, it had started to happen. I wasn’t as outgoing as I had been, my personality wasn’t as sunny as it had been, I was quieter, more reserved, less me, less California. I hadn’t realized that yet. Then, Lularoe came along, and 3 months after having my 2nd baby, I was in love with how I felt in these Maxi Skirts, and wanted more. So I became a retailer. Within 5 months, I started to shine brighter. My personality was becoming more of me again, and in the past almost 5 years, with Lularoe, I’m pretty amazed at how much I love this gig, and how great it is to see women come to a popup, mom’s who haven’t felt like themselves in a long time Women who have been giving of themselves, so much, that they’ve forgotten who they were. They arrive, because their friend asked them to, and they start choosing things to try on. Things you don’t find in department stores, things with prints and patterns that speak to their soul. They come out, and they’re either smiling the biggest smiles, or crying the happiest and saddest tears. They are so happy, they love how they look and how they feel, but they’re sad because they’ve gone so long, not feeling like this. Self confidence radiates through them as they leave the popup. They’ve got some swagger, and it is beautiful.
I grew up in Northern California’s Central Valley, while we lived in town, my family had a Grass Fed Beef Cattle Ranch, a short drive away. Weekends, and holidays were spent there, outside. I can ride a horse, and have some pretty good cow sense. It’s come in handy. I spent 4 years in the US Army, serving in Louisiana, Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq. The leadership skills I learned, and attention to detail, have come in handy.
After the Army, my parents had moved out of the valley, to what has always felt like Home, the Ranch. 2 years later, I found myself in Iowa. I met my husband while I was working as a herdsman on a dairy near his family’s farm. Our farm is a grain farm, Corn and Soybeans. ( I can drive a tractor, a grain cart, and can back up trailers, and farm equipment.) Although we have some chickens, 6 cows, two dogs, and a farm cat. To get us out more, we have a boat, and while we are only one season into boating, we love it, and so do the kids.
Danbury Catholic School
My husband and I know that we live a nice life, and we want to pay it forward, so we help out where we can, when things touch our hearts. We have a great little school in town, it’s a private school, and also the only school. It’s where his family has attended for generations. Two years ago, we bought the school smart boards for each classroom. Last year, we donated funds that were used to buy the teachers new computers, and the rest was saved, towards this years project. This year, we are working on updating the playground at the school. It servers 60 kids, ages 4 – 12, Monday – Friday, for the whole school year, and on weekends and holiday’s, it serves the community. We have a list of things we would like to help with, as our life allows. Things on our list include contributing to the local FFA, contributing to the arts program at our local high school.
-Lynch Syndrome, a genetic mutation (There are actually several that fall under Lynch Syndrome), that increases your risk for early onset cancers. I found out a few years ago, that I have Lynch Syndrome. My OB/GYN suggested the test based off of family history, an because of this, she probably saved my life. I then got to tell my family to get tested. Regular screenings, and prevention, have cut my risks for early onset cancer, drastically. Because we care about this condition and it hits close to home we like to a nice donation to the Hereditary Cancer Center, at Creighton University, and Dr. Henry Lynch and his research for Lynch Syndrome.