Jill Jacobson: Defining the Spirit of Beyond

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Why do we enjoy shopping at some stores more than others? Selection and service are obvious answers, but our favorite shops have personalities that makes us happy.

Beyond of Ada certainly offers West Michigan shoppers a local option for unique, hard-to-find clothing and accessories. However, you'll also notice a special feel when you walk in the door, which will have you smiling each time you visit!

Jill Jacobson, Beyond's buyer, manager and merchandiser, is the cause of all this happiness. Originally from Ann Arbor, Jacobson moved to West Michigan upon graduation from Michigan State, drawn by easy access to outdoor activities and Lake Michigan. Her retail career began at the iconic Jacobson's in Ann Arbor. She managed a small retail store as a college student, and upon her move to Grand Rapids, became a department manager at another well-known Michigan retailer, Steketees. In 1995, Jacobson was hired by Bill & Paul's Sporthaus as their lead merchandiser. During her nearly 30 years with Bill & Paul's, she's been an important part of the store's evolution, including their decision to open Beyond, a less technical, fashion focused boutique.

Within minutes of shopping at Beyond, you'll notice a mix of brands not found everywhere. As a buyer, Jacobson uses her ability to travel to search for fresh products.

"I love nothing more than finding a brand that's not available anywhere in West Michigan," said Jacobson, who enjoys looking for brands and trends that haven't quite made it to Michigan. "From the Caribbean to Europe or other parts of the US, I'm always hunting for the next best thing. Those who know me know I'm a sucker for anything Scandinavian. What sets Beyond apart is our goal to give customers something lasting. We don't want products to be only one-season items. They should be timeless."

Jacobson has a friendly, welcoming personality and it shows in the way customers are treated at Beyond.

"Watching customers appreciate what we do never gets old—if we can make their day and give them a good experience, I'm happy," she said. "If that means holding their dog while they shop, playing with their children or delivering to their home, I'm thrilled to be a positive part of their day. Beyond's staff is hand-picked and I try to instill some of the "old school" customer service I was taught back in the day. A personal touch goes such a long way."

Jacobson has embraced the retail profession her entire career. Beyond is the culmination of her journey and the store is becoming a favorite destination for shoppers who appreciate high quality fashion with some fun on the side.

Visit Beyond and experience the "Jill Effect" yourself!

Written by Jon Holmes, Director of Marketing, The Sporthaus Collection.

Courtesy of Bill & Paul's Sporthaus.


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