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October/November 2016
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October/November 2016
Your Path to Beauty, Health, Fitness and a Joyful Life
LOOKING GOOD
Eneeneur o  Yea
Runway: Arthur Arbesser
Thanksgiving Joy with Dr. Maria Scott
Transcend your mat
Fitness and Turning 40
tara jane grier
The Right Fluff
Chickens are humble, lacking the grace of the swan, the subtlety of the
pheasant. To make matters worse, chickens are associated with hysteria and even
cowardly behavior. Tara Jane Grier, however, sees things quite dierently, as most
entrepreneurs do. When gazing upon her rst two Rhode Island Reds in 2014, she
was blinded by their charm, their beauty and, yes, their uy layers.
Two years and eighteen chickens later, her feathered friends adorn Fluy Layers, her
chic line of aprons and apparel based in Millersville and sold online at Homestead
Gardens and other retail outlets across Maryland, the country and Canada. Her
sturdy Egg Collecting Aprons are composed of ne fabric. Printed with hand-drawn
whimsical chickens, owers and farm animals, the patterns transcend the clichéd
country” styles permeating much of America.
Tara is able to sense the complexity in a chickens plumage, the pied beauty of a
breast. Her chickens do not just look cute and lay eggs—they are clucking works
of genius. Yet her fascination with form is not surprising. She has a closet full of
Italian shoes, fur coats, unusual jewelry, vintage nds and specialty high-fashion
pieces including the Sherri Hill gown she wears on the current cover of Looking
Good Magazine. “I like designer clothes, traveling and great food, but I also like
to get down and dirty! From whitewater rafting to camping, I really like it all. I’m
LOOKINGGOODMAGAZINE.COM20
BY KYMBERLY TAYLOR | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER KOLOSKY EASTMAN
entrepreneur
of the year
Obsession often fuels invention. “I have always been obsessed with
farm animals since I was little … I did not grow up on a farm,
but if I had I would have been the kid who was Queen of 4-H,
brushing my chickens and painting their toes. But if I did my mom
would have had a heart attack,” reects Tara Grier.
LOOKINGGOODMAGAZINE.COM22
a strange mix of a person, but most people are. I wanted
to bring that to life with my company. Poultry products
dont have to be boring and beige—they can be loud,
and trendy and fun. e best things in life dont t into a
box—there is so muchgeniusin beingauthentic.”
e ability to set goals and work at lightning speed are
facets of her “strange mix.” e stylish tomboy sprang
into action the moment when she and her husband Chris
Grier, head football coach at Sherwood High School,
moved to a home with 3 acres in 2014 along with Colton,
aged 2 and Cash, still an infant. “I set up my chickens in
their hutch before I bought furniture for my new house,
she recalls.
en, a country fair in Frederick changed her life. She
observed a crafter making an apron with rooster fabric.
A lightning bolt went o in my head that night and I
thought, “I am going to create an apron line.
Wasting no time, she hired a young fabric designer
and Parsons School of Design graduate in New
York, Annie Lim. Together they worked weeknights
drawing whimsical hens, roosters and owers. Tara
sent her rst email to a factory in China on October
2, 2015, and had her rst working sample in mid-
November to show to her retail partners. “en
we ordered some inventory,” she says, and Fluy Layers
took ight.
She realized her capabilities quickly and had a
breakthrough early on. “What helped us grow nancially
was the private label collection we did for Chip and Joanna
Gaines, hosts of the popular HGTV series Fixer Upper.”
Also, she is currently developing a private label collection
for Tractor Supply, a substantial chain of farm and feed
stores that will launch in March 2017. Her clothing line
includes “mommy and me” aprons, full and half body
aprons and aprons with egg pockets sometimes bordered
by whimsical rues. In 2016 the line has expanded to
include tote bags, dishtowels and oven mitts, with many
more serviceable creations in development.
Tara, it seems, has been preparing her entire life for this
venture. After graduating from West Virginia University
with a degree in Textiles, Apparel and Merchandising,
she worked in wholesale for two large Manhattan-based
handbag companies Whiting & Davis and Tri-Coastal
Design.
Yet, Fluy Layers, as exciting as it is, has a price. Besides
being a mom, she heads the marketing division of a
national retirement planning rm, a demanding job
necessary to help pay the family’s mortgage. She
occasionally works 15-hour days, weeknights and
weekends.
October/November 2016
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Fueling her endeavor is the quest for nancial independence. “It’s not that I
want material things. I want to buy my freedom. I dont want to have to work
in an oce like a drone every day and be told what to do. I want the freedom
to control my time, run my own life, but to do so and have my own company
means I must give up some freedoms,” she says.
Tara is a mixture of beauty, grit and creativity, an ironclad blend of “the
right stu.Today, her aprons are ying o the shelves yet she has higher
goals: “I want to be the Vera Bradley for the American farm girl. I want
people to crave our patterns. I know there is a space for us.” It is this kind of
primal energy that will make this young company soar.
For more information or to purchase items, check out uylayers.com.
CREDITS
Gown designer: Sherri Hill, sherrihill.com; gown purchased from
Déjà vu Boutique, Mount Airy, MD, shopthevu.com
Chickens supplied by Janet Garman of Timber Creek Farm,
timbercreekfarmer.com, and Savannah Windley of Ellicott City, MD
Fluy Layers fabric designer: Annie Lim
Hair by Jamie Myrick, David Alexander Salon & Spa
Makeup by Renee Kaplan, David Alexander Salon & Spa
Shoot assistant: Marissa Bunting
Jewelry: West Annapolis Antiques
“It’s not that I want
material things.
I want to buy my
freedom. I don’t want
to have to work in
an office like a drone
every day and be told
what to do …”
Tara Jane Grier
LG