FEATURED in Brevard Live Magazine
Posted on July 22 2017
Cottonways in four Locations throughout Florida
Small Town Girl Makes Big Time Clothing
By Charlene Hemmle
I'm always happy to support and keep small businesses thriving. The owners work hard to make a decent living while creating products or services they are passionate about. Often times they are creators, marketers, accountants and even janitors of their own business.
Melbourne native Jennifer Davis-McNeill, decided she was going to change directions after she finished her Economics degree in order to pursue a bigger dream - owning her own clothing line and store. So in 2006, her senior year in college, she excitedly signed a lease to her very own boutique in Downtown Melbourne. Her vision was to offer comfortable yet sophisticated clothing and she was a huge fan of gauze fabric. At the time she named it Gauzeway but has since changed the name to Cottonways.
Jennifer found that the best cotton gauze material is made in Guadalajara, Mexico. So, fluent in spanish from her foreign exchange to Argentina as a teen, she negotiated to find a reliable source with quality material for her pieces. She knew that the 100% cotton gauze clothing would be perfect for Florida with its hot and humid temperatures. Plus it's washer and dryer safe, pre-shrunk, and don't require ironing. Basically maintenance-free.
Soon thereafter and due to customer demand she was able to open four more Cottonways locations in Florida: Fernandina Beach (2009), St.Augustine (2011), Vero Beach (2013) and her newest and largest in Winter Park (2014).
In 2012 she married her sweetheart Ryan, who has become a very important part of the Cottonways brand. Born and raised in Indialantic, Ryan completed a Fine Arts Degree at the Ringling School of Art and Design. While Jennifer creates and maintains the clothing styles, Ryan is the creative artist behind her exquisite hand painted pieces as well as the interior design of each shop. His animal, flower and abstract designs on the clothing are one of a kind and can be customized. Currently they are experimenting with some neon prints on black. Also in the works are some demonstration classes for painting on your own selection of apparel from Cottonways.
You can find the Cottonways clothing line and other lines at Cottonways.com or in her stores. They carry many different styles and sizes to fit any figure and each season they come out with new additional designs and colors. The apparel is super comfortable and the pieces are interchangeable. She also carries a selection of jewelry, shoes and accessories to complete the outfit.
From a young girl's dream to her reality, this small town family is passionate about their product, their customers and is a perfect example of achieving the "American Dream.