An admitted chocoholic, Jill Frechtman began making chocolate covered pretzels in her momÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s kitchen at a very young age. Experimenting with different combinations of chocolates and toppings, she soon began giving her creations as gifts to friends and family.
Always a creative soul both in and out of the kitchen, JillÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s artistic inclinations led her to pursue a degree in Advertising Design from Syracuse University, where she received her BFA in May 2001.
In December 2001, working as an assistant art director at a large advertising agency in New York, Jill made her chocolate-covered pretzels for an office holiday party where they were an instant hit! Jill's edible art proved to be so irresistible that everyone's raving turned into encouragement. She had to get her pretzels out there for other people to try.
After almost 2 years of encouragement from family, friends, and coworkers, it took an Oprah Show, featuring Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do with My Life? ,to finally realize her ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAhaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â moment that this sweet path was the one she should take.
Using her creativity and background in design, Jill perfected various pretzel creations and designed her own logo and packaging, turning her passion and pastime into a business.
Thus, FretzelsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ by Jill "Frechtman" was born.
With an initial ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œinvestmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â of $300 from her grandmother to buy chocolate, and a few years of nurturing and developing her idea, JillÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ecommerce website, www.fretzels.com, finally launched in May 2005. She continued to work in advertising while starting to grow her business until it became apparent that she could not do both jobs. In March 2006 she finally got the courage to leave the corporate world.
In just over four years, Fretzels by Jill has already been nationally (and locally) recognized, being featured on The Today Show, ABC 7 Eyewitness News, Long Island Business News, DailyCandy.com, The Rachael Ray Show, Ebony Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, as well as many other national and regional media outlets.
And in January 2008, Jill was named in the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTop 40 Under 40ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â, for individuals in the business community by Long Island Business News.
Jill Frechtman, 30, has had to wear many different hats in order to run her business. She is the head chef, creative director, graphic designer, webmaster, book-keeper, shipping manager, customer service representative, and marketing and public relations director. But she could not do it all alone.
Family and friends have generously provided their time and energy, pitching in wherever and whenever necessary, especially her father, who now works with her full-time.
In addition to growing her own business, Jill has provided support for other budding entrepreneurs. She has given her time to speak at the Farmingdale Entrepreneur Conference, NYU Stern Business School, the Small Business Development Center at SUNY Farmingdale, and at Ladies Who Launch events.
Jill lives by the motto, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œSleep is overrated.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â