Michelle Orrantia is the mom of 2 adventurous girls with an itch to design. With a
background in hosting magical children's parties, she saw a need for princess-like
apparel with every-day appeal. Easy-yet-unique style mixed with zero fuss, Ollie
Jay was born.
Named after her daughter Olivia Jolie, Ollie Jay has been trailblazing the boutique
children's clothes industry with their unique proprietary prints and high-quality
garment designs. Collaborating with local artists and pattern makers, Ollie Jay
prints are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and leave everyone asking you
the famous question: "Where did you get that!?"
Ollie Jay is committed to quality products that can weather the adventures of
childhood. This is why every garment is made with top-quality fabric that is
double-lined and made with pockets. The designs are simple yet timeless,
eliminating the confusion of what to wear, all while giving your child the
confidence and ability to dress themselves.
Always versatile and never boring, Ollie Jay helps you create those lasting magical
memories with your child and give them the childhood they deserve.
From Tea Parties To Children’s Apparel: Meet The Miami Mom Behind Ollie Jay
Michelle Orrantia was working in the events business, specifically in her dollhouse themed tea room in South Miami, The Enchanted Dollhouse, when she gave birth to her second daughter. She had been dreaming about creating her own children’s line, and after hiring the right team to run her events, she found some time between naps and bottle feeds to put pen to paper and start designing. At the time she felt like she had her events tea room running smoothly and was excited to turn her creativity into something new that would go hand in hand with her tea party venture. Orrantia was excited to take on a new challenge and she fell head over heels in love with designing buttery soft clothing for confident and joyful children, which led to Ollie Jay.
“I wanted to design dresses that were easy to wear, easy to clean and fun to look at. They had to be super soft and of course have pockets, two things that were of the utmost importance to my oldest daughter, who was three at the time,” said Michelle.
Orrantia launched Ollie Jay, a children’s clothing brand that specializes in ultra-soft ballet inspired twirl dresses, baby rompers and boys tees made of a 95% cotton, 5% spandex blend, all ethically manufactured abroad with a woman owned manufacturer.
“It’s definitely taken on a life of its own,” Orrantia said, “initially I had in mind for this to be a small business that we would sell inside the tea room and maybe online.”
While it was initially slow going, learning the ropes of growing a brand new business, while managing another venture and raising two little girls, eventually Orrantia found her stride about 9 months after launch when they began growing.
“What helped us to get to and exceed our goal was when we began getting into specialty children’s boutiques. My first boutique was actually a shop right behind The Enchanted Dollhouse, called Petite Amie. I walked over and introduced myself to Annie, the owner, and she agreed to try a small run to see how they sold. The following week she called to triple her order because they were selling so fast. That’s when I started to feel really good about the potential of the business.”
Ollie Jay launched in May of 2019, and began to enter the children’s boutique world by the end of the year.
“It was not easy,” Orrantia said. “It took a lot of time that first year reaching out to boutiques that aligned with our vision, who were willing to take a chance on a brand new and small scale clothing line. The first ones who took the chance on us are some of our best customers today and I’m immensely grateful to them.”
Ollie Jay stands out in the market with several unique designs, like the Elizabeth dress which features a wrap around, scoop back Peter Pan collar, as well as the Rosita dress, their best selling style, which is a pinafore style dress with ruffles over the shoulders adding a dainty detail.
Orrantia says one of her favorite things about running the brand is finding new artists to make custom or exclusive artwork with.
“I love to find other creatives and use their art on my dresses. Kelsey Klos, Morgan Ingegno, Betsy Peterson and Isabel Serna (another Miami native) are some of the artists we’ve worked with before, and I love being able to tell them what I have in my mind and see what they come up with – its exciting,” says Orrantia.
The biggest moment for Ollie Jay since launching was when it had grown so much she had to decide between her tea room or her clothing line.
“After Covid hit, the tea room obviously took a huge hit as an events based business. As a result, a lot of my staff left or had reduced hours. A lot of that extra work came to me as we started to pick up again, but I didn’t have the same passion for it as I had 5 years previously. So it was an easy decision.”
In March of 2022, Orrantia gave up the keys to her tea room to a new owner and began to pursue Ollie Jay’s growth exclusively. She is excited to continue to grow Ollie Jay and has some surprises planned for the year to come.
“We are launching a new category to Ollie Jay this holiday season and next Spring as well—it's something our customers have asked us time and time again to offer, so we’re excited to see their reactions! We also are continuing to expand the brand footprint with new fabric selections, body styles, artist collaborations and solid color pieces so our customers will have plenty to choose from."