Tulsa Lifestyle Spotlights Donna’s Fashions Owner Donna Brollier
Donna Brollier has it all: A beautiful family, a famous son and a successful business. For 17 years, Brollier has owned and operated Donna’s Fashions in south Tulsa. Her store offers Tommy Bahama and all the latest fashion trends.
Before Brollier made Tulsa her home, she was just a country girl from Broken Bow trying to decide what she wanted to do with her life. She was crowned Miss Tulsa in the early 1990s in the Miss Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant, but her real passion was people.
“I went to Oklahoma State University, graduated and decided to attend graduate school in Tulsa,” Brollier says. “I went to the University of Tulsa for one semester and finished up at Oral Roberts University.” Once she hit Tulsa, though, she knew she wasn’t ever going to leave.
“I did an internship in Tulsa and once I got to Tulsa I knew that Tulsa was going to be my home,” Brollier says. “I just thought it was the neatest combination of urban not too big, but way more greater vibe then what I had in Stillwater. It was like the perfect fit and I have loved it ever since. This is home.”
After graduating from ORU, Brollier became a career counselor. But after a few years of doing that, Brollier realized she was meant to do something else. So one day while at work, Brollier went to speak with her boss and her life was changed in an instant.
“My love is people. But I would find myself looking outside the box and coloring outside the lines engaging with people,” Brollier says. “I went to talk to my advisor at work and she suggested I go live my dream, and if it doesn’t work out I’ll always have a job there. She said, ‘Be bold and take the step because it’s a step most of us wish we got to take, and you have a job to come back to if it doesn’t work out.’” For Brollier, this was her way to color outside the box.
“I get to use my people skills with anyone who walks through my shop doors,” Brollier says. “The way I see it you’re still engaging loving people and it has served me well. In a small town it’s very important to know and to greet everyone that comes into your store, even if they’ve been in the store one time or been in your story a thousand times — you want to make everyone feel welcomed.”
There are a lot of clothing boutiques to choose from in Tulsa, but there are many reasons why Donna’s Fashions is worth shopping at: She offers layaway and 24-hour apparel approval.
With a highly successful clothing boutique thriving in south Tulsa, Donna Brollier said there was talk a few years back about opening a second store.
“We thought about doing that in 2008 and that’s when we decided to expand our south Tulsa store,” Brollier says.
“I think it’s important to keep a balance of being a mom, your priorities to your family, so as for me, thinking about trying to divide my time at being at a downtown location and a south location was overwhelming,” says Broillier.
“We were having growing pains and we needed to grow. We actually took on the menswear Tommy Bahama – my father-in-law would say, ‘If you just carried a few of the shirts we could walk over from The Bistro and have something to look for.’ So, we started doing that and south Tulsa responded immediately to the customer service and now we are a top 100 Tommy Bahama store.”
“Staying in this location, expanding our store and adding the menswear has been one of the best decisions we have ever made,” she says.
The clothing brands Donna’s Fashions offers are not local, but one local company, Rustic Cuff, is sold there. The creator of Rustic Cuff, Jill Donovan, is a close friend and someone Brollier admires very much.
With a bigger store under her belt, Brollier says she wanted to grow and change. As she looked to branch out more, Steel Magnolia Jewelry was born.
“I get to a point where if I don’t see something out there I’ll dream it and create it,” Brollier says. “I would find jewelry lines and fall in love with them and I would buy them but eventually they would stop making those pieces. I then started taking these things I loved, recreated it and made it my own. Most of the Steel Magnolia Jewelry (SteelMagnoliaJewelry.com) has a .38 special casing surround it.”
Brollier isn’t the only famous person in her family. For fans of the “The Voice” you may have seen Brollier on the hit NBC show while she watched her son Corey Kent White perform for the judges.
“Corey has always loved music,” Brollier says. “When he was 8 years old, he wanted to learn how to play the guitar. It took us a while to see that this was something he was very serious about.”
After taking lessons from renowned music legend Shelby Eicher and touring with Oklahoma Stomp for a few years, White’s career path was heading in a different direction once he reached the age of 17.
“He graduated from Bixby High School a year early because he wanted to get his solo career off the ground,” Brollier says. “When Corey makes up his mind to do something that is what he is going to do.”
White was flying back and forth from Nashville and Tulsa, setting up the groundwork with songwriters before he moved to Nashville full-time last August and tried out for “The Voice” shortly thereafter.
“As his mom, it was really exciting that out of 145,000 people to see him make the cut right off the bat and then to be one of the 100 people to perform in front of the judges — that is something to be proud of,” Brollier says. “Each time he would audition he would make it through to the next phase. It was wonderful to go and watch each time they were there and see how much he had grown and learned and apply what he had learned throughout to the next round of auditions.”
White finished in the top seven on the hit show, but that didn’t slow him down. Back in July, White opened up for “The Voice” alums The Swon Brothers at The Joint.
With a successful business and a famous son, Brollier loves what she does and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
“My goal has always been to make sure that a young lady can come in with her mom or her mom’s mom and have three generations come into the store and like something and they can all shop together,” Brollier says.
Brollier sure knows how to make anyone who walks into her store feel like a million bucks.