We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill Fox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jill, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started Mah Jongg Wipes in honor of my parents, who passed away recently. As the pandemic set in, on top of all of the unprecedented changes— the closing of schools and non-essential businesses, and so on— my coping mechanism was taken away from me. No more Mah Jongg! My distraction from this horrific year was simply whisked away. On April 1, 2020, I launched MahJonggWipes.com. Players can now protect their sets and themselves by keeping their tiles clean and germ free. The mini canisters of antibacterial wipes are adorable and people “crack” up when they read the label. I realized that for me to find the motivation to launch a business during a pandemic, it needed a positive focus, especially during this strange time in everyone’s lives. In my father’s honor, I donate a portion of the proceeds to pancreatic cancer research in the hopes that one day, there will be a cure.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Although there aren’t many of us, I am a true Floridian. I grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida, and earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Advertising from the University of Miami. During college, I worked seasonally at Walt Disney World. Side note — I am a bit of a Disney addict. For eight years, I worked with the creative services department at NBC Miami, winning two Emmys for producing. I also loved representing NBC by acting as the Operations Manager for the South Florida Region of the GE Women’s Network. Through the years, I have spent time working both on the television side as well as the public relations side of marketing as a Senior Account Director at the PR firm, Lon Haber & Co. Currently, I am working as a reporter for ParklandTalk.com, and I am a freelance writer as well. Reporting news and events in a small, tight-knit community is extremely rewarding. I have enjoyed meeting city officials and discovering all that our beautiful city of Parkland has to offer. As for my newest business venture, Mah Jongg was my escape. I loved the way it took my mind off the world around me requiring my undivided attention. Mah Jongg was my mom’s escape, too. After my father passed away, I found it to be something we could still do that actually made her smile, which wasn’t that easy. Like my mom, I have experienced a lot of loss in a short period of time — first my parents, and most recently, my best friend. Mah Jongg helps me relax and making a business out of it was a nice bonus.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Spending a week in Miami with my best friend would be a dream. We actually met at the University of Miami, and spent years taking in the sights and finding our favorite spots. Coconut Grove was our go-to for eating, shopping and bar hopping. I actually met my husband at Murphy’s Law, which is now a wedding dress shop – go figure. Of course, we frequented South Beach for shopping on Lincoln Road and relaxing by the water, and we enjoyed eating at Big Pink, La Sandwicherie, or anywhere fun along the water. We are foodies, so we would probably check out all of our favorite restaurants, from Prime 112 to STK, Smith & Willensky or a classic like The Forge.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Mah Jongg Wipes is a combination of both of my parents — My mother’s love for the game, which can be seen through the eyes of her grandchildren, and my father, who lost his fight with cancer far too soon. They are my inspiration. Despite my grieving, despite my exhaustion, despite the fact that I don’t have much free time, I chose to start Mah Jongg Wipes in honor of my parents, two of the most amazing people in the world.
My husband and I took all of the photos. One is of my mom (and our family) playing.