Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Features · New life for your home: Jill...
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New life for your home: Jill LeClair aims to reuse, redesign & redefine

Robert Downes - February 22nd, 2010
‘New Life’ for Your Home: Jill LeClair aims to reuse, redesign & redefine
By Robert Downes
A gift for creativity and an eye for design have served Jonelle “Jill”
LeClair well in recent months: Despite a tough economy, she’s launched her
own business, Renaitre, specializing in home makeovers on a budget.
Despite having no formal training in interior design, Jill decided to take
the plunge at the urging of friends who were impressed by her inherent
skills at selecting just the right color for a wall or the right
arrangement for a room in order to create a fresh new look at home.
She also brings many life skills and experiences to the table.
“I’ve always been a super creative person,” she says. “I’m really
visually oriented and I’ve done everything from painting to photography to
landscape design and different kinds of art. I’m also very ecologically
oriented and I think that sense of being in touch with the earth comes
through in my work.”

ROOTS & RISK
Currently living in Traverse City, LeClair grew up in Cheboygan, where she
attended high school. Thereafter, she studied
nursing at Northwestern Michigan College and became an R.N., specializing
in physical rehabilitation at Munson Medical Center and working mostly
with spinal cord injury patients.
But her heart always yearned for the creative realm and she discovered a
talent for photography while taking a class at NMC. “I was an R.N., but I
loved taking photos of kids,” she recalls. “I decided to quit my nursing
job and open a photo studio, doing all portraits, children and weddings.”
LeClair says she’s always been something of a risk-taker; hence the plunge
into a new careeer. She spent 13 years in the photography business, and
then decided to explore another fascination with interior design. By
chance, she got involved in redesigning some rooms for friends and
acquaintances, and things began to click.
“I was inspired by a book called The Well Dressed Home,” she says. “The
author would take fashions from the closets of her clients and find other
textures and colors that they liked in order to redesign their homes.
“I’ve used some of that technique myself. People say, ‘I don’t know how
to put things together in my home,’ and I say, ‘yes you do -- you just
don’t know it yet.’”

ETHNIC INFLUENCES
What about her own home?
“It’s eclectic,” LeClair says. “It’s filled with pieces that I love. I’m
not into matching -- I like things that set your heart on fire and show
your personality: Your travels in life, your photos, and things that are
near and dear to you.”
She says the name of her business, Renaitre, is French for “new life.”
“I felt that was a good name for my business because it was a new start
for me and for the people I work with. It means a new home for you and a
renaissance in your life with a fresh start.”
The name was also inspired by a trip she made to Paris last year to visit
one of her two daughters who was studying art history in France. “Paris
was a huge inspiration for starting my business. I thought about the
beautiful art there and the fashions and my own history of French
ancestry.”
Speaking of which, LeClair says that her great, great, great grandmother
was a full-blooded Iroquois. “She met a French fur trader who took her to
live in Cheboygan, so I’ve always felt the pull of those two realms: the
French and the Native Americans.”
She likes to take her clients on a sort of Native American “vision quest”
of their homes, involving a spiritual journey into one’s values and sense
of creativity.
On the practical side of her business, LeClair offers a range of home
services, from painting to cleaning, organizing and light landscaping in
addition to decorating -- all at a very modest rate. She also offers “new
room in a day” deal for $150, which involves painting one wall and
redesigning the space with items from the client’s own home.
“I work with any budget, but people need to be open to trying new
possibilities and letting me try something new,” she says.

Contact Jill LeClair and Renaitre at
ph. 231-633-1005, or email watergirl1701@yahoo.com.


 
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