Terry Hill and Jennifer Gross

By Clare S. Richie

Dakota J’s, a clothing boutique that also specializes in local artists and jewelry, celebrates 20 years in Virginia-Highland after recently moving a few doors down to a larger space.

“It’s special place for women to come for unique styling and clothing. We build relationships with our customers and connect them to that unique design,” owner Terri Hill said.

Two decades ago, Hill purchased Veronica’s Attic and renamed it Dakota J’s – after her son Dakota and daughter Jordan. Jennifer Wamsley Gross joined in July 1997. One month later, she was store manager.

The two have seen Dakota J’s retail neighbors change hands multiple times during their tenure.

Hill credits Dakota J’s continued success with stocking the boutique with mostly small artists – both local and from across the country – that are harder to find online. Stop in and you’ll likely buy a piece of Caro jewelry or Mindy Apple’s $20 earrings.

Dakota J’s caters to customers ranging from teenagers to seniors, each seeking an updated stylish look that Hill and Gross find at boutique shows in NY, LA and ATL from familiar lines (like Free People, Sanctuary, and French Connection) and from new designers. Men have found the shop to be perfect for last minute gifts

for the women in their lives, while custom jewelry pieces are also available to be made on request.

“Plus Jennifer and I are always at the store – a constant for 20 years,” Hill said.

Settled in at 1038 N. Highland Avenue “we’re here to stay – part of the neighborhood,” Hill said.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.