April Cornell – Celebrating 40 Years of Ladies Apparel, Kids Apparel, and Home Decor

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April Cornell — The designer and entrepreneur juggles family, charity, and her own signature line of ladies apparel, kids clothing, and home decor with a sense of fashion and flair that is unique to her life and brand. This year she celebrates 40 years of design and entrepreneurship while being a force for women seeking to blaze their own trails in business.

April Cornell in one of her signature garden jackets.

There’s a whole heap of young women out there, striving and kicking and fighting to make their mark. I want to inspire them! They are struggling with ideas about family and career. Well let me say this...Go for it!

April Cornell—the designer, entrepreneur, and owner / founder of the April Cornell brand—is celebrating her 40th year in business. With ladies and kids apparel collections alongside an expanding line of home decor, April Cornell specializes in floral designs and vintage detailing.

Opening the first location in 1975, in the Westmount neighborhood of Montreal, the designer grew the fledgling company from its original second floor location to over 120 stores throughout the US and Canada. After a major restructuring in the early days of the recession, April Cornell now has 5 stores, an expanding e-commerce presence, a wholesale division, and licensing relationships with companies like Homegoods and International Greetings.

When asked what kept her going during those tough years, April says, “There’s a whole heap of young women out there, striving and kicking and fighting to make their mark. I want to inspire them! They are struggling with ideas about family and career, about success and loyalty, about deserving the opportunity, but wanting to be humble. Well let me say this. . .go for it! You do deserve it!”

Her desire to create and influence women, young and old, is what drives the business leader to design hundreds of styles in a season, manage an international team, and find time for her husband, three sons, and the many charitable activities she participates in. Alongside the home decor and apparel brand, April oversees an international team at her production facility in India. At her facility, Cornell Overseas, artists, printmakers, and master tailors specialize in developing the boutique, artistic look of the brand.

Cornell Overseas employs over 300 people and senior positions are filled by women and men, some that have been with company for over 20 years. The Indian business in Cornell’s portfolio of companies is a stand out, not only in its unique development process, but in promoting and providing key positions for women. In addition, both April Cornell and Cornell Overseas work closely with NGO’s to contribute to projects that provide successful environments for women and children. The Giving World foundation is the charitable division of the April Cornell business and donates proceeds from its operations to vetted, established NGO projects.

April Cornell, the woman and the company, isn’t just celebrating 40 years of doing business, they are celebrating 40 years of blazing their own path, being inspired by the world at large, and managing the modern challenges of being a woman in design and leadership.

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Kelly Cornell

Kelly Cornell
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