Educating and inspiring women leaders to make a difference for over 31 years.

Class of 2000

Lori Hirons, GMLC 2000, and former Mayor of Roeland Park, KS, currently lives in St. Croix and is the founder, designer, and owner of “Island Contessa”, a lifestyle brand.  Lori creates resort wear and home goods for chic island living.

Recently Lori and Joyia Jones, of Joyia International Jewelry, coordinated the 4th annual Crucian Fashion Fest. The Fest is a way for  boutiques and designers to came together to create a showcase of new designs and classics and benefit a local nonprofit.  This year’s recipient was the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix.

To read more about the event:  https://stthomassource.com/content/2020/02/26/fashionista-fete-raises-funds-for-womens-coalition-of-st-croix/

We asked Lori to share a little bit about her journey since her graduation in 2000:

My husband and I moved to St. Croix in 2013 after a decade in NY.  I was a banker for 17 years with Citibank.  I’d fooled around with design work for years.  So many people liked my style, so when we moved here I decided to give it a go.  The business took a huge hit after two Category 5 hurricanes hit The Virgin Islands in 2017.  But, like the good Midwesterner’s that we are, we picked ourselves up and plunged back into rebuilding our community and our businesses.  My husband has a glass recycling business called “Bottles Reimagined” where he takes rum and other liquor bottles (we don’t recycle on the island) and turns them into glasses, candles, string lights, and vases.

My time with Greater Missouri has colored so much of what I do.  I learned networking and leadership skills that have helped me in every pursuit I have undertaken.  My 20 year friendship with Katie Steele Danner came out of our meeting through the programming of Greater Missouri when she was Board President and I was member of the Class of 2000.  I found that whether you are running a business or running for office, the skills that GMLF taught me are immeasurable!

UPDATE: Since we published this we learned that Lori has taken this whole “Leap Year” to heart.  This week she purchased an established business in Christiansted U.S. Virgin Islands to house her clothing line and other merchandise. This business has been in operation parallel to Greater Missouri’s timeline having opened in 1990.  Shoppers will experience superior fashion at wallet-friendly prices for women and men when they stop in. We wish her another 31 years of success!

From the Gecko Boutique, St. Crois, USVI

Congratulations Lori!

To read more about Lori’s business:  https://www.islandcontessa.com/