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Life and Work with Jenny Minns

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Minns.

Jenny, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Twelve years ago in San Diego, CA, I walked out of my unappreciative corporate job, with the belief I could start my own business. As a corporate event planner, I wanted to have more control of my life, of the events I worked on, to choose the people and products I did business with. As fate would have it, somehow, the events that found me cross wired to weddings. A full blown wedding planning business was born. Over the next years, together with a dear friend, we built a thriving wedding planning business.

Our most difficult stage of development was the early days when the wedding world did not have visual aids such as pinterest or even blogs/social media to promote yourself. Somehow, little by little, we quietly built a solid and thriving business. Somewhere along the way, my business partner and I realized we had two very different yin and yang strong suits. Hers was the logistics and coordination, mine was to focus on the design. There was a moment when a vendor friend called me a designer. The words sounded elegantly loaded. And yet, it became me. For the last few years in weddings, I exclusively focused on the designs of luxury weddings. During this process, I became very close with my clients. After forming a year long connection, they began returning back to me after the wedding requesting my assistance designing their homes. My passion for designing interiors was fiery and new. I loved going from planning a single beautiful day to creating a mood/feeling/home that would be enjoyed for the long haul. I created Palm & Prep Design for this purpose.

Around this time, my husband and I had started discussing moving our little family to the East Coast to be nearer to my own parents and siblings. We took the plunge. I sold my wedding planning business, we sold our cars, we even sold our house with furniture included. Last summer, the same year I turned 40, I walked away from a business and life I adored all for the love and desire to be near family. Happily, we landed in the Boston area in July and we have enchanted with New England life. I continue building Palm & Prep Design for South Shore residential homes. We couldn’t be happier with the result of the giant leap we took as a family.

Has it been a smooth road?
Obstacles with my first business felt insurmountable. I was considered young in an industry with high turnover. Brides wanted a longer portfolio list than I could provide when we were new. Some vendors were condescending. I needed to look deep inside of myself to find the strength to continue. Believing that over time the proof would be in my actions. Sure enough, this proved to be true. Sometimes, a slow build with a proven track record is the way to a concrete business. It takes hard work. You push through the grunt work, the less glamorous sides. Rarely is a business an overnight success. But if you are passionate, consistent, dedicated, if you love what you do, this will ultimately raise you up above the rest.

I am finding myself needing to remember these same lessons over a decade later, as I begin a new once again. What are your strengths? Do not be humble or undersell yourself. Write them down. Know them, believe them. When the path feels tough to remember them as your guide to push forward. I am also a firm believer in goal setting. Recently shared my goal setting on the Palm & Prep blog

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Palm & Prep Design – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I currently focus my full attention on Interior Design. Over time, I’ve developed a specific style which merges my love for the California free-spirited airy vibe with a grounded traditional New England aesthetic. I find that most people are drawn to different styles, and I thrive in the attempt to pinpoint their yin and yang design likes to create a deeply layered and rich final result. My process begins with an in-depth meeting that encompasses questions that touch on every aspect of their life from past to present. By taking the extra time to get to know the clients intimately, I aim to add very personal elements to their final room styling.

I’ve been honored to have designs published in San Diego publications and national online design blogs. Since our move to New England, I’ve found my own yin/yang pairs perfectly with the old historical homes here. I love putting a little Cali + modern touch on the styling of these gorgeous old homes. In the fall, I participated in the One Room Challenge in which 200+ designers take on a 6-week room renovation of one room, blogging through the process. I was blown away when our master bedroom makeover was chosen as the top 10 by House Beautiful. I am now itching to participate in the next season’s design challenge!

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
In an industry where competition won over camaraderie in the early years of my career, I’ve witnessed a beautiful shift in mindset. I now find a network of women who lift one another up and celebrate each other’s successes. A social media community that helps colleagues shine a light on their fellow designers.
#communityovercompetition is a real movement and one that emboldens me to keep trying, to continue being inspired to put myself in the vulnerable place of sharing my “art” with the world. I feel the strength in our female community as we work together to promote female leadership.

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