Why I Started The “Love Coming Home Movement”: With TV Personality and Author Jennifer Adams
“It’s been my intention to start the Love Coming Home movement, to help people love their homes. No matter how big or how small, no matter if it’s rented, owned, or shared; because I truly believe that your home has the power to transform your life. Your home is a sanctuary, a haven, and a place that can help launch your dreams.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Adams. Jennifer is an award-winning designer, author, TV personality, and the founder and CEO of the international lifestyle and home décor company, Jennifer Adams Brands, Inc., launched her Jennifer Adams Home bedding products in 2009, which has sold millions worldwide. As an interior designer, Jennifer was famously known for creating the ultimate sleep experience for Hollywood celebrities, 5-star resorts, hotels, and spas. Jennifer was a lead designer on HGTV’s “My First Place,” and she was the Lead Designer on the nationally syndicated “The Better Show” for eight seasons. Setting her sights on taking her business to the next level, Jennifer recently graduated from Harvard Business School’s OPM Program for leadership and entrepreneurship.
Thank you so much for joining us! What is your backstory?
I was born and raised in a small rural town called Gales Creek, Oregon. Raising a family of four children, and struggling financially at times, my parents had to always work hard, and be resourceful and frugal, to such a degree that all our furniture and clothing were either handmade by my mom or donated. But my parents always provided for our needs, and for everything else, we had to be creative.
At an early age, I learned how to work with limited resources, and with my mom’s creative homemaking skills, my passion for home decorating became increasingly apparent. I was always experimenting with my tiny bedroom, moving furniture around, painting the walls; I even went so far as to dye my yellow and green shag carpet using a rented steam carpet cleaner and blue fabric dye. Along with my passion for redecorating, the entrepreneur in me was always ready to try a new endeavor to earn extra money. My first success was when I coerced my sister into starting our own housecleaning business. We made flyers, posted them at the local market, and impatiently waited for our first call. And it finally happened, we got our first job. So long before I became an interior designer and started my own company, I was cleaning other people’s toilets and making their beds. As unglamorous as it may sound, those years of cleaning homes taught me some of the most valuable lessons that would later serve my career.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
One story has to do with Martha Stewart. For as long as I can remember, Martha Stewart has been a huge source of inspiration for me, a person to whom I have deep admiration for. So you can understand that when I got the opportunity to interview her for “The Better Show”, I was elated as well as extremely nervous. I carefully prepared for the interview, which was taking place on the set of her show, in her prep kitchen, playing the interview over and over in my head until it was perfected. I even joked with myself that she was going to be my new best friend. As the interview started, we were sitting on barstools, suddenly my foot slips off the footrest and crashes down hard on top of Martha’s foot! The cameras stop rolling, I immediately stand up apologizing profusely in horror thinking I physically hurt Martha with my clumsiness. What a first impression I made. Luckily she wasn’t hurt, and she was as graceful as ever, the quintessential host. We continued the interview, and towards the end I had a chance to ask her my big question: how she deals with the kind of fear that comes with fulfilling your dreams and goals? Her answer: she doesn’t get afraid. She prepares herself, does the research and work needed to fully understand the undertaking, and then she proceeds fearlessly.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
One exciting project is the release of my new book Love Coming Home, and there’s been a lot of work preparing for the book launch. Love Coming Home has been a passion project for over 12 years, and it’s been an amazing experience seeing my dream come to fruition. I’m now also working on my next book, so stay tuned.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I love vulnerable, real life memories of people who have accomplished amazing things in their life; relationships, business, and overall happiness, despite adversity and setbacks. I learn the most from real life situations and that inspires me greatly in my own life. It’s a constant reminder… if they can do it, then I can, too!
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
My writing shows people how important and simple it is to transform your home into a place that inspires and supports your best life. It’s my mission to give practical, attainable, and quality solutions, products, and tools to ensure that anyone can have the home they love.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
If you want to become an author, don’t let your doubts and fears stop you. If you have something valuable to say, something that can be useful for people, then it’s worth doing despite your doubts. It takes intention, focus, and resilience to show up and write.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
It’s been my intention to start the Love Coming Home movement. That’s what I’ve been working on for years now, ever since I was a child, to help people love their homes. No matter how big or how small, no matter if it’s rented, owned, or shared; because I truly believe that your home has the power to transform your life. Your home is a sanctuary, a haven, and a place that can help launch your dreams.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started,” and why?
- Give yourself the permission to dream big. My life and career radically changed once I gave myself permission to dream big, acknowledged that I was as deserving as anyone else, and realized that I could accomplish anything I set out to do.
- You have the power to rewrite your story. I came from humble beginnings, and with my own personal load of insecurities and fears. If I had believed that my past dictated my future, I would not be where I am today.
- There is no straight line to success. These words are from a dear friend and mentor, and something that has fortified me through all the ups and downs. It also reminds me that there is no one road to success, we each walk our own unique path.
- Action conquers fear. My husband continually reminds me of this: do the thing you fear the most. Even if you have to take baby steps. When I first met my publishers, Richard and Michele Cohn from Beyond Words, I was terrified of emailing them for a meeting. I was introduced to them at an event, and they kindly gave me their business card inviting me to contact them. But instead of following up, I procrastinated for days. Finally, it hit me that I was self-sabotaging one of my biggest dreams by letting my fear of rejection hold me back. Once I realized I had nothing to lose, I took a deep breath and sent my email. Now months later, my book is coming out with them.
- Find mentors, and plenty of them. There is no way I would be where I am today if it were not for the help of my mentors. So much of what I’ve learned has been passed down from a mentor, and I’ve never had just one dedicated mentor at one time. Having a variety of mentors for different issues and topics has been the most helpful to me. A mentor to whom I would call on about expanding my business may not be the same one I would seek marriage advice for.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Martha Stewart, as she has been a big inspiration in my career. And Oprah, as she inspires me as a person, and does so much good in the world.