We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Swift and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
Teaching my daughter about entrepreneurship has been eye opening for us both. She frequently asks me about the computer programs, watches me create on screen, asks about my thought process, provides her feedback and is generally inquisitive. I get to explain how creating a workspace for yourself, holding yourself accountable, and being your own boss is extremely rewarding. I don’t want her to be of the mindset that a corporate path is the only path. Most importantly, I believe that any one person is capable of doing just about anything they set their mind to. That includes my daughter, and that is one of my main messages to her. In my work, I get to witness it every day. How lucky am I to watch clients surpass their goals and expectations!?
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about?
Like many, I have my own design aesthetic and unapologetic about it. It’s what makes me, me. However, I understand that others may have their own design in mind, therefore, I listen. I think this is what sets me apart from others. My ears. They are darn good at hearing. In all seriousness, being able to hear my client needs helps me to deliver a product that is closer to their goal. I can set my desires aside and focus on what THEY like. Most clients come to the table with a jumping off point and that helps me hone in on the final product. As a previous Director of Marketing and Sales, I can’t tell you how often I asked for one design and received another. That cycle needs to stop.
The other thing that sets me apart from others is my skill set. I’ve developed a keen eye for design and put it to use in the web development world. Designs need space to breathe (credit: Wojciech Zieliński) and that includes websites. I like to carry over my technical art/design knowledge into the computer realm so folks are more apt to stay awhile and enjoy the experience.
How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
I have a random collection of skill sets and backgrounds. My education started with a degree in Math & Science (I wanted to work with marine mammals), then a degree in Hospitality Management (I wanted to ski and I like people), to a move into Construction Management (I wanted to learn), followed by a degree in Art: Graphic Design (I wanted to do it myself). The biggest hurdle over the years was pulling the trigger to do something unknown to me. It’s clear I’ve survived and garnered valuable experiences and lessons along the way. Lesson #246 = don’t ever stop learning and get out of your own way.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I’m approachable. Just because I have a fancy degree and create technical art files doesn’t mean I know more than you. You can come to the table with ANY idea and I will strive to get you what you’re after. Good design does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Projects big or small are equally important. When folks hire me, they get a digital craftsperson in their toolbelt who can work on projects on and off the screen. I’m a big proponent of teamwork, transparency and solid communication.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Gunnison Valley is supreme year-round (shhhhhhh), here’s a breakdown of summer/winter to-do’s:
WINTER: we ski several days in the backcountry. Soak up the sun, solitude and classic Rockies pow. Then, hop on our nordic gear for a Hartmans skate, Mill Creek for a wooded classic adventure, and Lily Lake for the views. I’d have to drag you to my weekly hockey game but don’t worry, there’s beer.
SUMMER: prepare to be wowed by some of the world’s best singletrack. We ride, every day. Sorry, not sorry. I would take said friend up and down valley to as many epic trails as they can handle. We can river soak too. After your legs feel like jello, we can switch gears to hiking, stand up paddle boarding or a river trip. Depending on energy levels, we might head over to Paonia for a wine tour and hit up some family owned farms.
“Great things happen when men and mountains meet.” – William Blake
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents. I learned different lessons from each of them. Now retired, but back in the day my father was a workhorse. A charismatic, charming fellow who can approach anyone and make a friend in seconds. He left no stone unturned. Tireless, he worked three jobs as an educator and sales professional. He was the life of the party, always had your back and genuine.
My late mother was a mix of Bob Villa and Martha Stewart. She knew how to use tools and had a keen eye for design. The house looked like a magazine layout, but lived in. Being in the garden was her church. She was a no non-sense, straight to the point, strict when she had to be Mom/leader. She had an entrepreneurial spirit and started her own business at one point. Mom encouraged us to define our future and gave us independence from the beginning. Linda was an intuitive, grounded, empathetic sounding board…my mother is my ultimate hero.
Other: Jessa Rae Photography | http://www.photographyinthemountains.com/