Boss Lady - Jill White

Several months ago, ok, maybe a year ago, I was inspired to start a blog series called "Boss Lady". The mission behind Boss Lady is to inspire young women (and men) to follow their instinct/talent/passion and become entrepreneurs. 
My team and I are reaching out to all the woman owned businesses that inspire and amaze us on a daily basis. We will start with a brief background, then dive in to the nitty gritty of running a business, what keeps them inspired, and everything else in between.  

Jill White of Jill White Designs!
Jill and I met in college while we were both pursuing degrees in Interior Design. We've remained friends to this day and I'm often guilty of running design ideas by her to get an outsiders approval. Check out one of her latest projects, The Waters, Hot Springs newest boutique hotel.

I grew up in England, Arkansas... actually outside of England in the middle of a field in a town called Altheimer. My husband always corrects me and makes me say I am from Altheimer.

My paternal family were all in the construction/carpentry business and my maternal family were farmers (hence the fields). I grew up working at my grandfathers hardware store/lumber company (Altheimer Lumber Company), running around, mixing paint, making keys, helping my grandmother with the books, and answering phones (like my grandfather who said every time he answered the phones, "Altheimer Lumber Company, Lovelace speaking"). My maiden name, Lovelace.

I started college at UCA and soon decided that was not the place for me. After a brief stint in Dallas and then back to Little Rock, my high school boyfriend from England High School, Chris White (Market President for Simmons Bank in Central Arkansas), proposed and we were married in 2001. To date we have moved 9 times!!! Salina, Kansas; Hot Springs, AR (twice); England, AR; Fayetteville, AR; and Little Rock, AR. Our longest stay was in Fayetteville from 2005-2012. It was there that I visited the University of Arkansas Fayetteville Interior Design program and knew that was where I was meant to be all along.  

As a non-traditional student, I was more focused and driven. I knew what I wanted to do and was ready to do it, even though I cried a lot and wanted to quit. Getting a Bachelors in Interior Design is not the easiest major! They tried to break us, but I powered through and am SO THANKFUL!!!

After college, I began working for Perkowitz and Ruth Architects, a California architecture firm with a location in Rogers, Ar. Sadly we left Fayetteville in 2012 for Hot Springs. I had a lot of mixed emotions about leaving the town where I finally found myself. Looking back, I see now that it was the best choice for our family, as it brought me to my next job with Taylor Kempkes Architects and our sweet baby girl, Stella.

We left Hot Springs in 2014 for Little Rock, and I swore to my husband I would never move again!!!

    1. Give us your elevator pitch. I am an Interior Designer who specializes in residential and light commercial design, big and small. I am currently doing projects from one room design of a bedroom, to a boutique hotel and an 8,000 square foot home. I thrive myself on listening to my client and making their space reflective of them, their families, and their lifestyle. Form follows function. A phrase I learned in design school and I try to remember in every project.

    2. What inspired you to make the leap to small business owner? After I had my beautiful baby girl, Stella, I couldn't imagine going back to an 8-5 desk job. I wanted time with her, on my on time. So that was it... In April of 2014, I designed a logo, ordered some business cards, started an Instagram page and somehow began my business!



    3. What helps you get started each morning? Coffee, diet coke, 10 mile jog, meditation?? A husband (who wakes up at 4:30 EVERY MORNING.... roll eyes) and a 4 year old who thinks 6:00 is late. Ohhhh &.....COKE. Not the drug, the cola. I mean, it might as well be the drug because I am addicted to them.

    4. Tell us about a day in the life of running your business.  I wish I could say unicorns, rainbows, and sunshine. Some days are, but most days are non-stop, messy desk, running like a crazy person, trying to do 10 things at once and raise a daughter and go to carpool, soccer, still have a life, run a business by myself, keep up with all of my projects, and maintain my sanity.


    5. What keeps you motivated?  I LOVE MY JOB!!!! My clients motivate me. My family motivates me. I motivate myself. I love what I do and do not want it to stop, ever. I can't explain the feeling when a project is completed, the client is happy, and I can see my hard work in real life.

    6. Describe your dream day.  Seriously? Spa, shopping, beach, lots of amazing food and drinks, 2 naps, and a nanny. Yep, I am the typical girl.

    7. What is your greatest strength/super power? Listening. You can ask my clients, but I hope that they feel I am a good listener. Oh, and MIND READER. You have to be to a godo mind reader to be a good designer ;)


    8. Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat?   INSTA!! All day, errrr day!

    9. What do you do in your free time? What. Is. Free. Time. Seriously?  I actually did finally carve out time for myself and started working out again for the first time since before I had Stella. Yep, she is four...

    10. If an investor gave you 1 million dollars to use toward your business, how would you spend it? AN OFFICE BUILDING and an ASSISTANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hands down, drop the mic.



    11. Name something you hate doing but have to do for the good of your business. How do you make it tolerable? Pay taxes. hahahahahahahhahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I tolerate it so I don't go to jail.

    12. How do you handle discouragement? It is part of it. In the world of social media in our faces, there will ALWAYS be someone cooler, with better ideas, and doing better than you. I choose to keep my head up, focus on MY clients, MY jobs, and take inspiration from colleagues and others I look up to. I am thankful EVERY SINGLE day for my clients!!


    13. Do you have a favorite, inspiring quote? Dory the fish:" Just keep swimming" Wait... that is Stella's... I am a screenshot, quote, meme, psycho. A few favs...... "You have to be willing to be bad at it in order to get good at it" - "How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you" - "Prove them wrong" - "You know who is going to give you everything? Yourself." - "Work hard and be nice to people" - I have to stop myself here or I will keep going... 

    14. Who are you in your next life?  A professional surfer on some island. or a rockstar who sings 90s alt/grunge.... just call me Courtney Love. 

    15. Any secrets on how you balance the ins and outs of running a small business?  I will let you know when I figure it out.

    16. What’s the best advice you have for other women wanting to be entrepreneurs?  DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Life is way too short. If you want it, work hard and take the leap. Best thing I ever did.

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