Adams quickly found herself with multiple
projects for one of the largest owners of commercial property in Oregon. She was soon designing airplane hangars, commercial spaces
and resorts, in addition to homes.
Just months after graduating, at age 23,
she established Jennifer Adams Design Group,
which would become a branch of Jennifer
Adams Worldwide Inc. Today, her company,
which employs two additional interior designers, charges upward of $1 million for projects.
Lights, camera, advice guru
In 2006, Adams was busy expanding her
design business when Home and Garden
Television (HGTV) came to Portland. HGTV
was casting for an on-screen interior designer
for its inaugural season of My First Place,
which follows the stories of first-time home-buyers. After being encouraged by a friend,
Adams auditioned, landed the gig and
launched herself into a whole new industry.
Her TV experience led to connections
with The Better Show, a nationally syndicated
program that airs Monday through Friday
on the Hallmark Channel. For the past seven
seasons, Adams has filmed a weekly segment
with budget-friendly tips on decorating,
cleaning and DIY projects.
Her TV appearances helped fulfill her
desire to give back. “No matter what some-
body’s economic standpoint [is], they deserve
to love the feeling of coming home,” she says. “I
get more satisfaction now trying to give some-
one tips on how to do it themselves, because
then they have a sense of accomplishment.”
Today, being a resource is just as much a
part of her company as designing spaces or
products. Her website ( www.jenniferadams
home.com) is chock-full of DIY home proj-
ects, and she also answers home-related ques-
tions in her column “Ask Jennifer Adams,”
which appears in several national newspa-
pers. She recently published her first book,
Bedrooms That Inspire: Rest, Relaxation &
Romance (Dalton & McClintock, 2014; avail-
able at warehouse Special Events), a guide for
creating a bedroom sanctuary.
The creators of The Better Show advised
Adams that successful TV personalities also
have products that their audience can engage
with outside the show. After years of researching fabrics and the sleep experience, she
released a line of luxury bed linens in 2009.
In 2011, Adams formed a relationship
with Costco to sell bedding at Special Event
Roadshows in the warehouses. Furniture was
a natural progression to expand Adams’ line,
as it fit nicely with her interior design busi-
ness. Both lines were quickly made available
The more Adams delved into product
development, the more she discovered her
designs could reach more people. She formed
licensing partnerships for fashion bedding,
rugs, fabrics, women’s apparel (also a Costco
Special Event), cleaning products, pet beds and
accessories, and coordinating bathroom décor.
Now, having been in businesses for more
than 15 years, Adams could be described as a
fearless entrepreneur. She says her drive and
work ethic stem from her upbringing.
“Inside, I have a lot of fears. I’ve been put in a
lot of scary spots in life and have overcome
them,” says the 39-year-old. “It’s made me less
afraid to try different things.”
Of course, she does her research before
taking a leap, but, she explains, taking chances
has been key to growing her business. “If I
don’t take risks, I’ll be stagnant, and that’s one
of my biggest fears. … And my biggest regret,
I think, would be not seizing an opportunity.”
Land among the stars
It’s hard not to pick up Adams’ zeal as she
walks through her Scottsdale headquarters.
She is friendly, warm and buzzing with
energy. She shows her 12-person team genuine appreciation, and is described by Robb
Dalton, her brand adviser and board member,
as the “mother hen” of the workplace.
Her office is neatly organized, with vision
boards for future goals, swatches of fabric,
printouts of patterns, fashion trends and pic-
tures of upcoming products that her team is
actively developing. Seeing the blueprints for
everything she’s involved in makes it hard to
imagine that she ever doubted her capabili-
ties. She is in the midst of expanding her
product lines and increasing her media pres-
ence. It won’t be surprising if members start
seeing new offerings from her at Costco.
When asked how her successes have
shaped her, Adams humbly says that she
doesn’t want to sound like she’s bragging if she
says she’s had successes.
“I still feel like I’m on my way in some
way,” she finally says. “Successes can easily pass
you by without even acknowledging them
because you’re already on to the next thing.”
Adams explains that she’s only recently
begun to reflect on her accomplishments.
“When I do that, it keeps me happier and
more inspired. And I realize the next thing is
possible. And [it inspires me] to dream big.
And not just dream big, but dream wild, crazy
dreams, because they do come true.” C
GOING AFTER a dream takes a tremendous
amount of work and dedication. Here
are just a few key elements that helped
CEO Jennifer Adams along her journey.
Strategies for success
Story continued from page 27
Tablet or smartphone?
Scan or click here to watch
Jennifer Adams’ kitchen decorating tips from The Better Show.
(See page 5 for scanning details.)
Be persistent. Don’t let the
word “no” get in the way. No
only means “not today.”
Do something that scares
you every day. Adams says
simply asking to meet with key
industry gurus has furthered
Accomplish what you hate
most on your to-do list first.
Don’t be afraid to ask
for help; find good mentors.
Adams credits much of her
business savvy to mentors.
Go with your gut. “When
I’ve avoided my gut, [I’ve]
always been wrong,” she says.
Surround yourself with
good people and delegate.
Adams has worn every hat in
her company, but her business
took off once she delegated.
“If anyone says I’ve done anything great,” she says, “it’s
always because of all the
people around me.”
Give back and help others.
Adams’ company is actively
involved with Self Enhance-
ment Inc. (SEI), a Portland,
Oregon–based nonprofit dedi-
cated to helping at-risk youths
realize their potential. Adams
donates products and her
time, and hires an SEI intern
Find balance. Adams says
balance is a struggle, but she
practices yoga and meditates
for 20 minutes each day to
calm her mind. She says, “All
of the challenges that seem
become crystal clear during
my meditation time.”—HM