Every week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them, here are all the answers: This week is Jen Kemzuro

Jen Kemzuro

Jen is a designer at Design by Todd, she approaches interior design the way she approaches her life – with an appreciation for finding the beauty in everything, and for finding the kindness in everyone. She is infectiously excited when she sees a sample of beautiful fabric, or finds the perfect chair for a client – it’s a joy to watch. Jen lives her life just the way she has answered these questions, you are going to want to know her.

What was your first job?
A Carpenter (I worked for my Dad – he’s a carpenter), I have a tool belt!

Describe a typical day in your life.
Breakfast with husband and toddler…by 9ish I’m a designer at Design by Todd (Todd Zimmerman  ASID Interiors) where I take design and service seriously and everything else is just fun!  Todd and I jump back and forth returning client calls and emails, make changes to floor plans, creating the most beautiful interior finish schedules, pricing out gorgeous furniture and preparing for the next fantastic  presentation all while having deep thoughtful conversations in one moment and a dirty joke the next moment.  It’s all interior design, sexy banter and hearty comedy at my desk.  After 5 my husband toddler and I play together while creating a culinary delight.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Don’t over think it.  Trust your gut and be done with that thought and move on.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
Graduating in interior design, design is a big part of who I am.

What values do you live by?
Dreams become realities
Respect yourself & respect others

What do you most appreciate?
I’m always on the look out for beautiful and unusual things.

What is your favorite journey?
The esoteric journey of growing in my perception.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
That last half hour of the day of work at Design by Todd when I’m the last one there.  I take the time to wrap up my day and gather up things that I know I’ll have fun doing first thing in morning.

What living figure most inspires you?

Dr. Wayne Dyer (author and speaker in the field of self-development.)

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Mess it up – don’t try to be so perfect.
From: Prof. George Loli
Where:  the River Seine in Paris
What: We were travel sketching for an architecture class.  He walked up to my travel watercolors took my brush swirled into several colors and hit the brush in his finger sending splatter paint all over my shy, little sketch.  My painting became strong and confident – a statement – it WAS better.  He also had me put my eraser away and draw in pen – there are no mistakes – it’s your sketchbook.
Isn’t this true for all – to be unique we need that thing that is different ya know shake it up a bit, mess it up, and get funky it’s your sketchbook.

What book would you tell everyone to read?
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
My favorite part is “The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”

What is the best thing about where you live?
I’m surrounded by brilliant people, historic architecture, kind volunteers, cool music, funky artist, polite manners, delicious food and, unique ideas.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?
al fresco dining while discussing new ideas

What did u want to be when you grew up?
A professional dancer / veterinarian.  I still love to dance and play with animals!

What is your motto?
Live in the now

How would you like to be remembered?
Easy to connect with…

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Don’t take yourself so seriously

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Sky high heels
Sense of humor
Open mind

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Chic, fabulous, gorgeous little things, pop of color…all the words to describe all the people and stuff I work with.

What is your favorite word?

What do you collect?
Pretty little vintage things; jewelry, clutches, boxes or objects made the old fashioned way from real stuff with nice details.

What food could you live on for a month?
Anything from Taco Sisters by my office smells wonderful and locally owned.

What would you change about yourself?
I over explain myself, but its all about communication I just want to being clear but I understand I don’t need to over explain it can be draining –  plus I think I would be more mysterious and intriguing if I didn’t over explain myself.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Yoda & Pollyanna

Describe yourself in five words.
Optimist, bohemian, dreamer, laughing & kindnes

What is your idea of happiness?
Totally free – love, laughter and working on my passions.

What is your favorite movie?
What the Bleep Do We Know?!

What music defines who you are?
Hip Hop-rooted Turntablism, remixes, jazz, new age, tribal, chant, ambient, and soul music.

What do you most regret?
Ever being nervous about anything – it always works out.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
What is something you do that other people think is strange?

What would the answer be?
I park my car far away from where I’m going.  When anyone is with me they always point this out.  Most people like a parking spot in the front, not me; I park as far away as I can.  That way I get to have a nice long walk.  If I’m alone it’s a time to enjoy my senses, feel the sun or my skin or “smell the roses”.
I enjoy a relaxed lifestyle I never overlook the beauty of small moments – like a walk with a friend.  If you’re riding around with me I like you.  Let’s go for a walk together – park a bit far and enjoy a talk – we will get in there soon enough.  It a nameless moment I spend smiling with someone who matters to me.