Most of you know me as the Editor of Capital Sophisticate, our Washington, D.C. Column. However, you may not know that I just recently finished an internship with Emmy-nominated TV Host, best-selling author, and America’s Top Lifestyle Expert, Mr. Mar Jennings. He taught me how to prep and execute a national live TV segment, complete a transformative design installation on a modest budget, and even how to garden!
In addition to being successful in every sense of the word, he is also a giving and kind person who enriches the lives of those who are special enough to meet him. My experience working with him was so inspirational that I had to take a moment and share him with all of you.
Occupation: President and CCO at S&J Multimedia LLC/ America’s Top Lifestyle Expert
Facebook: Mar Jennings Multimedia
Pinterest: Mar Jennings
Motto: Make more deposits in the karma bank than withdrawals.
What are three words that best describe you?: Passionate, loving & philanthropic
How do you describe being a lifestyle expert?: I’m very lucky to be called America’s top lifestyle expert; my job is to be on top of trends in the home and garden arena, as well as inspire others by creating new trends. I have traveled the globe to share my Casual Luxury philosophy and by six core design principles; it’s an attainable style because I embrace the ‘magic of the mix.’
What inspires you most about your work?: People reach out to me—through personal letters and e-mails, and comments on my website and social media—and share how they are motivated to make changes in their surroundings and appreciate my approach of talking to people, not at them. I’m blessed that I do what makes my heart tick, and something that I’m extremely passionate about. I love what I do, and I’m grateful that I do what I love.
What experience in you career are you most proud of? Author? Community connector? Father to Violet?: Being a great daddy to my miniature schnauzer Violet is rewarding, but I’m most proud of building my LIFE ON MAR’S brand. Although it was achieved over a decade, it all began with a clear mission: I knew that if my success grew then my ability to help others would as well. I have a responsibility to not just live in this world but to create a legacy that lives beyond the roles of author, lifestyle expert, or TV Host. I truly hope I will end up creating a legacy of good will.
What advice would you share with those still in school?: Study hard, but also don’t be afraid to find specific internships in your field. I had an intern this year who could only squeeze 10 days into her calendar, but since she is studying design I wanted to give her whatever experience I could. So be creative: if a full internship in your chosen field is not available, offer alternatives, like shadowing someone for a few days. Who knows, it might be something they can provide. At the end of the day, all the schoolwork and study only matters if you do what you love and love what you do. (Sound familiar?)
Why is giving back important to you?: I’m blessed that I can help causes not just throughdonation, but by rolling up my sleeves and getting involved.Some of the best donations I made were by giving a location: I’ve opened my home for a holiday house tour and participated in both local and national garden tours. The charities make money and I make lots of new friends.I’m fulfilled personally, the charities are delighted, and I lend my notoriety for these wonderful causes. In the end, I have made a difference and that’s what LIFE ON MAR’S is all about.
How has giving back helped you?: I count my blessings every day and feel a responsibility to help others do great things. Each time I give of myselfeither personally and or professionally I find deeper meaning.
How do you incorporate giving back into your life and your business?: As my successes grows so do my donations! I’m responsible to be the best I can be while helping others. It’s that simple.
Which charities are near and dear to you and why?: Health and social services: AIDS-related causes, cancerresearch,
What is the most creative fundraising idea you have done?: Many years ago, when I was working in the banking field, Iwas asked to run a “get to know you” client function. Instead, I created a fashion show/charity event at the branch. I partnered with a designer/client and also invitedother clients to participate as models. At the time, myhesitant managers felt I should stick to the traditional wine & cheese format, but I felt strongly I should do something different. Taking a chance—something out of the norm for a financial institution—got us lots of media attention, attendees and buzz within the community. The event was a huge success, and not only were large dollars raised for the AIDS charity, but it set a new standard for how to be involved in the community, encourage participation, and support local causes.
What are some must-attend charity events in NYC for you?: amfAR New York Gala 2014 and Diffa’s Dining By Design
We know you love shoes! What are your two favorite pairs?: Only two? My Louis Vuitton and Gucci loafers; my ColeHaan wingtips and saddle shoes; and of course my white Brooks Brothers bucks—a must-have for any gentleman’s summer wardrobe.
What brands do you wear most often during the day?: I love Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren for their classic styles.
What is your favorite beauty product right now?: Indie Lee, because she is focused on all natural ingredientswhile staying eco-chic, and the CellCosmet products for men (CellMen)! I can’t live without both brands.
How would you describe your own home décor?: That’s easy! Casual Luxury. The magic of the mix as I do not discriminate by price when it comes to my home décor and/or life! There is no status in overpaying for great design, and my core design principles work in any home, for any style and in any room.
What is one secret for hosting a great part?: Be prepared, attend to your guests and be in charge. Guests look to the host to set an example and lead the way.I’d rather see someone entertain less often but be comfortable than someone entertain badly and transfer that stress to their guests.