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Conversations with the Inspiring Jenny Slingerland

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Slingerland.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jenny. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I took a rather roundabout way to Arizona and to running Black Ink Interiors as it exists today.

Although I was drawn to interior design, I initially pursued a career as a registered nurse. I guess my practical side won the internal debate, and I figured healthcare would be the safer bet. However, while in the nursing program in college, I realized that it just wasn’t for me. I wanted to finish what I started, so I pushed through and graduated. I got a job in a local hospital and simultaneously enrolled in an interior design program. Working as a nurse played an important role in my life as it was the means to support me through interior design school and my husband through MBA school. Most importantly, it was the foundation for developing my commitment to providing excellent service and doing quality work.

I finally made the move into interior design as an in-house designer for custom home builders in southern Utah and Las Vegas. Eventually, I started my own interior design business, which later became Black Ink Interiors. Over the next seven years, we added two kids to our family and lived in four different states for my husband’s job. Although I had a couple of design projects at any given time, I wasn’t actively pursuing work during these years.

Our final move was to Arizona in 2014, where we decided to set our roots and stay. Once my daughters were both in school full-time, I decided it was time to invest my time and energy into Black Ink Interiors. I had a couple of projects underway in Las Vegas, but I didn’t know anyone or have any connections in Arizona. I had to start from scratch! I signed up for professional organizations, attended networking events, cold called home builders and built relationships with vendors and local trades. Eventually, the hard work and investment in relationships resulted in new projects and clients. Over the next couple of years, the business rapidly grew from a team of one working out of my home office to a team of six workings out of our office and showroom in Scottsdale.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’d like to think I got the third degree with a Masters in the School of Hard Knocks. There have been stops and starts and several hurdles. After months of networking and cold calling but not seeing any tangible results, I wondered if it was ever going to materialize. I got discouraged at times, but I had many people around me who supported me and encouraged me. I am a fighter, so I put my head down and just kept going. When I started to get new projects and clients the challenges didn’t stop; they just changed. But without challenges, we wouldn’t grow as individuals, as a team or as a business.

If I can give any advice to other women, especially young women who are just starting their journey, it is to be “all in” on whatever you choose. Don’t give up, keep pursuing your dream or your passion. Also, invest in people and relationships. There is an important role that technology and social media play in business, but I cannot overstate the value of face to face interactions and relationships.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Black Ink Interiors story. Tell us more about the business.
We offer residential and commercial interior design services ranging in scope from full renovations to new construction. We also provide furniture and accessory packages, window treatments, styling, and home staging.
There are hundreds of decisions to be made, documented and communicated when remodeling or building a home or commercial space. We recognize that many busy professionals and families don’t have the time or experience to make all of these decisions on their own and that they place a high value on those who have the expertise, knowledge, and ability to guide them through the process. That is where we come in; Our role is to partner with our clients through the process, from start to finish, to ensure every detail is covered, to ensure a cohesive look and ultimately design a space that meets their functional needs and aesthetic goals.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
There is so much to learn when building and running a business while also balancing other priorities, so I invest daily in my personal development.

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Some of my favorites are:

– A Well-Designed Business by LuAnn Nigara
– The business of Design by Kimberly Seldon
– Productivity Straight Talk by Amber De La Garza,
– Profit Is A Choice by Michelle Williams
– Entrepreneurship Elevated by Mike Michalowicz.

I also recently hired a business coach, which has been a great experience.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 15953 N. Greenway Hayden Loop, Suite K
    Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • Website: blackinkinteriors.com
  • Phone: 480-428-8009
  • Email: info@blackinkinteriors.com
  • Instagram: @black.ink.interiors

Image Credit:
Brian Goddard, Nick Sorensen, Jennie Slade, Stephanie Studer

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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