In honor of Mother’s Day, our next Inspired Women Series features bad ass mom, creative entrepreneur and designer, Jenny Walsh. Jenny is co-founder of online kid’s clothing boutique, Fig & Fawn. Fig & Fawn sells all kinds of cute and unique clothes and accessories for babies and kids. So naturally her son Loch is always styling to the max, usually in some sort of cute drop-crotch joggers and moccasins. Jenny is my friend and neighbor, and I have always been inspired by her personal style. We bonded over a love of interior design, fashion and small dogs. She has an effortless chic about her and a no bull shit kind of vibe that is authentic and grounding. And her son Loch is silly cute. I could just eat those rosy cheeks.
Check out Jenny in her home with Loch and her precious chihuahua, Winnie, who is always by her side.
Cheers to all the mama’s out there, raising their kids, chasing their dreams, and sharing their inspiration with the world. I am in awe of you all…
Happy Mother’s Day.
Tell me about your background, both professionally and personally.
I am a Chicago native who came to Colorado by way of New York after meeting a boy (my now husband) and finally ending the long distance Boulder to NYC dating commute once I was accepted into the entrepreneurial MBA program at CU. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs: my mom owned an Alterations Consulting business she sold to Saks, my dad had his own Law firm, my grandpa ran a massive dairy operation and ice cream parlor, and my great uncle was the famed foot guy, Dr. Scholl. I suppose I would sum myself up as a walking contradiction: a creative type who is fiscally conservative, a wanderlust who enjoys homemaking, a boutique owner who can spend a day in the mall, a healthy yogi whose favorite food is Linda’s fudge cake at the Cheesecake Factory. My favorite activity is probably going out to dinner.
What inspired you to launch Fig & Fawn?
When I was 8 months pregnant with my son Loch, I met Kathryn Thole, another stylish mom who was new to Denver, in a prenatal yoga class. It was her idea (with 3 little ones) to create a shop for everything sweet, petite, and unique we couldn’t find in Denver…this became our mantra and before we knew it, the e-commerce site launched.
Tell me more about Fig & Fawn, from concept stages to today, including product selection, product testing, growing pains, etc.
Kathryn and I clicked immediately as friends as well as stylistically. We started scheming about ideas and drooling over cute products while we nursed our newborns at coffee shops and drank wine over take out dinners with a circus of kids running around. We ultimately decided just to do the website until we determined if the Denver market could support our type of retail and it allowed us the flexibility to work from home. Most of our product has been found via Instagram or on travels exploring other children’s boutiques. We decided against going to trade shows so we wouldn’t carry the same lines as everyone else. Most of our stuff is from independent brands in Australia, France, and LA as it turns out.
You are also an interior designer, please tell us more about how you got into that industry and your favorite part about working with your clients to better their homes.
Interior Design is my passion. It is the thing I go to bed dreaming of and what I spend a good part of my day plotting. I have an undergrad background in Fine Arts but it was something I got into accidentally while in grad school when I started doing some home and office decor projects for friends + family. I quickly became consumed by it and realized I could use my newly minted business acumen to start my own firm. So I dedicated my “free time” to obtaining my licenses.
Tell us more about your own home, the design direction and inspiration, as well as your favorite in-home details and preferred décor designers.
I live in a super modern, Miami-style home here in Denver, though we won’t last long with another boy on the way and plenty of internal balconies for the hooligans to jump off. My dream house is actually an early 1900s classic white brick or Spanish style home with plenty of interior renovation needed to modernize and make my own. My interior style merges luxe sophistication, eclectic accents, and contemporary coolness. I am a real sucker for timeless details like crown molding, marble mantles, herringbone floors, etc. It is so difficult/expensive to replicate these masterpieces now a days. And I think they serve as the perfect backdrop for a massive piece of contemporary art. A couple of my favorite designers are Jean-Louis Denoit and Kelly Wearstler.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
OMG everything…I’m inspired by nature (though I have zero green thumb), pictures from other designers I follow on Instagram, nice tile in a restaurant bathroom, WSJ Off Duty section and the stack of magazines I have on my nightstand every day, a man or woman walking down the street who looks super put together…
How do you find balance between being a business owner and a mother?
To be perfectly honest, I can’t say I’ve mastered “balance”. Some days I feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off. But I guess my personal mantra is not to sweat the small stuff. If anything I am probably too laid back as a parent…I’m often told I act more like a third time mom than a first, but this allows me to retain some semblance of my own identity and to work on my businesses. Oh, and most importantly, babysitters + nap time make it all possible.
What motivates you professionally?
The successes of other women, especially mothers, and a burning desire to create.
Do you have any future business plans or upcoming product releases that you would like to share?
Without sharing too much prematurely, I am working on a product for women who’ve struggled with infertility. Speaking of product releases, I’m pregnant with a second baby, due to be “released” in October.
Yay! That is so exciting. Congrats!!
What is your favorite part about being an entrepreneur?
Flexibility, not needing to follow corporate rules, and seeing your own vision come to fruition.
Could you please describe your personal style?
As I get older, I am more set in a sense of what works + doesn’t on me (at least I think I am). I imagine this drives sales associates nuts. My “uniform” is a pair of skinny pants with a constructed blazer. Pointy toe stilettos for nighttime (I am a designer shoe addict and keep them stuffed with tissue in the original boxes to maintain shape) and funky sneakers or flats for daytime. My mom told me never to leave the house without a nice handbag and I inherited her love of fashion.
What does contemporary bohemian mean to you?
Being comfortable in your own skin and finding a personal style that isn’t totally defined by current trends.