We had the good fortune of connecting with Jody Cornelius and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jody, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balance is one of the tools you have to sharpen as you rise through life. In 2017, life became completely out of balance for me personally. I unexpectedly became pregnant with my second child, our best friend passed away from Glioblastoma and I decided to walk away from a retail business, I had built over the past nine years. I was approaching my 40th Birthday and wanted to take some time to refocus on how I wanted the next phase of my life to look like. I have always had a passion for design, and everything involved with construction. So, I knew I wanted to continue to stay in this field but not be in the retail side of design. Our best friend who, I mentioned, passed away, left his beautiful wife, Amanda Machowicz, with us. She and I have been friends for over 20 years, we actually went to high school together. Life put us both in a situation where we had design talents and time, so we decided to start buying homes to remodel and resale. After we did a few, people started calling asking if they could hire us to do a home for them. From there Inspired by JAM was created. We wanted the name to capture how we both live. We live by a mantra Not Dead Can’t Quit; so Inspired, because we both always strive to be excellence; we live each day to surpass the day before. We have learned that tomorrow is not a guarantee and you have to cherish each moment as a gift and make it count. We are inspired to create superior, functional spaces with top quality products. The JAM stands for Jody and Mandy. We are both survivors and warriors. Mothers who show up daily for a children and significant others with 100% dedication and presence. We are committed to our jobs and work ethic is exceeds our client’s expectations. We are an experienced, full-service Interior Design based residential construction team. We strive to design successful spaces with innovative ideas and quality products. It takes daily balance between me and Mandy to make sure every detail is met, and each box is checked as the projects progress. The most important lesson I have learned about how to balance work and personal life is to understand that you cannot make people into something they are not. You cannot put your expectations on another person’s capabilities. If you will allow others grace and understanding, realize they are most likely doing the best they can do, and you focus your energy on doing the best you can do. Then in the end everything will be perfectly balanced.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Inspired by JAM has grown to be what it is completely from organic growth. We do not advertise in the traditional sense. Most of if not all of our business comes from word of mouth. Mandy and I are extremely hands on inside the company. While we have an excellent team, if we have a deadline to meet and there is a task that needs more hands on deck, both of us are willing to jump in and get the job done. Whether that job be manual labor or paperwork. The biggest challenge for me personally to overcome being impatience. I am finding the older I get the more accepting I am with patience. I have realized there are more important things in life, then worrying about the little things in life. If you hire Inspired by JAM you are getting two women who will give your project our full attention and care. But you are also getting our entire team, who we know, will also give you their best. We do not accept a large number of projects at one time and there is an exact reason why. We are detail oriented and we have survived through so much in our short lives already our only focus is to do thing the things we love to do, provide for our sweet families and enjoy each day. Mandy and I have a lot of fun running our businesses. Our professionalisms is on point and our life’s goal is help others, which we do daily in both of our companies.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am huge foodie so the first day would be based around eating delicious food. I would start with homemade waffles and mimosas in my backyard. Then get dressed and head to Nobu for Tuna and Wagyu Tacos with a Lychee & Elderflower Martini. Walk around the galleria shopping for a bit, only to make enough room in my belly for some B & B Butchers, on Washington, Carpet Bagger on the Half Shell. For dinner, I would want to pop over to Uchi for some sushi, my favorites are Hirame, Kanpachi, and Bluefin Otoro. Day two would be all about the outdoors, depending on the time of the year I would take them to the beach or the San Bernard River. That’s the best part about the Houston area you can get to saltwater or fresh water within an hour. There is just something special about about being on a dock fishing while the sun is going down.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Dustin Cornelius, he has always supported me in my adventures and crazy dreams. I have never been one to sit still. I always want to learn something new, there is literally nothing I haven’t tried to build and I haven’t met a challenge I haven’t accepted. He never tried to slow me down or stop me, he is my biggest cheerleader and I truly appreciate him for letting me believe that Birthdays are the best holidays ever. My best friend and business partner, Amanda Machowicz, we balance each other out and truly accept each other strengths and weaknesses. That balance allows us to trust each other, build an indestructible friendship and amazing businesses together. It is an extremely special blessing that I have her in my life. Mandy and I, now have two thriving companies, Inspired by JAM, our Design and Construction/ Remodel business- www.inspiredbyjam.com or @inspiredbyjamtx. As well as our motivational company- www.ndcq.com or Not Dead Can’t Quit. My mom, Kathy Kahn, she raised me to believe that I could accomplish anything if I put my mind to it. My mother is one of the kindest, sweetest, most giving loving persons I know and I strive to be like her. She never judges anyone and teaches you that love is greater than hate.
Linkedin: Jody Cornelius