Houses become Homes with The Jenkins Group
By: Suzanne Lennon
Dream homes don't have to be just dreams any longer, they can become a reality with the expertise of Mary Lozano Jenkins, founder and owner of The Jenkins Interior Design Group. Jenkins, who began her career with a national firm of Interior Designers and Decorators moved to San Antonio and started her own business when the national firm dissolved. "Interior design has always been my passion," Jenkins explains. "But I discovered early on that I am not selling a product, or a look. I am solving problems."
And solve them she does. Take the Sarrami's. They are in the process of building a new home and have utilized Jenkins' expertise from the get-go. Sheiva Sarrami just loves Mary Jenkins. "I heard about Mary from a friend of mine who was also building a new home. I figured I would need help getting the perfect look for our soon-to-be built home. I called Mary and she even went over the initial building contract we had with our builder! She looked at the allowances that had been set for crown molding, tile, carpet and so on, and told me whether the allocation was enough, or needed to be increased. Because we were going for a certain look in the house, she was able to help me select the basics, like the floor tile and the carpet before the house was even under construction." Not only did Jenkins help with the preliminary consults, she has been an invaluable resource to Sheiva every step of the way. "She kept my husband and I focused. We have spent less money because of her know-how and because she knows her business inside and out." Jenkins took the Sarrami's on a shopping trip to the Dallas Market where they hunted for household items that suited the look they were going for. Jenkins even went ahead of the Sarrami's and selected items for them to look at, to cut down on extraneous time. "I would look at a chair and say, 'Oh1 I love that!' and Mary would gently say, 'That is a gorgeous piece, but is it the style you are going for?' She took photos of all the pieces we liked and when we returned from our trip, ordered everything we settled on. She is so well known in her field that she can negotiate wonderful prices. Even with the commission she takes, we paid less than if we walked into a furnishing store and bought furniture off the floor."
Saving her client's time and money is important to Jenkins. That is why she takes the floor plans of her client's homes with her on trips and manipulates the data into her computer to show the best way pieces can fit into a given space. She ties everything together with accessories such as paintings, blinds, curtains, lamps and florals. With over 6,000 vendors to choose from, she can complete any project in any style her customer desires.
Makeovers also fit into Jenkins' realm. "A makeover is where I rearrange the client's existing furniture, perhaps pulling in pieces from other rooms. I will also supplement their accessories with pieces that I am sure will complement their style." Linda Bachman can attest to that. "Mary has done two makeovers for me in the time I have known her; once in my old house and once in the house where I currently live. Both times she has amazed and surprised me with her skills." Jenkins was able to take Linda's existing furniture in her downstairs living and dining area and through careful rearranging, completely change the look and feel of the rooms. "It was like walking into a new home," Bachman confesses. "Mary nailed my taste on the head. When I looked at the finished room I did a double-take. I realized there were pieces that belonged to me but she displayed them in ways I would never have thought of." Bachman said that she loved the new accessories Jenkins added so much she bought them. "She has helped me to stretch my design tastes too," Bachman explains. "She'd show me something in a catalog and I would never in a month of Sundays choose it. But when I see it, I realize that it is perfect! My tastes have perhaps become more 'grown up' since I have known Mary."
Jenkins has been asked to create surprise makeovers, in a "While You Were Out" style. She calls it her Magical Makeover and it is in high demand. Jenkins also does staging for homes that are for sale - making the best use of the furniture to make the home ready for a quick and good sale.
Not only does The Jenkins Group do all of this, they do personal organization. "Many clients hire us when they move. We help them organize their belongings, discarding items that they no longer need. We will hang their art, stock the china cabinets, even set and dress the tables for them. Whatever they need, we can do."
This obviously keeps Jenkins exceptionally busy, which is just fine by her. The family underwent a devastating loss last August when Mary's husband of 25 years passed away quite suddenly from pancreatic cancer. "It was so quick," she says wiping away the tears. "From initial diagnosis to his passing was only 10 weeks." He left behind two adult daughters, Jessica and Jennifer and one teenage son, Jonathan. "We are doing well," Jenkins says. "Work has kept us sane through the hard times. I love my office and my kids spend a lot of time here with me."
Jenkins recently started a new venture, one that came about almost by accident. "I always send thank you cards and gifts to customers and vendors. One day someone told me about 'Send Out Cards' an online company that will send out the cards for you, and even attach a gift if requested. I visited the website and was immediately hooked! I signed up and now tell all my friends and family about this great service!" To visit Mary Jenkins Send Out Cards website, log onto www.sendoutcards.com/MaryJ .
Life for this busy lady has never been more hectic, or more satisfying. "When I chose to be a work-at-home mom I never knew I would love it as much as I do. I have the best of both worlds - I am home when my son comes home from school but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I am providing for my family doing something that I love."
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