Jennifer Spencer, 52, is a creative thinker and entrepreneur. With a degree in economics, but a flair for the arts, Jennifer has been instrumental in myriad start-up companies and innovations over the last 20 years. Jennifer’s marketing and business development strategies have provided actionable solutions to clients including start-ups with new product development to larger corporations seeking to reposition their offering. Now, Jennifer is proud to serve as President, Inventor, and CEO of Agloves, an innovative new consumer product that is pioneering the social media marketing sphere.
Jean Spencer, 23, is also creative and thinking. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Jean decided to take a leap from the world of newsprint and into the online world of online communications. Officially the Vice President of Communications, Jean now heads all things social, communicative, or networked for Agloves like media relations, PR, social media and online presence. In her free time, Jean can be found twisting up into pretzel shapes on her yoga mat, climbing rocks, sipping double Americanos or basking in the Colorado sunshine.
Robin Baron: What do you love most about what you running your own company?
Jennifer: I love innovation, creativity and the intellectual challenge of puzzle solving. I love taking an idea and making a reality
Jean: Owning your own company means a lot more than choosing your own hours and getting to pick your own office space. Owning your own company means owning your work. There is a certain level of personal responsibility in knowing that your work each and every day is the heart and soul of the company. But for each extra push you give any certain task, there is that much more satisfaction in seeing an idea come to fruition. I’ve never had children, but this to me, seems like my baby.
RB: What is it like to work with your mom/daughter?
Jennifer: Fabulous! I have so much to learn from Jean. A mom/daughter team has a certain amount of push and pull but there is also respect and passion. Each day is an adventure.
Jean: Great. Fabulous. Awesome. And then occasionally heated and argumentative. But for the most part my mom and I have put together a working relationship that blossoms. We can talk through business issues in a deep meaningful way that not only assesses the effects on our business, but also the effects on our lifestyle and employees. We have set up some “key phrases” that help us move past the mom-daughter sticks in the road, and really let us collaborate in a way that only family could on important issues.
RB: What’s inspiring you now? Any new big ideas?
Jennifer: More sunlight each day. Anticipation of spring. Music. As for big ideas…Every day. In addition to being an entrepreneur, I am an abstract oil painter. Today, I thought about the idea that we are engaged in the flow of life, that this flow takes its own form, and our best is when we embrace the flow and paddle.
Jean: The constant good feedback and “awe” factor of our product inspires me everyday. I like to say that if you are having a bad day in the office, all you need to do is go get some Agloves, take them to the street and let a few people who have never tried them, demo them out. Their “Oh wow! This really does work,” response coupled with a huge grin is my daily inspiration. Beyond that, the openness and receptiveness of the entrepreneur community helps to inspire new ideas, too. We are based in Boulder, Colorado where every coffee shop is teeming with Macbook Pros and entrepreneurs busy making new solutions for business and technology. These people are encourage and supporting of new ideas everyday and are more than willing to collaborate on a great new idea in a more altruistic way than I’ve ever known business leaders to be.
RB: How would you describe your own home décor?
Jennifer: Mid-century modern. I love the clean, elegant lines and beautiful design of this time period.
Jean: The best word to describe my home décor is recycled. It’s almost completely second-hand or picked up at garage sales. I happen to really fancy “garage-saling.” Yes, a verb. It’s the act of doing a garage sale, and finding the awesome stuff that really makes you wonder about the history and lifeline of a piece of furniture.
RB: What elements from your childhood home do you want to keep for the rest of your life?
Jean: My childhood backyard opened up to a huge plot of designated open space with creeks, and swamps and fields of trees and grass ready to be explored and played in. I want to keep that connection with earth and the outdoors for the rest of my life.
RB: How have you incorporated these into your home now?
Jean: Well, Boulder is extremely outdoorsy. I find myself outdoors most of the time, whether that be on my porch in the morning with a hot cup of coffee, or later in the day when I bike to and from work. Also, being in the front range of the Rocky Mountains puts a mountain in almost every view. A nearness to nature is important to me, and I base much of my style off earth tones.
RB: What design elements in your home have you personalized?
Jennifer: All of the artwork. Flowers. Color. Plants. It is impossible for me to live in a house with white walls. I’ve painted every wall a different color. I’ve sought out interesting furniture pieces. I have a particular passion for chairs! I love reading and display my books.
Jean: I guess to some degree I put the glue that holds all my random pieces in my house together. You can definitely tell my home is a collage of my friends and family and neighbors, but I put the urban chic overtone to the whole place.
RB: Anything else really that you’d want to include about the company would be wonderful!
Jean: So great to be in business and share design with my mother. We not only share glove design, but office design, business model design and lifestyle design.