Photo courtesy of Jacki Arena Interiors
Throughout history, women have been an integral element to the progress and success of society. In the office, in the home, and everywhere in between – women have shown their versatility and ability to more than match their male counterparts.
As a certified woman-owned business, and in honor of Women's History Month, LebaTex has interviewed successful women in the interior design industry that we admire. In this series, we will highlight their accomplishments, detail their journeys, and share their professional advice for other women to succeed as well.
The first woman we talked to for our #WomensHistoryMonth Showcase is Jacki Arena of Jacki Arena Interiors.
Jacki Arena is a Florida Licensed Interior Designer and the founder of Jacki Arena Interiors, Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has been an influential member of the hospitality industry since 1992.
While working at the Boca Raton Resort and Club during art school, she discovered her desire to design luxury experiences in the hospitality industry. She began researching the connection between hospitality spaces and human emotions, and studied people as much as she studied design.
Prior to starting JAI, Jacki refined her design expertise and brand/design interaction while working with Extended Stay America. Assisting in the development of ESA and Studio Plus prototypes was a building block in the foundation of her design principles. Upon her success at ESA, she was recruited to join the team at Hospitality Purveyors Inc. (better known as Sandals Resorts) where she designed luxury resorts in the Caribbean.
Today, with more than 85 hospitality projects, JAI is a leader in the hospitality design industry. Jacki leads a well-rounded team of individuals that offer decades of experience in specialized areas of design, such as architectural design, furniture procurement, and artistry. She also believes in a mentorship business model that allows her team to influence up-and-coming interior designers.
We had the pleasure of asking Jacki a series of questions about her development as a professional and designer. Below are her responses:
LebaTex: Have you always wanted to be an interior designer or did you originally plan a different career?