Jenna Holmes is the founder and creative director of all things green, meaningful and spaghetti orientated at Plant Mama - a design studio residing in Melbourne, and Pasta Mama - a private dining, sensory experience in Sydney and Melbourne.
Jenna injects her creative energy into everything she does, forming a signature style that we just can't get enough of: curated, colourful and chaotic.
In this interview we chat to Jenna about always being your authentic self, nurturing your relationships with your clients and business karma.
Q1: Hi Jenna, welcome to the Woman Of Series! Can you tell us what it is you create?
I create a bunch of things. I create indoor plant jungles. I create pasta clubs. I create hats, and tea towels and random shit. I create a lot of different things.
Q2: What inspired you to start Plant Mama?
There was one other company in Australia doing it but it wasn't my style out there. And I just felt like it was a niche market and good timing.
Q3: How do you break the mould and create a point of difference with Plant Mama?
I think if you authentically be yourself and do what feels right to you, and don't copy other people, that's the ticket. People can feel and know if you are not being your authentic self.
Instead of trying to be like anyone else just be yourself. It's easier to achieve success because people don't feel like they are getting a disingenuous exchange.
Q4: What single tool or strategy have you found invaluable to your role so far?
Relationship building. I have put my relationships with my clients at the forefront of the business exchange and a lot of them are friends now. Business at the end of the day is about connection and exchange of services.
Nurturing relationships with clients is super important. When you need help or you have a question or something like that, you can really rely on those relationships in times of need.
Q5: How does Plant Mama relate to your personality and who you are?
I am her, she is me. We're the same.
Q6: What is your big hope and dream for your work?
I don't think I have one. I feel like I am just doing what I'm doing right now. I never really had a plan, I never really planned to have a business to be honest. I'm just doing what's happening at the moment.
I don't necessarily want to have a huge company with hundreds of staff, it's not that. I'd rather have more meaningful projects and smaller staff numbers.
I definitely wanted to create a company when I first started because I thought that's what you want, that bigger is better. I think I just want to do more meaningful projects. And make enough money to buy a house in Italy.
Q7: What is the last thing you read, listened or watched that inspired you, and how?
I watched Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. I was a mess! It made me want to go and volunteer.
Q8: What are your top 3 superpowers?
I make people feel comfortable. I know that I am quite warm and I can be friendly. I can make everyone feel at ease.
I have a very good eye. I see, creatively, things really well. If I'm styling a table or taking a photo or building a jungle. Colours I see really well. I've learnt now that I am such a visual learner and my sight is quite powerful in that regard.
I am intuitive. In both life and in business. I can feel stuff, and I've learnt to roll with it and make decisions based on that because that's normally what's right in the end.
Q9: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?
Honestly, everyone around me. I don't think it's people who are famous or in deemed successful roles. Just chicks in general! Like my friends, or my clients, or some random old lady on the street. Everyone is here to teach each other.
Q10: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
Think about it as if there is imaginary business kilometres or karma that you build with other people. It's nice to do things for other people because it's the right thing to do, but also because it puts business kilometres in the bank.
I needed something really badly the other day because I was in a really sticky situation, and this one lady organised this huge thing and she was just happy to help me out because that's just what we do in business.
And so she put some imaginary business kilometres in our bank. So that when something rolls around and I can help her out, I will. I feel like just being aware of doing something nice for someone else is a really good business karma move.
Just be conscious of doing stuff like that. You need to get something out of everything. It doesn't need to be paid, but there needs to be some kind of exchange.