The month of March is a time for celebration, empowerment, and recognition of women around the world. As a Women Owned Business, Waldner’s is thrilled to honor this occasion by shining a spotlight on the remarkable women leaders within our industry.

Throughout March, our ‘Women’s History Month Spotlight Series’ will feature various women making transformative strides in our field. Each spotlight will offer a glimpse into the inspiring journeys of these remarkable individuals.

Our next spotlight is on Jennifer Wallace, Co-Founder, Director of Art at nAscent Art.

1. What is the proudest moment in your career journey thus far?

People see the Grand Canyon for its grandeur, but the real magic is how it took so many millions of years of water running through stone to make it what it is today. Commemorations and awards often prompt proud moments. Though appreciated and validating, no one moment captures the importance of my “overnight success, years in the making”. For me, and for the company I built with my husband, James, “the magic is in the work”. Growing our company and celebrating wins with my team cumulatively make for a life’s work for which I’m proud.

Being on site at installations of our signature projects, seeing the impact our work has on a space and the people in it, the buzz of energy among guests, employees, and visitors–these are the moments I cherish, and I’m always proud to contribute to the moments. We’ve been lucky enough to work with art by “important” artists, living and dead, and hundreds of talented professionals in industries as varied as art, hospitality, real estate development, and even materials science. I’m proud of those collaborations and relationships.

Jennifer at work

2. Share a challenge you have faced in your career and how you overcame it.

The first time I had to fire someone, I was a nervous wreck. You never want to terminate someone’s employment, but the business needed to part ways with the individual. When the time finally came, my husband and business partner came along, but basically said nothing. We had already discussed how the meeting should proceed in order to be final, humane, and professional. Hands shaking, voice wavering (at first), I overcame the fear, and the soon-to-be ex-employee took it even better than I! He thanked us, and we remain friends to this day.

Jennifer Wallace

3. What advice would you give to the next generation of women in the workplace?

1. Never stop! Perseverance is key. Passion is more than a fruit–it’s a way of life!

2. Never stop learning. Personal and professional development are keys to staying competitive, and to leading (people, an industry, changing the world).

3. Never stop finding ways to improve. Get 1% better each day. The constant push towards excellence will help propel you in your career and in anything you’re working to accomplish. The magic is in the work, and it won’t do itself.

4. Have fun! It won’t always be easy, it won’t always be fun. Celebrate the wins! Don’t take yourself too seriously, but take what you’re doing seriously.

5. Be grateful. Even mistakes, obstacles, and enemies can end up being blessings in disguise. And for those opportunities or people that are actual blessings, be grateful, inwardly and overtly.

6. Take responsibility. Blaming others stifles growth. Even if you avoid risk and pain, they will find you eventually. You can handle more than you think, but you’ll never know your limits until you push yourself. Once adopted, these touchstones (responsibility and resilience) become immensely empowering.

7. Build a team. Your team doesn’t just mean your workmates. Your team could include your stylist, your family, your friends, your former employers, your old teachers and professors–the more you give, the more you get.