Hi! I am Jennifer McCrystal, owner of J .McCrystal Design, Mantled Home, and Branch & Field, happily married to my high-school sweetheart and the love of my life, where together we are raising two kind and amazing boys, all on our elk farm here in Owensboro, Kentucky. Well, that was a mouthful! We enjoy being busy, what can I say? :) Seriously, thank you so much for your interest in my life, stores, and story. I can't wait to hear about yours. For now, I will tell you a snippet of mine.
My design story began when I was around 7 years old. My little, tenacious, determined self pushed and pulled and rearranged everything (including that massive heavy, wooden, queen sized bed!) in that room enough times to nearly wear out the brand new carpet. But I was determined to find the best layout- and I did, where today, everything still sits in the same exact place. Once I found the best arrangement for my bedroom, I moved on to fixing up the pantry. I straightened, arranged, and organized that pantry, and created a inventory list- helping my sweet mom have a better handle on things. I mean who needs 14 cans of green beans? Create an organized pantry system and you will have such a clean, efficient, and pretty pantry- and most importantly, the proper stock of all the most important goods! Ha!! Doesn't every 7 year old tackle these life problems? It was in my blood, my genetic make-up. My grandmother's artistic abilities, my dad and granddad's engineering feats, and even my upbringing seeing the behind-the-scenes of the beautiful homes being built at The Summit Country Club in Owensboro all created a firm childhood foundation for my future in design.
I remember my eyes glued-in watching the 1998 edition of 'The Parent Trap' as a child, and being completely enthralled in Elizabeth James’ wedding dress studio. Her style, taste, poise. The atmosphere. Her solutions to problems. How she cared for and served her clients. It wasn't about selling that wedding dress. It was about giving them an experience. I remember the feeling, the enchantment. I said to myself, I will have a studio like that one day. I want to help make people the heroes of their stories. I want to design to help people flourish. Okay, I didn’t say those last two things exactly at 7 years old. But it was the feeling and experience that I have held on to all these years later. I want that for you. I want to give you that bubbly, loved, and cared for experience.
Fast forward to senior year of high school where I was enrolled in AP science classes to put me on my way to the medical field, and it hit me. I do not enjoy this. I enjoy creativity, building, designing. In that moment, God told me, drop your science classes, switch gears, apply to the School of Interior Design at the University of Kentucky. If you’re accepted, it’s your sign. Take it and run with it. I struggled with K-12 classes. I did okay, but I had to work very hard, and it was definitely not an environment I enjoyed. But, fast forward to college life [where yes, I did get accepted- and thank goodness because UK College of Design is the only place I applied- a leap of faith for sure!!], and all of a sudden school, learning, studio time, projects, creating, became a whole new world of learning. I was completely engulfed in it- and 4 years later I graduated Summa Cum Laude. I earned it because I enjoyed every moment of it. It was the right environment. The right space. It was what I needed. I had found my calling. I didn't stop at a Bachelors of Arts in Interior Design, I pushed on to earn my NCIDQ Certification [which is not mandatory at this time for Interior Designers in Kentucky] but I wanted it for myself and for my clients. I want the best for myself, and I want the best for my clients and customers.
Perhaps right now you are like me “sitting in those AP classes”- doing okay, but not flourishing. Let me help you create the environment where you can flourish and shine and “graduate Summa Cum Laude” because you found your calling and enjoyed it. Let me give you the Elizabeth James' studio experience. Let me "wear out that carpet" [well in the computer, that is] creating the perfect layout and design for your space. Let me create the perfect "pantry" for your space so you can have an efficient, effective, and pretty space. Everyone deserves a space where they can flourish whether it is in their home or workplace. A space where they can shine. I want that for you. I really do.
I’m so appreciative that you read through part of my story. I’d love to hear your story sometime. Reach out, let’s brew a pot of coffee, find some comfy chairs (I think I can manage that part), and chat! It’s not about selling product, it’s about the experience. It’s a lifestyle.
All my best,