Meet Jessica Gardenhire // Architectural Designer


Do you have any passion projects outside of work? If so, can you tell us more?

I am currently pursuing my architectural license and sadly have not been able to nurture my hobbies. My goal is to get my license, which in the industry, only 2% of licensed architects are African Americans. After that, I will hopefully be able to pursue projects I’ve dreamt of, like painting, starting a blog, or even a podcast if time permits. But for now, I stay sane with yoga and water color painting when I’m not studying. 

Who inspires you today? 

I find inspiration in my late grandmother, Ma Maw. I find myself not only very proud of how far our family has come, despite her going to a segregated school in Tennessee. But I am also inspired by how patient she was in her lifetime. To endure not only the hardships of her time racially, but the hardships of family as well. She has dealt with situations that I would have never had the patience for. I really try to strive to have that peace and love dwelling in my own heart. 


Thank you for sharing Jessica!

What is your role/title and industry? 

I am an Architectural Designer. The Architecture profession just changed the official names for people in my position and the debate is still up. (Junior Architect is also a common title)

Who or what would you attribute to your success so far?

A lot of my success comes from being raised by two ministers. A large part of my upbringing focused on diligently studying, setting goals, and believing in oneself to achieve them. I was always taught that I am truly God’s best and can believe and achieve what I set my mind to. Spirituality aside, a lot of that determination has allowed me to stay driven to be my best self. 

From your experience, what advice would you have for women in the workplace?

My advice is be yourself, be inquisitive, be vocal, and trust your gut.

One of my best relationships is with an owner of my company who really took me under his wing to have opportunities in design that people with my experience rarely get. I would have never fostered that relationship had I believed what people said that he was a tad sexist. Instead, I got to know him and really earned his respect. I showed that I was eager and willing to help and be involved.

So through being myself, asking to learn, and understanding his strong personality, I have a company principle who really believes in me and mentors me.