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Jennifer Bennion ’01

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jennifer attended The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.When did you come to Waterford, and why did you choose Waterford as your school?
I started coming to Waterford in the Fall of 1993, I was in sixth grade. My sister and I had previously attended another private elementary school in downtown Salt Lake City. I think at the time our family was ready for a change. Waterford was the right fit. It definitely didn’t hurt that Waterford is a seven minute drive from my parent’s home.

What do you feel has been the most important impact that Waterford has had on you?
I think that Waterford helped foster my artistic,creative side and also taught me to be a critical thinker.

What passions did you find at Waterford that you may not have discovered elsewhere (photo, theater, dance, robotics, birding, Shakespeare, ceramics, tennis, outdoor, lacrosse, etc.)
I knew that I wanted to be a designer at a young age. The teachers that I had at Waterford always encouraged me to go for my dreams. I think one of the many things that sets Waterford apart from other schools is the caliber of the faculty. My portfolio is what helped me get into design school. Much of the credit for that goes to the amazing art teachers at Waterford.

Did you have a favorite teacher or more than one? Why?
There were too many wonderful teachers to pick a favorite. But Wilson Ong was my art teacher in middle school and all through high school. He played a huge role in helping me prepare and apply for design school which I will always be grateful for.

How prepared for college and for life were you?
I think I was very prepared for the academic side of my college experience because of my education at Waterford.

Where did you go to college?
I attended The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where I earned an AAS in Fashion Design and a BFA in Textile Surface Design.

What was your first job after college?
I worked for a textile home furnishings company in New Jersey for a short time. Then I took a job as an entry level design assistant at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. I worked there from 2005 until the spring of 2009 when my daughter was born.

What culminating experience(s) helped you select a career?
As I mentioned previously, I actually knew from a young age that I wanted to be a designer and move to New York City. Having wonderful art teachers at Waterford that encouraged me really helped me realize my dreams.

How has your career evolved?
That is a good question. I think I’m still trying to figure out what my “career” looks like as a mother of two. After my daughter was born I decided not to work full time in the design industry. For now I teach sewing lessons from my apartment which has been great. It gives me a creative outlet and also the flexibility to spend time with my kids during the day.

Where do you live now?
My husband Collin and I live in New York City with our two children Violet and Simon. We love it, except for the days that we hate it. I moved to the city as an 18 year old freshman. 13 years later I’m still living here, married and raising our kids in this wonderful city. This is home for us.