Born in Europe as an identical twin and the youngest of six children, Jennifer Clark grew up immersed in interior design under the influence of her designer mother, who owned a furniture store. With a stint as an original 1980’s Doublemint Twin, Clark studied business economics and architecture at UCLA. She assisted on set design projects and celebrity homestyling with LA designer Tom Callaway, and worked under the direction of Eileen Kreiss.
Clark, her sister, and mother partnered with a custom upholstery workroom in Los Angeles in 1992 and launched the first Maudlin showroom in Orange County. Due to its success, Clark opened a second Maudlin showroom just four months later in La Jolla. Sixteen years later, it is still going strong.
Clark describes herself as “the ultimate everyday water polo/baseball/soccer mom.” She was just elected to the board of Promote La Jolla.
What brought you to La Jolla?I wanted to bring exciting interior design trends and know-how to San Diego. My twin sister, mother and I were in Los Angeles supplying great stores like “shabby chic” and others. We wanted to start our own, so we headed south opening in Corona del Mar and La Jolla.
The first time I laid eyes on The Cove, it felt like home! My husband and I enjoyed our third anniversary at the La Valencia and the decision was made! Oddly, my husband was a pro beach volleyball player at the time and only required access to the beach to workout and train, that was 18 years ago.
What makes this town special to you?As a child I moved a lot. My childhood homes were remote and removed from neighbors because we needed room for horses. I love living in a village and raising my children in a community where we can ride our bikes or walk to school, work, enjoy the beach and downtown La Jolla!
I love this small-town atmosphere where I have customers who’ve watched my children grow, parents and friends who I’ve known since our kids were little, and fellow community members who have volunteered tirelessly to make La Jolla an amazing place to live, raise a family, and retire.
What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?A solution for the seals that would satisfy everybody! The Children’s Pool should be a La Jolla Jewel not a La Jolla Controversy.
Who or what inspires you?I’m inspired by so many people in my life. I have friends, family, children, colleagues and customers who I learn from everyday and who motivate me to be better.
I am on a journey to improve myself; improvement propels me. My mother is the greatest example I have. She is intelligent, elegant, patient, wise and beautiful! I am the youngest of six children. Growing up, there was a lot of vying for mom’s attention, yet she had a way of making all of us feel that we were her favorite and inspired us all to do our best.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?A proper party would pair couples together in a meaningful way. My partner would be Roger, my husband of 20 years. I would pair the following people to round out my party: Martin Luther King and Hilary Clinton. Osama Bin Laden and Golda Meir. Kathy Griffin and Elvis. Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart. It is a dinner party, after all!
Tell us what you are currently reading.I’m reading “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, recommended to me by my son, Riley, who strongly suggested I read it because it is “very awesome mom!”
What is your most-prized possession?I am not big on possessions. I have many wonderful objects and antiques that I have acquired in my life, all are special because of the memories they bring and the history they have. However, if my house were burning in flames, I might risk my life for photos and the French carousel horse.
What do you do for fun?I love to travel. My father and mother instilled in me a desire to see the world. My husband and our three boys have been in many compromising situations that only a trip to a foreign place can produce — emergency rooms, theft, being lost, language barriers and a child jumping on a subway alone, just to name a few. We overcame many obstacles and are closer as a result. I like the feeling of learning to survive in new environments, and being uncomfortable and not taking anything for granted.
Describe your greatest accomplishment.It’s that I can work hard enough to provide for a family of five! I can’t help but mention and think of my three boys, Christian 16, Riley, 14, and Cooper, 12, and of course my amazing husband, Roger! These four men have supported me in everything I do!
When my work takes me out of town and I can’t be there for them, they are understanding and supportive. There have been times that I am the sole breadwinner of our family and I am proud to be able to do so with their support and love.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?Slow and steady wins the race! I always tell my kids not to try to be the best immediately, to learn from each other, and proceed diligently and thoughtfully, never giving up! I think this comes from my being the younger of identical twins. I used to watch my sister do everything first, but I would take notes and do it better! (Don’t tell her I said that!)