20 Questions with local mom Jennifer Saunders
Jennifer Saunders and her husband, Scott, juggle ownership of eight Great Clips franchise salons in the Upstate with their four young children, Kate, 10, Ben, 8, Will, 6, and Mary Brice, 3. They are active volunteers at Monarch Elementary and members at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. The Simpsonville couple will open their ninth salon in Spartanburg this summer and are looking forward to their oldest daughter’s graduation to middle school next year.
1. What’s the funniest thing one of your kids has ever done?
My young son, who was a huge Justin Bieber fan at the time, had a fever, so I was giving him a bath to try to break his fever. My daughter Kate was asking why I was bathing him in the middle of the day, and I explained he had a fever. She couldn’t believe it and said, “A Bieber fever?”
2. What quality do you most admire in others?
3. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Spending time at my grandparents — swimming in their pool and spending time with my grandmother in her kitchen and on her front porch. I was blessed to grow up in a tight knit family and our grandparents lived on our street.
4. How do you juggle being a working mom with your four children?
I have a great support system, and I sometimes have to get creative. We have a wonderful lady who helps us a couple of afternoons a week, active grandparents, and Scott and I often work at night after the kids go to bed.
5. What advice would you give other working parents?
Not to feel too guilty about the time you are away from your kids. I believe kids learn a lot by seeing their parents work hard for what they have.
6. Where’s the best place in the Upstate to take the kids for fun?
My kids are really into Gravitopia, the trampoline park, right now. Of course they also love The Children’s Museum of the Upstate downtown. It appeals to all of their ages.
7. What’s your super power?
Multitasking. As with most moms, there is no such thing as a normal day. A normal day for me can include a visit to my kids’ school, putting out a fire at work, grocery shopping, talking to a contractor about a salon build out, helping with homework. Many at the same time!
8. What is your favorite TV show?
“Parenthood.” I recently watched the whole series on Netflix over a couple of months and was sad when it was over.
9. When you were younger, what did you want to be?
I have always wanted to be a mom. It’s a true joy to watch my kids grow up.
10. What are your hobbies?
Reading, traveling and shopping.
11. What is something important life has taught you?
Sometimes you have to jump and take a risk. People thought we were a little crazy when we decided to open our first Great Clips salon, but now we have nine locations and love the wonderful stylists and managers that work for us.
12. What is your favorite family ritual?
We do a popcorn party every Friday night that involves a movie, popcorn and brownies. The kids love it and never let us forget one.
13. What always makes you laugh?
My husband! He has the best sense of humor and can always make me laugh when I need it the most.
14. What would surprise people about you?
I have a brother, Brice, who is 19 years younger than I am. I found out that he was on the way when I was a freshman at Furman.
15. What has surprised you most about being a parent?
How challenging it can be to do it right. I never could have imagined how demanding being a mother to four could be.
16. What is your favorite indulgence?
Coffee, or wine, with my girlfriends. A wise friend once told me to surround yourself with people who get it. My girlfriends keep me sane.
17. Whom do you most admire?
My mother. She is such a hard worker and did such a great job raising me and my sister. She is my hero.
18. Early bird or night owl?
Night owl. It’s my time.
19. What book do you most recommend to others?
I am currently reading “Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World” by Kristen Welch and it is excellent. It is a different world than we grew up in and it addresses a lot of issues that parents today face, especially involving technology.
20. What is the best gift parents can give their child?
Their undivided attention and time.