Member Spotlight - Q&A with Jenna Knatt
Member Spotlight Q&A
Jenna Knatt moved to St. Louis in 2013, trading her 10 years of international hospitality design experience for domestic commercial design. After three years, she transitioned from design to sales, and happily landed at CI Select, the largest furniture dealership in St. Louis. CI Select provides innovative, adaptable solutions that support an ever-changing business environment. Jenna’s design experience and furniture knowledge are added values to her clients.
Jenna currently serves as a Furniture Account Manager for CI Select and has sold more than $5 million in the two and one-half years she has been with the company. Today Jenna stays busy raising her three children (ages 6, 4 and 3) with her ice machine designing husband, Kevin, and surviving 2020. Her passions include rescue dogs, travel, Ohio State football, design, live music and any opportunity to dress up in a costume!
Q: When did you decide to get into the commercial real estate industry? Was it always your focus?
A: I began my career in CRE when I moved to St. Louis in 2013. Up until then my focus had been on hospitality design with an emphasis in international hotels and spas. St. Louis had more opportunities in commercial design so I made the switch.
Q: What are some of the things you love about your job?
A: I love the people I work with and the people I work for, which I think is so hard to find. When you truly admire the owners of your company and respect the people you work with, it’s easy to come to work and enjoy your clients each day.
Q: What is your CREW-St. Louis origin? When did you join? Why did you become a member?
A: I joined in 2018 after I started working at CI Select and realized we had no representation in CREW-St. Louis, yet we’re a woman-owned business. I saw it as a great opportunity and immediately joined the Communications Committee.
Q: What was the first CREW event you attended and what were your impressions?
A: I attended a lunch presentation at the Angard Arts Hotel. I enjoyed the people I met that day and loved the hotel but remember thinking I wanted a more casual event where there was time to really get to know people. I started going to smaller events like the DineArounds, which really allowed me to meet more people on a personal level.
Q: Please name a few of the projects you’ve been involved in, specifically in the St. Louis area that you are proud of.
A: As a designer I worked on Metal Exchange and AB Mauri. Since I’ve joined CI Select, I’m proud of so many projects, including Northwestern Mutual (Clayton), Norton Rose Fulbright and my projects with Washington University.
Q: What other associations or volunteer activities are you involved with?
A: Since I’ve moved to St. Louis, I’ve been active with IIDA, MindsEye, Gateway Field Hockey and The Journey.
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted you and your organization?
A: Beyond the obvious changes at the office and procedures there, I actually feel very blessed for the amount of business I’ve had this year. I have seen a dip in furniture sales in the last quarter and anticipate a slower start to the new year. Personally, I have to take one day at a time with school schedules constantly changing but feel blessed that my work has allowed me to be flexible.
Q: What else would you like your fellow CREW-St. Louis members to know about you?
A: I truly value my family, friendships and the importance of supporting women and lifting each other up. I have friendships that have lasted a lifetime and am so grateful for the strong women I am surrounded by each day.