By Jenny Reimold
As a woman who spent most of her life on the beaches of Florida, I had always imagined raising my children in the same sunny location. Although I sent my kids to surf camp and observed manatees off our dock, the rise in crime and daily grid lock on the way to school was stressful. My husband, Nolan, a man who grew up on 100 acres of land and was nearing the end of his Major League Baseball career, felt the same way. It was after our first grader tried sounding out the name of an erotic superstore, that we started the real discussion of finding a more ideal place to raise our seven children.
Little did we know, Hurricane Irma would come weeks later in September of 2017, and force us into a mandatory evacuation. With the entire state heading up the Eastern coast, we found a very kind family in Franklin that rented their home to us while they found other lodging. Their house, that backed up to a horse farm, allowed our children to experience the outdoors like they never had before. Our generous welcome into Tennessee became the catalyst to leaving the beach for the clean, country life I felt my family needed.
Just three months later, we purchased a beautiful, 6,000 sq. ft. antebellum home and moved our family to Franklin over Christmas break. With two teens, now sixteen and fifteen, and five children under eight years old, this home on a cul-de-sac seemed to be the ideal place to raise our children. Our home, which once sat empty for nearly a decade, had been newly renovated while I then designed, repainted and remodeled a few other areas to accommodate our large family. With a little bit of work and visions of glory, this once red brick house, the eye sore of the neighborhood, had been given a “heart” again... And then “Hollywood” came knocking.
Shortly after the move, our realtor approached us with the idea of allowing HGTV’s Property Brothers to film our home for the “dream home” segment of their show. As a fan of the popular series, I was honored to be given the opportunity. So on the last day of school in May of 2018, and with a wake-up call at 4:00 a.m., a home that housed seven children became TV ready by the time Jonathan and Drew Scott arrived at 7:30 a.m.
After documenting our remodel and TV experience on my Instagram (@jennyreimold), a serendipitous chain of events would occur that would change our life. House Beautiful Magazine stated: “Viewers were so smitten with Jenny’s home that it actually opened the doors to a whole new career.” People Magazine included: “Since the episode aired, Jenny has received so much positive feedback about her house, she’s managed to make a burgeoning business out of her eye for design. In addition to her new status as HomeGoods’ national style expert, which she calls ‘a dream role as the brand authentically represents who I am as a functional and practical designer and mother,’ she’s also taken on some freelance interiors projects.” My degree in Journalism/Public Relations also opened the doors to be offered the opportunity to write for HGTV, House Beautiful Magazine and Your Williamson.
As opportunities grew, I also found that using my Instagram platform to share our story of adoption and advocate for children in foster care was of a much greater importance. Our youngest child, Asher, age two, is a handsome African American boy, born to a teenage mother in Florida. His infectious smile and adoration from siblings have allowed us to share our experience and champion support for birth mothers and the adoption process, especially trans-racial adoption. Being a vocal supporter of adoption and foster care led to volunteer work with Bloom Family Designs, a non-profit that creates bedrooms for children in foster care or those being adopted, cost free, to nominated families. Our family has also volunteered with GratiDUDE Ranch, a local farm in Leiper’s Fork that donates birthday parties to children in foster care and hosts special events to benefit the cause. More significantly, sharing our home and our story has directly led to the adoption of several children and to the creation of two more foster care homes.
It is hard to not believe that perhaps God had a greater plan when we felt called to move to Franklin. While the HGTV shoot was a true honor, I believe there was a greater plan in place for our TV experience. This July, our family will be featured in Parents Magazine, which will bring national attention to the needs of children in foster care and those in need of adoption. It will highlight the work of Bloom Family Designs and GratiDUDE Ranch to inspire others to become more involved in their own communities.
Our family moved to the “suburban country,” where neighbors welcomed us with banana bread and the local high school offered an American flag for our front porch. We watched a few days of snow fall and went sledding down a hill for the first time. I hung up a wooden swing on an apple tree in our yard and volunteered at an Easter event for foster care children. Our children have been welcomed into a community where moms driving passenger vans are seen in every car line and where adoptive families of mixed races are found in every school. We took a giant leap of faith in moving to Franklin and my family could not be better for it. This all-american town is good for our souls and its residents are good for our spirit!
Jenny is your Styling Your Everyday contributor. She will bring to you design and entertainment tips from her years of experience. Connect with @jennyreimold on Instagram or at jennyreimold.com.