We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill Kloster and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jill, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am originally from Oakville, Ontario, Canada. I am first generation Canadian as my parents immigrated to Ontario in 1968 from Capetown South Africa. Born during the Apartheid era and classified as “non-white”, my parents faced many cultural and societal obstacles in their time there, education being one of those obstacles. In South Africa, the university and career choices were limited, however they were fortunate enough to obtain teaching degrees from The University of Cape Town. Tired of the social injustices, coupled with an increasingly more political and dangerous Apartheid, it was with heavy hearts they found themselves at a difficult crossroad. They ultimately chose to leave South Africa for a lifer better opportunities in Canada, even though my mother was 8 months pregnant with my older sister at the time. Upon landing in Canada, they were informed that their teaching degrees were not transferable, so completing their education in teaching for a second time was inevitable. While studying, they took odd jobs that they were both over qualified for and underwhelmed with, but it was a means to pay the bills and support their growing family, while they yet again became qualified teachers. My parents journey and motivation shaped who am today and is where I get my work ethic. In our home hard work was something that was instilled in me from an early age, for example; my father always had more than one job. One of these second jobs was construction where he partnered with my grandfather, ( who also emigrated to Canada with my grandmother) who was a mason by trade. Babysitters were not a luxury they could afford, so oftentimes my siblings and I were brought to hazardous – yet in our minds “adventurous” job sites. My grandfather would let my sister and I pile on clumps of cement that he would smooth in between rows of bricks he laid. I’m pretty sure that this was where my love for construction was born. My father and grandfather taught me how to fix things around the house that were broken – never a handyman in sight. As early as I can remember, I was swinging a hammer, and using power tools. My mother and grandmother also had us ironing, sewing and knitting, because in our family the motto was “if you want something done, you do it yourself”. This hands-on education taught me to be self sufficient, handouts are not an option, and nothing you desire comes without hard work. I was told that if you can’t afford something, then you go without, which gave me the motivation to start earning my own money at a young age. Growing up in this environment I believe has enabled me to be humble and grateful, and not a day goes by that I am not truly thankful for my success, especially because it has been a result of hard work, learning from my mistakes, and that giving up is not an option. On a lighter note; as it turns out, my assistant and dear friend Carly, is also South African, so we like to crack each other up by imitating our mothers using very thick South African accents. We overdramatize and usually end up in hysterics, and It’s one of the many things I love about working with her.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Daytime, would definitely be the beach. Surfing at Sunsets and food after at The Reel Inn on PCH across from the water. Picnic table seating, feral cats, and the best fish tacos ever. Dancing at Giorgios at the Standard Hotel for an evening outing where they play all the disco hits i grew up with. if your feet aren’t hurting at the end of the night, then you didn’t do it right.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This shoutout is dedicated to all the women in my life who have supported me through this journey. The women who stand beside me, who came before me and who understand me. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Instagram: @wrenhomestyling

Image Credits
Bedroom photo with teal bed and kitchen with blue island by Denise Butler Photograpy

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