Updated: Jul 8, 2018
Who knew a simple trip to the zoo would change my life forever, but that is exactly what happened. While attending a home building convention in Dallas, TX and having some down time; I invited Jen to the Dallas Zoo. Trapped on a bench under a tree during a rain storm next to the big cats; we both realized we had fallen in love.
Now prior to this rainy day, I was aware of some of the sensitivities that Jen struggled with, but it was not until we moved in together that I realized how much they affected her daily life. As someone who has never suffered from any allergy or sensitivity, learning her plight was a bit shocking. Not shocking in the sense of wondering what I had gotten myself into, but shocking that the strongest person I had ever met had been standing right in front of me for some time and I never realized. You see, Jen is determined to live a normal life. She refuses to let her sensitivities and allergies limit her experiences, and my goal was and always will be to make that an easy chore for her.
Hours of research and discussion went into what we could do to maintain a healthy life balance. We started thinking about how much time we spend on certain activities and where we spend this time. The easiest activity to track was sleep; generally people spend approximately eight hours at rest. That is 1/3 of your day at home. We stumbled across a Wall Street Journal article detailing how Americans spend their days and how it has and continues to change. On average Americans are working less and sleeping more than they were a decade ago, trends that point to an aging population and fewer people in the workforce. Among those that have a job, people are working longer hours. And of those Americans that work, more and more work from home. Based on research and compiling the data, the average American spends roughly 67% of their time in their homes. While Jen and I are very active with outdoor activities, we both work at home from time to time which puts us on the high end of the average. Armed with this information, we decided that if we spend 2/3 of our day in our home - then it should be a Healthy home.
Determined to build a healthy home for Jen, I began researching products and building practices that would ensure a healthy living space. While I am an accomplished luxury home builder, I was a greenhorn when it came to healthy and non toxic home products and design. Jen, however proved to be a walking encyclopedia. She has worked with Andrew Pace at the Green Design Center in the past and he became our go-to source for information, materials, and ideas. With Jen's sensitivities in mind and Andy's expertise, we set out to build our very own Healthy Home. Little did I know this house would change my health as well. After living in our home for a while, I found that I had more energy, slept better and woke up feeling refreshed. I never thought I felt bad before, but maybe I just did not realize how I was affected by all of my surroundings until I was living in a Healthy Home.
If you are reading this blog you probably already know how people with sensitivities and allergies form a tightknit community. It is within this community that Jen and I have met and talked to many people suffering from a wide range of health issues. We shared our experience of building a Healthy Home and how it had a positive impact on our health. We heard stories of people who have tried working with contractors that claim to build Healthy Homes, but just did not give the customer what they needed or wanted. From these conversations, we deduced that the contractors attempting to build the Healthy Homes were missing three key components: 1. A first hand understanding of what it is to suffer from chemical sensitivities and allergies. 2. The knowledge of the products that do not cause these reactions. 3. The desire, ability, or resources to provide the over site on a build to ensure that any product that has not been approved by the Owner is not integrated into the Healthy Home.
This was one of those light bulb moments when you realize that you are sitting on an idea that could revolutionize an industry. Thus, JS2 Partners was born, and we have not looked back. Our vision and core business philosophy was molded: that everyone deserves a home free from toxins, harsh chemicals, molds, and other body sensitive toxins and materials. It started with our own home and now we take that same attention and care into every Healthy Home we build!