We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill McKee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jill, why did you pursue a creative career?
I absolutely love the challenge of something new all the time! In the work I do, every home is different. They all have their own distinct feeling in so many ways. I just love “listening” to a home and what it wants! That might sound crazy, but it’s true! I love to just sit in the space and feel it. If I sit there long enough and really listen, it always becomes really clear to me what it needs. Then it’s lots of fun to add my own artistic and creative touch to really watch it progress into something better than it was. It’s really fulfilling work!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It’s ALL ABOUT the thrill of the hunt for me! I specialize in finding things that others might not find as having lots of potential or beauty, and turning those things into something special. Things as small as a vase, all the way up to a cabin! The part that I enjoy most about this process is ending up with things that are original and can’t really be reproduced or copied. Creating spaces with unique finds is definitely my specialty, and some might even say my SUPER POWER!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take them on a little road trip to The 1975 Cabin! We would drive up through Globe and hit The Burger House for mixed green chili burros. They are the best! Also, that drive is absolutely breathtaking through the Salt River Canyon. The mix of scenery is unbelievable. It’s a MUST SEE in Arizona. We would do some relaxing at the cabin, take walks and hikes, play games, make smores, and just catch up. We have a soaker tub, a fully stocked kitchen, a hammock, and a really comfy sectional for lazy afternoons and conversation. We would go to Annie’s Bistro on Thursday night for dinner and dessert. They have live jazz music and outdoor seating among beautiful trees, roses, and climbing vines. The music, beautiful weather, delicious food and amazing company would all work together to create a night to remember. (Be sure to have the lemon panna cotta!) We would drive home through Payson and the Mogollon Rim, which is another absolutely stunning drive. We would hit Bush Highway at the perfect time to enjoy a sunset like no other and hopefully catch a glimpse of some of the wild horses in the Salt River. A perfect week!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I had been dreaming of buying something, renovating it, and having it as an Airbnb for a loooooong time. Somewhere that my family could work hard, spend time together, and share some hospitality with others. I love hosting gatherings, finding good deals, working hard to transform something, and spending time with my family. An Airbnb fit the bill perfectly! My brother Ryan, who is just younger than me, was a single dad with 4 daughters and I was longing to spend as much time as I could with all of them. And conveniently enough, he can do ANYTHING! As a bonus…. he loves big projects! I thought back to our childhood days when we would build forts out in the cedar trees for days on end. We would actually turn them into living spaces with handmade furniture, curtains and accessories! We were a team back then, and I knew we could elevate our childhood fun into something really special. We could create memories for our kids that would last a lifetime while building something really worthwhile that lots of others could enjoy as well. So, Ryan is definitely my shoutout! I could NEVER have dreamed of doing something like this with anyone else. He’s always believed in me, and when I brought this idea to him, he never looked back! I’m so grateful he saw what I saw, and honestly, he saw way more than I did! We have turned this business into something that is really rewarding to both of us. I love him dearly and am so thankful for the hard work that he puts in, every single day, to make this venture a success!
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