In this week’s Hip Daddy Spotlight, we had the pleasure to talk with Jeff Jones, the man in charge of marketing for every Hip Daddy’s favorite retailer, Target. Enjoy!
Tell us about your family. What’s it like being a father?
I married my college sweetheart and best friend, and we’ve been together for 26 years. We have two smart and beautiful daughters, and a Maltipoo puppy. We’ve officially entered the stage of life when it’s hard to keep up with our kids’ calendars. In the summer, they are constantly meeting up with their friends, and during the school year, they are crazy busy with school, homework, extracurricular activities and sports. Watching them turn into young ladies has been an absolute joy! Like many others, I am constantly juggling demands of my time and a calendar that gets booked nearly one year out. I am super lucky to have tremendous supporters in my girls and my wife. They know how much I love my role at Target and I could not do what I do without all of their support, especially my wife Margaret’s.
How would you characterize your parenting style?
If I’m honest, I’d say constantly learning and evolving. Parenting, for me, is the most difficult and the most rewarding thing I have done, and it’s clearly just beginning. It’s important to me to stay connected and involved in my girls lives, yet my career makes it hard for me to be there on a daily basis for things like family meals and homework time (I’m actually not sure I could do their homework!) I rarely miss a chance to attend a school event or take in one of their sporting events, and I have no problem leaving work for their activities and catching up later at night or early in the morning. The girls are at a great age right now as they test boundaries and create their own identities…they are aware of everything and are really expressing their views and opinions in a way makes me smile and proud. They are also very interested in my work so we talk a lot about running a business, being a leader, having a team, and working in retail and marketing. It makes me quite excited to see how these conversations might influence their dreams and aspirations.
What’s the one thing you cannot live without?
I’m obsessed with Simply Balanced Organic Blue Corn Chips! I’m also obsessed with golf these days. I turn my work mind off and really enjoy the challenges of the game and competition. It is about the only time my mind is not racing about our business or what’s next. While there are stunning golf courses in Minneapolis, they are only open a few months out of the year. As a result, I’ve had to adjust to playing far less here than I did in North Carolina.
What are your Back-To-School ‘must haves’ at Target?
It’s a tough question because the assortment is so good this year. Of course I was biased toward our “Buy One, Give One” program that contributed $25 million in school supplies to the Kids In Need Foundation. The girls are really in touch with giving back so they also thought this was a cool idea. In addition, the girls love the colorful polka dot binders from Greenroom, the Dabney Lee planner by BlueSky, and amazing locker decorations from magnetic wallpaper to disco balls and cup holders.
What are you excited about doing with your family this fall?
We are just starting to hit our groove in Minneapolis and have many things on our list from visiting Minnehaha Falls to attending Guthrie Theatre. The girls will be in swimming, soccer and tennis once school starts, so that will keep us busy. Plus, we’ve yet to have our first Jucy Lucy, and I’d like to scratch this local delicacy off our must-do list this fall!
For more on Jeff, follow him on Twitter @jjones.