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147 Wappoo Creek Drive, Suite 400
Charleston SC 29412

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Spotlight On: Jennifer Charzewski

Mez Joseph

With more than 10 years of experience in the world of architecture, Jennifer Charzewski, AIA, LEED AP, an Associate Principal at Liollio, believes that “architecture is about people, about creating and defining the spaces in which we live. Jennifer was recently awarded as one of Charleston’s Forty Under 40 by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. We sat down for a short Q&A with this month’s Spotlight On feature.

Where did you grow up?
Mostly rural south Texas, outside of Houston, and later the suburbs of Houston.

How long have you lived in Charleston and what brought you here?
I moved to Charleston from Minneapolis in 2007. My husband Jarod took a teaching position in the Sculpture Department at the College of Charleston, so back to the South I came!

What area of town do you live in?
We love living on the peninsula, on Race Street near the Greek Church - great access to all of our favorite parts of downtown, and truly great neighbors!

What is your favorite thing in your house?
Our kitchen - we renovated it ourselves a few years ago, and I love to cook.

Who or what inspires you?
My husband Jarod - he is so driven in his work, yet he always makes time for people, and he has this great attitude and great world view - he's accepting, spontaneous, and very very funny. His love for our kids is a joy.

What is your favorite country you have traveled to and why?
It would have to be Italy, partially because I was able to live there for three months in school - it gets in your bones. I love the language, the people, the natural and urban environments, the art, the history, and most of all the food! Like many others, I have a piece of my heart in Castiglion F'no.

What do you like on your pizza?
Pepperoni, extra cheese, garlic, and artichoke hearts.

How do you take your coffee?
I don't - I hate coffee!

What is your favorite food?
Artichokes - fresh, whole, steamed.

What is your least favorite food?
Mushrooms. No, blue cheese. Gag.

Do you play any instruments?
Piano

What song is at the top of your most played list (be honest)?
Currently, "Everything is Awesome!" - although that's by my son Jack's choice, not mine! It's catchy though.

What is an ordinary thing that you are incredibly good at?
Math

What is an ordinary thing that you are incredibly bad at?
Parallel parking

If you were an animal, what kind would you be?
Dolphin - I love being in the water. And they seem to have a lot of fun.

What is an interesting fact that most people don’t know about you?
I've broken my right collarbone three times - the first was jumping out of a swing when I was 9 or 10. The second two came in quick succession when I was maybe 15 or 16 - playing touch football and then falling off my bed. My collarbone is super lumpy and crooked, although it has been smoothing out over the years, which is pretty strange. I haven't broken any other bones (so far), which is surprising because I can be pretty clumsy.

If you weren’t an architect, what would you be?
I've always had a desire to train working dogs. This is strange, since I have two cats and have never had a dog. I just love seeing working dogs in action, and can easily romanticize the idea of what it might be like to raise and train them. So that, or the classic "travel + food writer."

What is your favorite thing about working at Liollio?
Easily the people - it's a family for sure, and I care very deeply about everyone I work with. I love the camaraderie and passion we share, and I love that we have a lot of fun and infuse a lot of humor in our day to day. I also love that we are so earnest about our approach to our clients and our work - truly striving to deliver great projects and constantly challenging ourselves to be better and better.