Meet Jen Berniker! - Westport Moms

How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport/the area?  My kids are 9 and 12, and we moved to Westport 7 years ago this December.

How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? Post babies I struggled for many years to figure out a plan for myself. I didn’t want to go back to working full-time in television, but I’m someone who needs to be busy and creative.  I’ve continue to pursue freelance writing and video projects when they come up, but with the creation of the Designport platform (a place for everyone from DIYers to seasoned designers to connect and share helpful advice on design), I have inadvertently combined my storytelling and people-connecting skills with my love of photography, writing, art and interior design. I love seeing people connect and solve problems, and all the potential for these connections to grow.   I am always excited to “discover” newer artists, designers and shops in our area I didn’t know. And of course I love peeking inside people’s homes with “Snoop” video tours!

At it’s core, Designport on Facebook is a social-media based community advice group and resource for all things design and renovation related. There’s also Designport Market Group ( for selling furniture “mistakes” and renovation “leftovers.” And MyDesignport, the companion Instagram and website features original content with home tours, curated inspiration, and expert design advice from around Fairfield County – it’s like a local HGTV.

What was your best memory from 2021, a strange year we know...maybe cliché at this point but I loved not having any plans and playing silly card games and doing puzzles as a family during the pandemic.  As much as I love to be busy, slowing it all down created memories of parenthood that will stay with me. And thankfully, we didn’t die.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023? Taking a family vacation, but I haven’t planned any yet!

What is the best show you have recently (binge) watched? AND/OR what is the last book you read?  The last show I binged was “White Lotus” and Season 2 is about to start! The last book I read was “Sister Stardust” – so fun.

What is your favorite podcast? So many good ones but I love “How I Built This” and “We Can Do Hard Things” And the “Fiscal Firecrackers” are great.

What is one food you could not live without? Dark chocolate.

What is your greatest fear? Guns.

What is your greatest indulgence? Rebel Daughter cookies. Unreal.

Which talent would you most like to have? Wish I could sing and play tennis. I am working on the tennis, but seem to be progressing backwards…

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I say “yes!” a lot when I should probably say “let me think on that.” And I think I overuse emojis!!

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I am a bit of an adrenaline junky, I like to ski super-fast, sprint, and rock climb. I think my ADD brain is always craving dopamine!

If you weren’t doing what you are today, what might your career path might have been? I’d be an editorial photographer or an architect.

If you could travel to one place this next year, where would it be and why? Northern Italy, because it’s my favorite.

If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted to do, what would it be? Ooh the ultimate mom question! My perfect day – which hasn’t happened yet – would be a day of spring skiing in the Italian Alps with my family and some great friends. We’d stop for a lazy sun-soaked outdoor lunch or wine and pasta while the kids ran around in the snow. We’d go home to a giant hot tub and a masseuse.

Are you a morning person, or a night owl? How does sleep fit into your life? Definitely a night owl! I get really productive and focused around 11pm. I’m a zombie until mid-morning. The bags under my eyes prove it.

What thing has surprised you most about being in the suburbs? How I am not miserable! We put off the move for so long. I grew up in NJ and Eric is from Yonkers. Westport was a last-minute gamble for us and of course, we love it. In recent years, Designport has also connected me to so many kindred-spirits, women who I never would have met because our kids might be different ages, and that’s been a great boost to my sense of belonging.

What is the first thing you do when you walk in the door after a long day? Say “Hi” to our golden doodle Benny! He made me a dog person.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Who are your heroes in real life? I need to think on heroes some more, but I really admire Shannon Watts for the community she’s built and the cause she’s taken on so forcefully.

At a movie: Candy or Popcorn? Popcorn
Cook or order in? Order in
Cake or Ice Cream? Cake
Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee? Iced
Beach or Mountains? Mountains
Puzzle or Board Game? Puzzle
Wine or a Cocktail (if cocktail, which one?) Red wine (1 glass and I’m incoherent)
Reading or writing? Writing
Before bed: Social media or book/TV? Social media
Watch or play sports? Neither!
Stay in or go out? Both. I’m an introvert/extrovert, so it depends on who I’m with
Comedy or Drama? Drama

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