Jen Garfield

Lead Product Manager, XO Group Inc.

Jen is a user-centered Product Lead who loves finding the “jobs to be done” for couples at The Knot, the leading platform and marketplace for all things weddings. She holds a master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction and Usability from The University of Texas at Austin. She has worked in the US and abroad at digital ad agencies, software start-ups, and consulted for industry leaders such as Dell and Autodesk. Her passions outside product are exploring the world, culinary experiences, and leaning in.

Describe a moment that could’ve broken you, but didn’t. How did you get past the struggle?
I got really sick and was diagnosed with a rare disease after my freshman year of college. It took me years to get my health in a good place—I even had to take a semester off from school. But through it all, with a lot of support from my family and friends, I knew that this wasn’t going to define me. I had lean into my resilience, vision for the future, and take it day by day.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t dwell on your failures, learn from them!  Let go of expectations! It definitely doesn’t turn out how you thought, and you’ll love it.

Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
My dad. He grew up in a very poor family — got a job at a very young age to help with money, cooked and took care of his younger brother, and worked his ass off to get a college scholarship. Not only did he become a successful CFO, he raised two daughters who thought they could take over the world. Even though he was able to provide more than enough for our family, my parents instilled in us a remarkable work ethic and the belief to not take anything for granted.

If you could create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
You make your own luck.

How do you define your purpose & mission in life?
Impact. Everything revolves around how I can best use my time and the impact it will have. This transcends through my job, my relationships, my health, interests outside of work, travel, and volunteering. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when the most impactful thing for my well-being is to binge on Netflix. 🙂