a moment with: jeffrey alan marks

two dads on the beach with their daughter
meet jeffrey alan marks, entrepreneur, interior designer and father to james. we caught up with his family in santa barbara to talk about fatherhood, style, work — and the essentials he carries in his beach bag.
little girl looking at ocean in navy gingham bikini

tell us about yourself! where you're located, about your beautiful family and amazing career.  
i’ve been lucky enough to be an interior designer for the past 20 years. my clients' projects have taken me all over the world, but once we had james, we landed on living part-time in montecito, california and the school year in greenwich, connecticut. as a family, we love spending time by the water and have lived much of the past 3 years in a bathing suit. 

what’s the best parenting advice you’ve received? 

let your child be who they want to be. we encourage james to explore her own interests and it has been the highlight of my life to watch her grow as a person. she loves fashion and getting dressed, so at our house we dress up to get down. they only fit in their nice clothes for a short time, so let them get messy! 

what brings you the most joy as a parent? 

seeing those big blue eyes wake up for another day! father and daughter black and white image up close

as an interior designer, where do you find style inspiration for yourself? and your daughter?
growing up in southern california i’ve spent most of my life outside. i find most of my inspiration from my daily beach walks or hiking trails with my family. it’s fun now to travel and explore new cities with james. i’m constantly looking at the world through her eyes. she is a very active girl, so we are always a few steps behind her which leads us down new paths not yet taken. james, like most toddler girls, has a strong opinion on what she wears. i’m not sure who enjoys the dress shopping more — james or my husband greg! you never know what package will arrive at our front door.
two dads wearing minnow on the beach with their daughter

what are your favorite minnow pieces? 

james lives in her minnow bathing suits. we love the solid rashguards paired with printed bikini bottoms. having spent most of the past few years in montecito, we’ve collected more bathing suits than clothes! I love the new men’s striped boardies. the lining and material are comfortable. minnow is one of the very few brands that have matching patterns for men and their children. 

what’s your favorite beach to visit with your family?

we spend most afternoons at miramar beach in montecito, california, but I love to take james to the la jolla beach and tennis club where I grew up going with my parents.

what’s in your beach bag?

lots of sunscreen, an extra minnow rashguard for james, weezie towels, and lots of snacks and toys.

what’s your favorite summer memory? 

i love to take james early in the morning to the duck pond in east hampton, new york. watching her face light up at the hundreds of ducks and creatures is my favorite activity ever.

do you have any favorite summer traditions? 

we love to take a boat out from rowayton, connecticut and explore the long island sound. most of our summer is spent in the pool listening to music and watching james swim for hours.

what’s on your summer reading list?

Out East by John Glynn

best summer song?

we’re very excited for the barbie movie soundtrack!

favorite color?

blue, of course.

where can we follow your travels and design work?

on instagram (@jeffreymarksinc) and at jeffreyalanmarks.com.

shop jeffrey's favorite blog