· Marisa studied Russian and Duo-Lingual Parenting at Moscow State University in Russia immediately after the fall of communism. She studied Spanish, in Chihuahua, Mexico with BYU Study Abroad, and received her degree from the College of Fine Arts & Communications at Brigham Young University in Utah.
· Jeff studied Art and Theatre in London and emerging free-press Communications in Moscow, Russia and in other Eastern Bloc independent republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He also received his degree from the College of Fine Arts & Communications at Brigham Young University in Utah.
· The Humphrey’s business interests have each afforded them new opportunities to learn, meet new people, and travel. Between the two, they have visited 25 countries.
· After graduation from BYU, Jeff did a communications internship at TBS. Then he got his securities and insurance license and did financial planning and broker/dealer recruiting. Later, he sold mortgages until the Humphreys opened Real Deals on Furniture (now Cotton Mill Interiors).
· After college, Marisa did a communications internship at CNN. She then was a reporter and anchor in Dalton, Georgia, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and in Atlanta working on a political show. She then started “Big Byte Productions” and did multi-media development, including programming, desktop publishing, and technical writing for BellSouth, Hewlett Packard, and Synovus Corporation, among others.
· Having never been in retail before, in 2003 the Humphreys opened a 2-acre furniture store in an old cotton mill.
· The Humphreys formed Jackson & Harrison Imports (named after their two sons) in 2004 and imported furniture and home décor from China until 2014.
· In 2006, the Humphreys co-founded and built a 60+ store franchise called Real Deals on Home Décor in the US and Canada with Marisa’s sister and brother-in-law. www.realdeals.net
· Marisa designed her own jewelry line, “Marisa Jill Design,” for IMAX Home that was distributed across the country in 2013.
· In 2015, the Humphreys purchased the old mill where their furniture had been located for 12 years in downtown historic Jefferson, Georgia. The Cotton Mill, a 118-year-old factory-turned-retail-destination location in North Georgia, now houses other tenants as well as the Humphrey’s businesses.
· As an admirer of all things fashionable, Marisa loves playing dress up with customers at Marisa Jill’s Boutique, a chic apparel and accessory shoppe she opened in 2014 in a 102-year-old bank. (The fitting rooms are in the vault.) www.marisajill.com
· Since purchasing the mill in 2015, Jeff has taken on the role of property manager, as well as part-time electrician, plumber, mason, carpenter and roofer. He managed the massive undertaking of overseeing the installation of a new roof, sprinkling system and alarm system in the over 350,000-square-foot old factory to bring it up to code. In 2017 he oversaw the buildout of The Mill Event Venue, the Humphrey’s latest business interest, and continues daily to improve and rebuild the old mill. www.cottonmilleventvenue.com
· In July, 2017, the Humphreys renamed Real Deals on Furniture to Cotton Mill Interiors to be more cohesive with their other businesses at The Cotton Mill. (No one wants to get married at Real Deals...The Cotton Mill has a much better ring to it. Wink. Wink.)