The Leading Lady of J. Banks Design Group


J BanksThe global appeal of Lowcountry elegance can be traced back to the success of one firm: J Banks Design Group. And the success of J. Banks Design Group? Well, you can thank Joni Vanderslice for that. She supplemented her own talents by surround-ing herself with a world-class team and changed the Lowcountry. We find out how she did it.

Q: What challenges did you face as a woman in business?
A: When I was first starting out, it was more dif-ficult to have business conversations with other women, while this was much more of a norm for men. Balancing family and business remains a challenge for women, as we tend to be more focused on that bal-ance and the expectations of family.

Q: Were there any mentors you looked to as you started out?
A: My father was a business owner and entrepreneur. He took me with him as he met with various cus-tomers, partners and others to negotiate and discuss business deals. As a result, talking about business is not difficult for me and is something that I enjoy. My original investors at J. Banks Design Group were the original Melrose Company partners: Bob Kolb, Steve Kiser, Jim Coleman, Rick Reichel, Reggie Bray and Jim Nicksa. They each played a role in getting me to where I am today and were crucial at many pivotal points in my business. They have also always been my biggest supporters, even after they were no longer financial partners. Joe Harden was always willing to sit down with me and help with business methods and questions.

Q: While there’s no “magic pill” for success, what do you think has been the single most important thing for yours?
A: Prayer – lots of it. Putting relationships first.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out in your business?
A: You are only as good as those you surround yourself with. You cannot do it all on your own.

35 Main St., Hilton Head Island, SC | 843.681.5122 |