A Hotel with Purpose: Jeremy Cowart and the Purpose Hotel
Jeremy Cowart began his career as a painter and graphic designer. He started taking photos in order to add texture to his design work. But Jeremy quickly fell in love with photography and caught the attention of others. He has taken the portraits of Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Tim Tebow, The Kardashians, Sting, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Heidi Klum, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Rolling Stone, ESPN Magazine, People Magazine, USA Today, and more have featured his work. Four years ago, Jeremy Cowart was staying in a hotel room admiring the design and had a thought about the hotel room sponsoring a child in need. He initially didn’t pursue the vision because of fear. Now, they are getting ready to open up their first location. From the keys people use to the artwork, the hotel is designed to give back to organizations and empower people. We talked with Jeremy Cowart about his vision for the Purpose Hotel, how he chose the non-profits that are involved with the hotel and why he chose Nashville as the first location. Make sure to check out our upcoming issue for a full interview with him.
Jeremy opened up to us about how he got the idea for the hotel and his vision for it.
“I had the idea four years ago in a hotel room. I saw room numbers and loved the design. I started wondering, “What if the room numbers instead sponsored a child and every room was connected to a child and told their story?” Then as soon as I had that idea, I went out and realized that there are so many non-profits out there that are doing soaps, linens and shampoos. I know so many artists that could do the art on the walls. It just kind of quickly grew into the idea of everything in the hotel being connected to a non-profit or cause. Then I went into three years of fear, thinking that the idea was too big and I can’t do something of that scale. I ignored it and put it on the back burner for a few years. Now, here we are!”
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30
While Jeremy had the dream to start Purpose Hotel four years ago, he initially was afraid to pursue it. He explained how God moved him from fear to action.
“I think it was ultimately God’s timing that freed me up to pursue other things. I have another business called See University and that opened up my time and allowed me to be more flexible. I was able to actually find the time to pursue it. Then all the pieces started coming together around me, from the team to investors to hotel industry people. Things just started clicking and here we are. It’s really happening. It’s pretty crazy!”
Compassion International, US Imprints, Mission Lazarus, Fashionable, The Giving Keys, Dignify, Thistle Farms, Project 615, Legacy Building Charity Water, SEE University, International Justice Mission, Project 7, Zenith Cleaners and JANCOA are just a few of the companies and organizations involved with the hotel. Jeremy shared how they chose the companies they will be partnering with.
“It was a long process vetting all of the non-profits. There are a lot of non-profits that I have been involved with and supported over the years including Compassion International, Charity Water and The Giving Keys. A lot of them already have established their credibility. We had a lot of them come into place. We will eventually have a team that vets the entire process that will ensure that everything is being fulfilled. We have a strong foundation of 20-30 non-profits that we are already connected with and will work with long-term.”
Jeremy shared why they chose Nashville as the first spot that they would like to build a Purpose Hotel at. The hotel isn’t built yet, for updates on the progress, click here.
“I live here and I was born here. I love the idea of something so large and so scale, starting in a place so small. The first Starbucks was started in Seattle and it’s always been a cool story to me. So I loved the idea of this potential global chain starting in Nashville, a city of such amazing people and a very giving community.
It also kind of made sense on so many levels and logistically I live here and can be involved day-to-day physically. We’re dreaming about all kinds of places. We would love to eventually be in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, especially since the hotel is so anti-Vegas. It would be a cool contrast to the Vegas-vibe. We are also looking at Miami and we would love to go overseas as well.”
Move from faith to fear. Whether it is a decision, career move or being obedient to something God has called you to do, don’t live in fear. Ask God for the faith needed to fulfill what He is directing you to do. Remember that He empowers us through His Holy Spirit. Look for examples throughout the Bible of people that lived out their faith.
Find your purpose. Are you listening to those still, small whispers from the Holy Spirit? Share your ideas with a trusted friend, mentor or business partner. Ask them to give you their feedback and pray with you. Take time this week to pray, journal and ask God to reveal His purpose for your life to you. God has given each of us unique gifts and abilities and it is our responsibility to live them out and use them for His glory.
Be patient. Remember that God’s timing may not be the same as ours. Trust His purposes and His timeline. When things are hard or you are facing trials, pray and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Reflect on Hebrews 12 the “Faith Hall of Fame.” Ask God to help you understand His will for the situation.
To check out our entire interview with Jeremy Cowart, check out our upcoming issue of Risen Magazine.
For more information about Purpose Hotel click here.
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