About Jackie - Pt. 1

Hi my name is Jackie and this is my story.    

Determined to blaze my own trail, I began my professional career on Wall Street after graduating from the University of Maryland.

It wasn't as simple as that...

After graduation, the pinnacle of when teenage life gets complicated, my parents came into some serious financial troubles. We were on the brink of losing everything. Some parents are the "don't tell the kids" type, but that wasn't my family. They were very open about the situation and said to myself and my brother, "get a job." 

My family ultimately lost the house we grew up in and we had to downsize. The downsize didn't hurt me; seeing my family struggle to rebuild did. I graduated college and decided I have to help my parents. With zero financial experience, I joined the world of Wall Street, because, well... they "make more money than doctors and don't cure cancer." This world was fascinating to me. I said to my parents, "They don't make anything, build anything, sell anything, or cure anything and they are all rich." I was obviously young and naive... but you get the gist.

I spent 12 years on Wall Street as an equity sell side trader. Being in that setting also made me have to dress the part. I learned the likes of Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, and Chanel. This was WAY before the internet, Instagram or even My Space! But it was right around the time of Sex and the City. It was on the cusp of women's empowerment, sexual freedom, an era filled with "toxic bachelors" and women learning "he's just that into you." Women could make their own money, buy their own apartments and wear sexy shoes, in what seemed to be a debt-free life full of cocktails and endless men. 

This left me at 35 - unfulfilled, burnt out, and looking to make a change in my life to pursue happiness. I  "eat, prayed, loved" (the verb) before the book came out. I decided to ditch the money, the shoes, the cosmos, the men, and embark on a life changing adventure of traveling the world and loving ME.

I traveled on my own... for months. To places like 

Africa, India, and Israel. I climbed Kilimanjaro in my quest to sweat out the toxins of toxic men and not being true to myself. The truth was, I didn't even know who I was or what I wanted because I was working towards a goal of survival...not happiness.

I eventually returned to NYC happy, but not yet settled. I joined my family's jewelry business. My brother sold me his pitch and I would be his partner in growing the business and they needed a woman's touch. For 5 years we worked side by side, successfully rebranding and building the family's business.

I was happy and flourished in my new role as Creative Director, but at 40 years old, I was still single and there was something I still craved - a family on my own.

I wanted a baby.