We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacqueline McKinley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacqueline, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I’m inspired by all things natural, earthy, boho, and modern. Pretty much anything and everything my eyes gravitate to. Nature is a big one. I’ll literally be walking down the street, and see what others think is just a stick, and pick it up to admire its every design. When my eyes see something that inspires me, a million ideas come rushing through my head. I immediately jot down those ideas and create a design based on them that can turn into an entire collection! I’m a big fan of clean lines and I love neutral tones, with an occasional pop of color. I love me a good branding – a notable label with a pretty font. I’m the type of person who gravitates to a product based on its label alone, and if the product matches their label – well then now I’m sold. I aspire my branding and designs to be just that way. I want people to fall in love at first sight.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
With so many amazing artists out there, sometimes I feel that standing out can be hard. But, I’m always striving to create and design pieces based on what I love and would wear or put in my home. There have been times I’ve turned down a commission or custom piece because the colors requested are just not ones that inspire me. As an artist I feel it’s important to be true to my work. Yes, I’ve lost clients because of it, but it’s more important to me that my work reflects who I am, my brand, and aesthetics.
I’m proud of how far I’ve come! There have been plenty of times where I thought about giving up, it hasn’t been easy. I currently work full time in addition to running my small business and that can make having a personal life a struggle. “Find a balance” has become my daily mantra. Learning to manage my time better is a work in progress but I’m getting there slowly. My goal is to make Jacque Cheval my full time job. I’m very thankful to have very patient and understanding customers! If it weren’t for them, I would have given up long ago. I’m excited to continue creating more beautiful pieces because it is truly something I love and enjoy doing. Seeing people wear my pieces is a reminder of why I’m still creating!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oooooo, music to my ears! Sharing is caring. Being able to share with friends all of my favorite and best spots, its seriously one of my favorite past-times! First, we would hit up my go-to coffee shop, Allora here in Norwalk. I live pretty close to NYC so I would take them to all my favorite spots there like The Butchers Daughter, 2 hands, and Jack’s Wife Freda. Places with great vibes and delicious food. I’d recommend walking the Highline, it’s a great location to gain inspiration. Also Pilot in Brooklyn is an oyster bar and restaurant on a sailboat! Epic views and fantastic oysters and drinks. Everyone must visit while in Brooklyn!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
YES! First, my husband Chris, family and friends for believing in me and supporting me from day one! Second, the wonderful and beautiful community on instagram. If it weren’t for them, this little business wouldn’t be here! So, I’m forever thankful for all the love and support they’ve shown me from the beginning and for always showing up for me! A big SHOTOUT and THANK YOU to them for being awesome sauce!