Confessions is doing something different. As much as I love writing about myself, there are so many other amazing women deserving this spotlight. In my new monthly series, Confessions Spotlight: MOMpreneurs, I am going to share their stories too!
The first in this series is dedicated to Jacqueline Gabriela.
I met Jackie when we were newly adulting, working as servers, and long before “mom tired” became the norm. Back then, our lives were about taking orders, partying, and dreaming. A younger Jackie dreamt about a music career while the younger me dreamt about a writing career. But, when you are worried about just surviving and paying bills, that all felt like PIPE DREAMS!!!
Jackie eventually left the serving industry, like many of us, for a steady sales job and found herself excelling in that career. But, something was always missing and her dream persisted.
One day she realized it was time to quit dreaming and start doing.
“When I took a risk and left my sales career, I didn’t know how I was going to find success in the music industry. I believed in my abilities and knew, no matter what, I could always go back [to sales], but that if I never tried [to follow my dreams] I would spend the rest of my life wishing I had.”
Even if that meant failing, she had to try!
A woman who builds up and supports other women, Jackie’s positive and upbeat spirit draws you in and makes you feel like you can do anything, be anything, and it will happen.
“When! Say when not if!” She always says to me. After a day with Jackie, I’m more creative and drawn to my passions because her passion and love for what she does is contagious.
Jackie is an active musician and performer. She spends her days juggling two small businesses and two adorable toddlers. Somehow, she also makes time for her health–knowing it’s important to stay healthy and active to keep up with her days–and her friends! And she makes it look easy.
One day, on a particularly tiring and difficult day for me, she showed up at my house with her toddlers in tow and I asked, “how do you get up and out so early! I just don’t have my shit together like this!!” She laughed at me! Because, like many moms, she felt the same way; just organized chaos full of love, hopes, dreams, and wishes.
Between performing on stage with her fiance Jeff, running an open mic every Wednesday, encouraging other musicians, and caring for her family, Jackie runs Next Generation Concerts and is a co-founder for The All You Got Tour with Patty Duffey of the Young Performers Club.
The All You Got Tour combines live music and art with a positive message. “We are dedicated to supporting young musicians as they find their place in this world. It’s rewarding to watch passions come alive and see kids reveal their future in the brightest of lights.”
So how does she balance family time with her music career?
“Balance? What’s that?” Jackie laughed. “My life is a tornado of baby kisses, emails, laundry, and finger painting. It’s a beautiful disaster I call being a momtrepreneur!”
And that’s exactly what it is!
Jackie said when she decided to have children she made a promise to herself to keep fighting for her dreams because she wants them to do the same. “Seeing their mom working hard to build a career and life for all of us, shows they can also do anything in this world.”
When asked what else contributes to her success…
“My fiance!” She said. “We started Next Generation Concerts together and while I’m off booking shows and promoting bands, he’s home wrangling the kids after a long day at work.” Jeff works hard to support his family so Jackie can follow her dreams. Having a support system at home, as a mom, is huge (I would know)!
“He’s my support, my rock, ideal man, band mate, and my sound guy,” she said. “Without him out team wouldn’t be complete.” A musician and singer too, Jeff helps run their weekly open mic nights and shows for Next Generation Concerts. Together they make open mic and their performances a success!
What does Jackie have to say to other momtrepreneurs?
“Take it day by day and prepare to be overwhelmed. Working for yourself is just as rewarding as it is stressful, but someday soon your sacrifice will pay for itself. Your business will flourish on your own terms.”
I asked her if she could go back and give her younger self one piece of advice what would that be. She said, “be yourself and be unapologetic about it.”
Today, 15 years after we first met, she’s running her own business, changing lives, and striving for something better for her families future.
Jackie defines the story of never giving up and persevering even after the door has been slammed in your face. She’s learned that “time and work are equally important. When you spend every day working towards a goal, eventually time will pass and you will surprise yourself with what you’ve accomplished. When you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t…”
We all know the end to that statement. Way to go Jackie! I get goosebumps whenever I see the work she’s putting into helping others better their lives.
I want to write about you! Many women work hard to better their lives for themselves and their families every day.