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Life and Work with Jacky M.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacky M.

Jacky, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always been into fashion and design, even though my tom-boy phase. I have been doodling designs for most of my life everywhere from my sketchbooks to my textbooks to my own furniture at times not thinking anything about them. 17 is when I finally started sewing. I chose to not study fashion design in college thinking of more “secure” careers, but the thing you are meant to do will always bring you back to it. I ended up studying fashion design at Mesa Community College after I graduated from SDSU and it was the best thing.

I am so grateful for the education I was able to get in an area I am clearly passionate about and all the good and bad funk I had to pass through that has put me in the position to create my own designs as my career. I feel like I am fulfilling my purpose now and helping the world be a better place one dress at a time. Now, it’s Jungle Hippie all day, all night.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
NO! Not smooth at all! It is still not smooth. It is very hard work! It can be scary to not have a steady flow of income to feed yourself or put a roof over your head. Most people are not interested in sleeping on a floor or a couch at all, let alone for an entire year. Life is not fair and you can not expect anything from anyone, but you do what you have to so you can accomplish what it is you want. The universe will meet you half way with just as much energy as you put forth – positive or negative. Positivity is much more productive and enjoyable.

Please tell us about Jungle Hippie.
I started Jungle Hippie as a traveling retail boutique with the ultimate goal to create my own designs and now I am. My designs are full of colors that are either tie-dyed or acid washed or both and with or without more design details. Dresses are my main gig and I love music. I certainly do not discriminate between garments and I do my best to maintain a balance in options. I have my own clothing line that is made in Southern California, made with a vegan silk substitute fabric and all the tie-dye is hand tied in a professional dye house. I also make a bunch of one-of-a-kind pieces and one-of-a-few pieces myself. These items are up-cycled from damaged garments or blank canvases that I ‘jack up’. The more I make, the more I grow as an artist – an artist whose medium is fashion – and that’s what I love.

I try to be conscious as to what others are doing to avoid overlapping while always staying true to myself, my style and what my soul wants to create. I rarely repeat designs and am consciously always growing and improving as much as possible. We all have our own style – no matter how low key or flamboyant it is. There are clothing and artists and clothing artists everywhere, but there is only one Jungle Hippie Jacky.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
I love being a female! Though we do live in a male-dominated society, I would not want to be a man. I would say the obvious things like equal pay, male ulterior motives to get into your panties and the all-around boys club mentality.

The biggest barrier, though, in my opinion, is allowing these things or anything to stop you. You may have to hustle harder than a man. You may have to plan in more detail as to how to deal with and adapt to the males who don’t properly respect you and get in your way. And you may just have to be harder to accomplish the same things as a man, but appreciate that you are stronger and harder and fully capable of anything you want – even if it means becoming your own boss.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lexi Keller, Edgar Hernandez, Taylor Diane

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