How we gave birth to “Jackie Unfiltered?”

October 12, 2017

I was raised in Chicago where, until President Obama came along, almost every black family had three pictures on their wall:  Black Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Oprah Winfrey (obviously “BO” joined the flock after ‘08).   So it does not suprise me that one of Auntie Oprah’s quotes summarizes the short life of our beloved www.Jackie

“Have the dream and then surrender to that which is greater than yourself and allow the flow of your life to move in the direction of your greatest dream.”

You may have noticed that earlier this week, this website (my “dream”) got a little refresh, tune-up and face lift.  We changed our logo moving from a reddish pink to a poppy chartreuse.  We updated the design by adding a left swiping slider bar at the top of the page under the logo.  We cleaned up the general look by removing unnecessary features such as unused social icons and updating the right sidebar by adding a “Subscribe” option (you should subscribe by the way).  We also added some fresh content with crisp, beautiful images.  Understanding that our opinion is “slightly” jaded, we think Jackie Unfiltered 2.0 looks better than ever and is just what the doctor ordered!

Original Jackie Unfiltered Web Design Lauched May 2016

Jackie Unfiltered 2.0 web design released October 2017

All these changes prompted Sikia, our Chief Technology Officer (the “CTO”), and I to meander down memory lane and think about how Jackie Unfiltered got started.  Well, you are going to be shocked but it actually began with a casual conversation where I gave voice to a “dream” that had only previously lived in my head.  In January 2016, on a girls trip to Mexico to celebrate Kim’s 4oth birthday, I casually told the ladies while sitting around the pool that I wanted to launch a blog where I would share how I discovered my passion for food, fashion and fitness.  I also wanted a place where I could write about how I grieved the loss of my mother hoping that it might help another person going through a major life change.

The pool in Mexico where Jackie first “surrendered the dream” of

A few months later in March 2016, Sikia the CTO and I had the following conversation via text:

Sikia the “CTO:” Are you “blogging” about the #Sweatyin30 fitness challenge you started on Instagram?
Jackie: No, I can’t figure out how to start the damn blog.  I reserved the name “Jackie Unfiltered” on GoDaddy, licensed a WordPress theme from ThemeForest, have Ryan working on creating a logo for me and now I’m stuck.  I have asked a few people, called tech support and even bought a book, WordPress for Dummies.   It’s so complicated that I don’t even know where to begin.
Sikia the “CTO:” You know I work in technology right?  Let me ask some of my coworkers if they know anything about blogging and “wordpress.”
Jackie: That would be awesome!  Thanks so much.

A few hours later…

Sikia the “CTO:” What do you want the website/blog to look like? Write it on a piece of paper, take a picture and text it to me.
Jackie:  [I responded with the following drawings.]

Jackie’s roughly drawn schematic of what she envisioned as

2 months later…

In May 2016, together, Sikia the CTO and I launched Jackie Unfiltered 1.0.  I did the writing and managed the creative process while Sikia figured out all the technical crap.  The day we presented Jackie Unfiltered 1.0 to the universe or “threw my ball in the race” as Maya Angelou says, Sikia and I FaceTimed from Ohio to New York.  We jumped around, hugged through the phone and literally screamed for joy as we were so proud of ourselves and in disbelief that we had created something from that piece of paper.  A damn piece of paper.  Wow!  We have learned so much since then from the how to take better images to knowing that the banner needs to be smaller so we can have more above the fold space to finally having a subscribe button for our mailing list.  I have no doubt that by the time we release Jackie Unfiltered 3.0, we will have discovered the cure for the common cold!

What is the moral of the story here other than being a very fricking cool #ThrowBackThursday Post?  The lesson here is that if you have a passion, something you want to do then speak it into the universe.  Tell someone!  Not your dog.  Not your goldfish.  Not your journal.  Tell a living, breathing human being.  You never know who can help you realize your dream or whether someone might know how to connect the dots for you.  “Surrender the dream” from the confines of your soul and “allow the flow of your life to move you in the direction” of the dream.  Auntie Oprah be knowing y’all cause the proof is in the pudding right here!

As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered.  We hope you enjoy our little facelift as much as we do.  Remember, “surrender the dream.”

Jackie & Sikia “the CTO”

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  • Taunglea October 23, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    It took me a minute to get to it, but I really enjoyed this post… and I loved watching you over the year bring your dreams to life!!! So very proud and inspired by you.

    • JackieUnfiltered October 25, 2017 at 11:22 am

      Thanks for the feedback! It’s a marathon, not a race. Left, right, left right left. Xoxo