MAKING THIS LIFE COUNT
By Belinda Trotter- James
Jackie Christie grew up in Seattle Washington with nine brothers and sisters and today she is a media mogul. "Oh my God living in Seattle, Washington was the best", remembers Jackie. "Summers were filled with water hydrants squirting up in the air and kids eating ices. Seattle had a sense of nostalgia about it. Growing up there seemed like one big family even though it is a huge city with lots of neighborhoods and many people. We just knew everybody and everybody knew us. We had so many friends and we did a lot of community things. My mom always made our house the community house where all the kids in the neighborhood could come to play. Even the stray kids from other neighborhoods would come to my house to eat and play. It rained a lot, but it was okay because we made up all kinds of fun games to play in the rain. We could still do pretty much what we wanted to do. We went to the park, the movies and all types of stuff. I have to say we were so blessed, Doug and I, to have grown up there."
I'm sure you're wondering how did Jackie leave such a wonderful place and end up in LA... "I had a friend who lived in LA that I had met while living in Seattle", remembers Jackie. "I had never been to LA, but I have visited California to go to Disneyland. I met her at a Doug E Fresh concert and she invited me to come down to visit her. I had to ask my mom if I could go and she said, 'Sure'. I came down one weekend about three months after I met her and I fell in love with the city. I knew that LA is the mecca for modeling, fashion and entertainment. I grew up in theater so I knew that one day I would go back to LA.
Doug and Jackie were not a young power couple when they started dating. "He was still in college attending Pepperdine University when we met", says Jackie. "He was not in the NBA either; then eventually he was drafted by the Seattle Sonics, but he moved to LA because the LA Lakers are the ones who traded for him right away. That's when I just started coming to LA a lot to work and see Doug. The rest is history."
Jackie and Doug renew their wedding vows every year and if you are a fan of the show Bridezillas you would think that idea would be crazy. However, if you think about it, some people celebrate their birthday every year with a party. Renewing your vows does not have to be a major event every year; it could be something sweet and simple. "About 60 to 80% of people did not understand it at first and now they do", says Jackie. "Doug proposed to me on a Friday and by that next Tuesday we were getting married. Some of our family and friends were away or in another city and could not make it out that quick on such short notice. We decided to have another wedding the next year on our anniversary and once we realize that everybody was together who had not seen each other in years, we decided to celebrate our anniversary every year. We had so much fun and would talk about old times with our family and friends. It was just so amazing that we made it a family tradition. So that's how it started. We just love it." Every year on their wedding anniversary they get married with a different theme with all their family or friends. Jackie says sometimes its just her and Doug or maybe they'll take the kids with them. "Every year is different and it's just a way for us to have fun with our marriage and keep it fresh. If you are always planning a wedding, you never have time to plan a divorcé", advises Jackie.
The next thing we talked about in Jackie's empire is her signature blend Cognac. "While growing up I always took a liking to Hennessey and it had a stronger taste", says Jackie. "When creating this Cognac, I wanted something smoother that women could also enjoy and I wanted to do my own. Luckily the show chronicled it on Basketball Wives LA last season and followed us to France where I was able to create my own Cognac with Bossard Cognac. Everyone really loves the taste. It has a vanilla mocha almond flavor to it and is very smooth. It's my baby and I love it. I am very happy to bring it to the forefront."
Along with the books, Cognac and makeup line Jackie added shoes to her empire as well. "My shoe line is through Shiekh shoes which has 140 stores and my first shoe has already been released" says Jackie. "It is doing very well and I have four more that will be coming out next year."
Well you can't have shoes without having something to wear. When Jackie was little she used to go into her mom's closet and put on her clothes and shoes. Jackie said that seem to instilled an innate sense of fashion in her as a child. She has the ability to know how something should look and can sketch enough to get her idea across to her master sewer and patternmaker from Greece. Jackie's 2013 Black collection was featured on Basketball Wives LA and at New York Fashion Week. "It was amazing and definitely a dream of mine. One thing I have to say about VH1, the show and my producers is that I just love them," states Jackie. "They have helped me to realize so many dreams. A lot of people always ask, 'What is it like to be on reality TV? They make you look so bad.' I have to tell them no, they really don't. They have let me show the world my collection. The show is in 153 countries as well as all the channels here in the United States. People can see that I have a love of fashion and I was invited to come out and they actually covered it. There was a standing ovation and people realized that I have a real strong fashion sense. Now I am working on the 2015 summer collection.
http://jackiechristiecosmetics.com/With all her business ventures taking up most of her time, the summer collection is coming along a little slower than expected. "It's better to be a little slow and a little more methodical with it verses releasing it just because... I now have a built-in audience of fashion buyers and stores who are waiting for my collection so I am excited." Jackie's collection comes in sizes 2-24.
Jackie didn't start stop with her fashion line. How can you have beautiful clothes and not smell fabulous. Her fragrance is still in production and hopefully it will be out for the holidays. "People have been asking me for years to do one. They wanted Doug and I to do one together, but I decided to release the first one with just myself,"explains Jackie.
A few charities have been blessed with Jackie's generosity through Coloredgirl which is an eco-friendly clothing line of T-shirts, caps and bags. "I donate the proceeds from that to different organizations that helps battered women, shelters and families who need clothing and food. The millionaires club is a place in Seattle that a lot of us grew up around. Even if you didn't have a lot, it was the type of place that helped families", says Jackie. "I grew up with nine brothers and sisters and it was just our mother raising us. Sometimes we would go to these places and they would offer work solutions or food when we were young. That's why I give back to them every year." Jackie and her husband have been giving back to organizations like those for about 15 years.
Jackie Christie definitely deserves a spot in our phenomenal women category. Her work ethics inspires all women to be all that they can be. Fans can keep up with her on social media outlets like twitter @JackieChristie.
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