"The most important thing that I did was believe in the magic and the power of my vision. Even when shit hit the fan for me personally and professionally, I knew there was a lesson to be learned and greatness was on the other side of the bullshit."
jaclyn altieri, 33
occupation: co-owner of luniacglamour
college major: english
Ruth: How long have you loved what you do?
Jaclyn: For me, being creative whether through styling, making jewelry, taking photographs, poetry... it's been a necessity. Like, if I'm not doing something creative, I am missing something in my bones. I've loved it since I can remember, and having a physical presence in co-owning LuniacGlamour has made that love more real and much more tangible.
R: How did you feel and what did you do before now?
J: Prior to LuniacGlamour I was a social worker, a waitress, a wife, and a jewelry designer and photographer on the side. I was feeling hopeful that somehow, someway, something more passionate was coming my way. To make a long story short, I quit my social working job, got a divorce, stopped being a waitress and made LG into a reality with Kristen and the LG girls. Suffice it to say, my entire life changed for the better. I learned a lot, learned what I really wanted, and understood that it could actually be my reality rather than a far away dream.
R: When was the first time you realized that you love what you do?
J: I have always known that if I'm not doing something creative, then there is a huge void in my life. So that has always been a given. When we opened up LG two years ago, I knew that THIS WAS IT. It took over all of my thoughts, brought me back to life when things were hard elsewhere, and I knew I would do anything to make it work. It all became so real and so amazing.
R: Describe what you do now and what a typical day looks like.
J: Together with Kristen Lemoine, we own LuniacGlamour. Basically our goal is to make every person who comes into contact with us feel amazing, look amazing, and shop from our 50 women Rhode Island designers on a daily basis. We are constantly growing, learning, and evolving. It's hard to describe a typical day, but it usually begins early with texts and phone calls between K and myself, working on setting up the shop, building our online presence, taking photos, running errands, working with the LG girls, working as a family, and a LG team. Our overall goal is to make LG a brand. We're not your average small business. We have a lot of great girls that work with us and we all pull for eachother at all times. We have a lot of short term goals, and eventual long term dreams. It's all happening one baby step at a time. It's always so crazy for me to look back just a year or two to see how much has changed and how a little magic and hard work can transform your life.
R: What were the steps you took that got you to loving what you do?
J: It's easy for me to say, and harder for me to do... drop the fear. I am a worrier. Kristen would call me a hypochondriac, but I work everyday to forget all the things telling me that I can't and just DO! I love writing things down, lists, goals, dreams, visions.... this has helped me really gain perspective, see where I've come from and see where I can go. I think it's important to never forget the fun in what you do. It's equally important to be diligent and hard working, but the fun and the love for it is why you started. Nurture that and fight for what you want.
R: Is there something about your work that makes you feel like you're contributing to a greater good?
J: At first I just thought that it was for me, and that having a shop would be something that would make my life a little better...but I was wrong. It's amazing how many people LG has already affected in so many positive ways. When I quit my job as a social worker, I was afraid I was going to lose that good feeling of helping people. I didn't. I've learned that being a good listener, a friend, a boss, a peer, a leader, a woman, and following my dream in this career is just as influential if not more. It's a pretty powerful thing to be able to inspire others, and make them feel great in their own skin.
R: Do you have any advice for others on their way to loving what they do?
J: Don't ever stop. If it's something you love you won't be able to stop. Try not to be afraid, make as many genuine friends and connections as possible and do work! Work every damn day. Grow and surround yourself with people who inspire you.
R: If you could whittle it down, what was the ONE most important thing you did to begin loving what you do?
J: The most important thing that I did was believe in the magic and the power of my vision. Even when shit hit the fan for me personally and professionally, I knew there was a lesson to be learned and greatness was on the other side of the bullshit. It almost seems like the harder you are tested, the better the lesson and the better you are off. Persistence is everything.
Thank you, Jaclyn!
Jaclyn Altieri is a jewelry and accessory designer (luniacstyle), shop owner (LuniacGlamour), style obsessed, jacarazzi (luniacphoto), LG girl, fly girl, rapper, eternal optimist, lover of love and ice cream!