Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Women Who Went for It! is a bi-weekly podcast, hosted by Career Change Agent, Sara McArdle. The show features inspiring chats with successful industry changers who share how they found the clarity, courage and motivation to step into a deeper vocation and a life of meaning and fulfillment. We hope you'll see just how many before you have GONE for it—and they're eternally grateful that they took the risk!

May 26, 2019

Women Who Went for It Podcast Guest: Jaki McQuiston

In this episode, Sara talks with Jaki McQuiston about her journey from the nonprofit world to owning and operating an art studio and coworking space. Jaki shares the story of losing her son when he was just 11 days old, a heart-wrenching experience that ultimately gave her a nudge her to "go for" a vision she'd been dreaming up since she was a child. Jaki also describes how she recognizes when she's "on her path," and how her idea of fear changed after "the worst that could ever happen, happened." Today, Jaki owns The Creativity Loft, a community space for artistic expression and healing in Shoreline, Washington, and she creates handmade leather jewelry through her business, Jacqueline LaBerge.
Want to make your own career change?
Download Sara's Seven Cs of Successful Career Change Chart.
Sara and Jaki discuss:
  • How they got connected
  • Sara's story about The Creativity Loft on her solo show, The Keys to Clarity
  • Jaki studying sociology and psychology in college
  • Her intention to be a counselor
  • Working with youth and art in after school programs
  • Working as a youth care counselor in a boys' home
  • Working as a director's assistant at a nonprofit for women in Oakland, CA
  • Applying for a Masters in Public Administration
  • Moving back to Seattle to care for her grandmother
  • Working for a nonprofit in Seattle
  • Getting out of a hostile work environment
  • Being unemployed for months
  • Getting into real estate
  • Working at an accounting firm whose clients were nonprofits
  • Considering pursuing a CPA
  • Training to be a life coach
  • Working in coaching on the side of accounting
  • A big question she received that led her to rethink her path forward
  • Letting go of the idea of "supposed to" be doing certain things
  • Sound advice that gave her the boost she needed
  • Getting her coaching business up and running
  • Supporting OTHER people to do what makes them happy
  • Her coaching business not taking off
  • Her consulting business, Mulika Project
  • How her vision of community, art, and inclusivity started in school
  • Traveling to Cuba and being inspired by the sense of community there
  • How the birth and death of her son proved to be a transformative experience
  • Walking into the space where The Creativity Loft it and seeing its potential
  • How the vision of The Loft came to life
  • What it feels like to Jaki to be "on the path"
  • Resources she recommends:
  • How The Creativity Loft has been "survival" for Jaki
  • How Jaki accepted help to get her idea off the ground
  • The Loft's "hygge" style
  • How her idea of "fear" changed after the worst thing that could happen, happened
  • The advice she'd give herself at the beginning her Creativity Loft journey
  • Jaki's leather jewelry business, Jacqueline LaBerge
  • ...and more!
Jaki's Full Bio:
Jaki McQuiston’s love and practice of art started when she was very young, and she’s taken classes and practiced in many fine art mediums, including painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, jewelry making, mosaics, sewing, knitting, and other crafts. Her desire is to bring the healing possibilities of art practice to those who may be suffering from loss, depression, anxiety, or stress.
Jaki had dreamed of creating a community space for years, and remembers writing a paper in high school about the lack of community spaces. At that time, her concern was specifically for teenagers like herself. Her dream has always been to create a space for creatives that is both inspiring and supportive. A home away from home. A place that not only provides opportunities to expand one’s work, but empowers people to believe in themselves, take risks, and reach their success, whatever that looks like.
Recently, Jaki experienced tragedy. Her son was born at the end of April 2018 and was not well, which Jaki and her husband had no indication of prior to his birth. He lived only 11 days. While Jaki’s experience was devastating and continues to be challenging in her grief, she experienced such beautiful moments with him and the people who've supported her, her husband and their daughter this journey. The light that her son has given her is about fully showing up to whatever life gives you. So, when a creativity space became available, Jaki saw its opportunity. Listening to her inner voice, she ran with it… one step at a time, and opened The Creativity Loft in Shoreline, Washington.
Since opening the Loft, Jaki has also started her jewelry line, Jacqueline LaBerge, where she expresses herself creatively and shares her love for art.
Connect with Jaki, The Creativity Loft and Jacqueline LaBerge Jewelry:
The Loft's website:
The Loft's Instagram:
Jaki's email: 
Jacqueline LaBerge jewelry:
Connect with Sara McArdle and Women Who Went for It:
Nominate a Podcast Guest: 
Phone: 503.893.2043
Want to make your own career change?
Download Sara's Seven Cs of Successful Career Change Chart.