We had the good fortune of connecting with Jackie Willock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jackie, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Plain and simple – I’m inspired by people who have a kind heart to give to others instead of always expecting to receive.
What should our readers know about your business?
! I have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Business Management, and like many women, I wear many hats:
• Local Coordinator (LC), International Cultural Exchange Services (ICES): I have the pleasure of working with all types of Host Families in the South Florida area, which includes military families, same sex couples, families or a single person with or without kids and empty nesters. With each family and student, I always learn a lot about their backgrounds, interests, hobbies, culture, and they learn about mine. Regardless of which families or students I work with, they always tell me how their hosting experience affected their lives in a significant and favorable manner. They learn and grow together and build life-long friendships. The student became a part of their family (they gained a new son/daughter, sister/brother), they participate in family activities and the students even helps by doing chores at home. The Host Family learns a new language, customs, traditions of another country, and they get to have family around the world. By hosting a student it’s their opportunity to be GLOBAL while being local and they play an important role in promoting (in the evolving process) of a peaceful world by increasing international awareness and cultural understanding. As an LC, what sets me apart from others is the red carpet customer service and continued support that I provide to all my students and Host Families.
• Entrepreneur, The Culture Vault (an online Apparel and Accessories Store): With help from my daughter, Shantelle, we have recently launched a type of store I had in the mid 1990’s relating to Black history, culture, the Hip-Hop & Grassroots Reggaetón movement of their era. The unsold merchandise of the original brick and mortar boutique was locked in a ‘vault’ and all items have been untouched since. Three decades later, The Culture Vault is a revival of the culture and nostalgia from the mid ‘90s; bringing back authentic vintage and new merchandise from the era we love to remember (https://www.depop.com/theculturevault). As owners of The Culture Vault, what sets us apart from others is our authentic vintage merchandise and offering outstanding customer service to all our customers.
• Entrepreneur, MomLeague (a Mom community and YouTube Show): With Monique Williams (Founder/Host), Jamii Stock (Teammate/Co-Host) and me (Teammate/Co-Host), we are a community of mothers with the goal to uplift, support and provide interaction with moms from around the country and various walks of life, about every day struggles of motherhood. The purpose is to gain clarity, perspective and mindful lessons from different points of view..
On our new MomLeague Show, we will interview Guest Speakers to provide our audience with a variety of interesting mom-related topics. The content for our social media platforms is currently being developed and Guest Speakers are being scheduled to be interviewed on the MomLeague Show. (Note: If you are interested in being featured as a Guest Speaker on the MomLeague Show please submit your request here: https://docs.google.com/
What sets the MomLeague Team apart from others is our genuine dedication to offer moms a safe environment where they can feel uplifted, supported and we can learn and grow, because in the end, we will all win, because we are in it, together!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spots in the city are enjoying outdoor activities by visiting the South Florida National Parks (Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park and Everglades National Park). Also, visiting the local beaches (including South Beach and Fort Lauderdale Beach) and eating at some of my favorite restaurants, especially at Côté Gourmet, in Miami, Shores, FL (https://cotegourmet.com). There the amazing Chef Amina Ly will prepare delicacies, starting with fancy appetizers and the best French Onion Soup ever. Each time you visit Côté Gourmet it will take you on a different journey where you will enjoy the contemporary mix of Italian and French favorites with a twist. Inspired by her travels, Chef Amina will take you from her native Senegal across five continents to South Florida. I also enjoy hanging out at home in my own backyard with my family and enjoying BBQ meals that are prepared by my husband, Dave (that includes his homemade BBQ sauce, grilled and smoked meats and even fabulous and creative cocktails.). I also enjoy seeing my children perform at home on the piano (David) and vocals (Shantelle).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My success is based on the love and support of my immediate family (my husband-Dave for accepting my passion to help others, my bright and talented kids-Shantelle and David for allowing me to share part of my time with my Foreign Exchange Students and my entrepreneurial ventures), my parents (Roy-R.I.P. and Rosa), who ensured I was raised in a loving home and I received a good education; to my siblings (Ricardo and Maritza) for their continued encouragement, and to my beautiful and caring niece (Gisselle) for following in my footsteps by always helping others, especially children in need. This Shoutout also goes to the mentorship provided by my Regional Directors at International Cultural Exchange Services-ICES (Current: Rhonda Hofer and Former: Sarah Duncan) and to the teamwork offered by my fellow ICES, Local Coordinators; and finally to my fellow colleagues at “MomLeague” (Monique Williams-Founder/Host and Jamii Ng Stock-Teammate/Co-Host).
Website: ICES: https://www.icesusa.org/host-a-student-overview/; The Culture Vault: https://www.depop.com/theculturevault ; MomLeague: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY2J95UUriMVVeQmz5KEBVA
ICES: https://www.instagram.com/beaherohostanintlstudent/?hl=en ; The Culture Vault: https://www.instagram.com/the.culturevault/?hl=en ; MomLeague: https://www.instagram.com/mom.league/?hl=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=ICES%20Florida%20-%20Youth%20Exchange%20Programs ICES: https://www.facebook.com/BeAHeroHostAnInternationalStudent ; The Culture Vault: https://www.facebook.com/The-Culture-Vault-101341328670211/ ; MomLeague: https://www.facebook.com/groups/momleague ; https://www.facebook.com/MomLeague
Youtube: MomLeague: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY2J95UUriMVVeQmz5KEBVA