We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacki Lake and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacki, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always done hand lettering on the side – making posters during high school for student government, Associated Students clubs and greek life in college and later on wedding invitations and event signage when my kids were younger. As they grew up, I was lettering menu boards for stand alone restaurants and hotel venues as well as continuing custom signage for parties and events. It’s when my kids were off to college that I started making my art a ‘real’ business because I had more time to dedicate to it. I also started doing digital hand lettering and that’s really where my passion lies. I never advertised but would get a lot of word of mouth referrals. I decided that I could make myself a side-hustle and that’s how Lake House Designs was born.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art started with event signage and wedding invitation lettering. But I’m now obsessed with digital lettering and art. What sets me apart is the subject matter of my lettering work. I focus on what I call ‘Irreverent Inspirations.’ This means I letter sassy but inspirational quotes with bright, bold and colorful backgrounds. I sell my art quotes on greeting cards, post cards, stickers and pins and am working on other merchandise (think coffee mugs and tea towels). I also do custom digital art for clients and create event invitations, birth and graduation announcements, holiday cards and bespoke stationery. I didn’t really think through taking this road to where I am today. I started down the road, stumbled upon opportunities, stumbled on my own feet but always picked myself up, brushed myself off and kept going. It’s definitely challenging, but at this point in my life, I’m up for the challenge and the adventure. I’ve met the best people and have made myself a home in my creative community. And that’s what it’s all about – building community. What I want people to know about me (which is directly reflected in my art) is that I am authentically *me* in my work and I don’t take myself too seriously. Life is short and we must enjoy every single moment. It’s easy to focus on the bad stuff, but I hope that my art inspires people to move forward in life with a positive attitude and high vibrations. If I can get you to stop and think about something meaningful while enjoying a big belly laugh, I’ve done my job. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is this: You’re not too old and it’s not too late. I just turned 55 and I never thought that my art could lead to a small business at this point in my life. But here I am, following my passion and working toward that goal. It’s a great reminder that we can do anything we set our minds to.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had company visiting from out of town for a week, I would do the following: Monday – My company is staying at The Pendry Hotel (because I love that place!). Meet for breakfast at Provisional. Walk down to Seaport Village and around the waterfront. Sit at the back of the Broadway Pier and watch the boats sail by. Take the ferry over to Coronado. Lunch at Leroy’s. Walk around Hotel Del Coronado and the adjacent beach. Happy hour at Stake Chophouse and Bar. Late night oysters and martinis at the Brigantine on Coronado Island. Tuesday – Visit the World Famous San Diego Zoo! After a long day of animal watching, we’d head down to dinner at Fernside Cocktail Bar – the best burger and grilled cheese sandwich and to die for craft cocktails. Smoothies are a must! And walk around South Park shops. Wednesday – Brunch at OB Surf Lodge and enjoy their killer mai tais, walk around Newport Avenue shops and on the beach then hit up the OB farmer’s market. Watch the sun set and dinner and drinks at Pizza Port. Thursday – North County day! Brunch at Good On Ya Cafe in Encinitas, walk down Pacific Coast Highway and pop into all the cute shops. Drive down to Del Mar and hike Torrey Pines. Early dinner at Alce 101 in Solana Beach – again with the martinis and their great small plates menu. Friday – Breakfast bloody marys or the mimosa flight at Fig Tree Cafe in Liberty Station. Walk around the art galleries and snack at one of the yummy food stands in Liberty Public Market. I love Cecilia’s Taqueria and Wicked Main Lobster. Dinner, drinks and the sunset at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse. Saturday – Beach Day! Pack up sandwiches from The Gourmet Bagger in Point Loma and head down to Mission Beach. Play volleyball and frolic in the ocean. Grab a snack at one of the authentic taco shops on Mission Boulevard. Massage back at the Pendry Hotel Spa and dinner at Lionfish. Sunday – Breakfast at Morning Glory in Little Italy. Walk around Balboa Park museums and outdoor spaces. Lunch at the Prado Restaurant in Balboa Park. Walk through the Botanical Garden. Happy Hour and Born and Raised. Late dinner at Rovino. That would be my dream itinerary for visitors to our incredible city! But still so much more to see!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My kids (Josh and Liv) are grown adults and creatives in their own right. They always encouraged me to keep my creativity alive and to follow my passions just as I encouraged them to do the same. Their Visual Arts and Advertising majors in college pointed them in the direction of their current professions and inspired me to keep expressing myself through art. So huge shout out to Josh Lake of Lake House Productions and Liv Lake of Zero Association.