THE GOLDEN LENS PROFILE: PHILOSOPHY & ARTISTRY WITH JACQUELINE KEKOS

Updated: Jun 28



WELCOME TO THE GOLDEN LENS, Real conversations with real women who work at the intersection of their intuition and intellect.


We first met Jacqueline Kekos in 2020 when she specialized in social media, since then she has embraced her creativity to grow a life and style brand and nurture her budding interior design business. We love Jaq's outlook as a creative entrepreneur and natural philosopher with old-soul energy well beyond her 27 years. Jaq is also a dear friend. I know you too, will fall in love with her warmth and light. The following images were all shot virtually in her Portland, Oregon home.


Virtual photoshoot with Jacqueline Kekos, at her home in Portland, OR. Photo credit Lisa Haukom, The Goldenbrand Studio

Welcome Jaq, tell us about yourself.

Hello, hello! My name is Jacqueline Kekos (By JMK). For as long as I can remember, I have chased the things that have made me feel inspired. As a child I would draft floor plans of my bedroom and rearrange my furniture for fun. In my teenage years I created my first fashion blog. In my early 20’s I started a Social Media Management & Consulting company. Presently, I am just calling myself a creative entrepreneur who is filling her days with her creative passions: interior design, gardening, decorating our new home, blogging, pottery, cooking and documenting life through my Sony A6600 & film cameras.


Where do you live?

I live in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I was born and raised outside of the East Bay in California. After graduating college in San Francisco, I moved to Austin, Texas for a handful of years. I was itching to get back to the West Coast (my beloved coast). I was on a quest to find a place that felt the most like home. After taking one trip to Oregon I fell in love and knew in my gut that I had found it. I was raised a full-fledged California baby—day trips to the beach, weekend trips to the mountains for snow, a not so far drive to Napa. Oregon offers those same sweet memories I have… but in my opinion, immensely more.


Do you know your human design type and/or astrological sign?

I’m a Mani Gen! Leo sun, Cancer moon, scorpio rising. I’m very emotional, loyal and PASSIONATE. I’m also an enneagram one—add my passion with my need for always fighting for the greater good in the world… and that pretty much sums myself up!


How do you describe your work?

I’ll be 27 in July and thus far my work has served its place and time in my life when I’ve needed it the most. The best way I can describe it is all encompassing of my creative interests. Out of college I had a handful of creative side hustles and internships. I was actively pursuing Editorial Wardrobe Styling and Runway Event Production. I stumbled into Social Media Management for Fashion Brands which was the bud to my Social Media Management & Consulting business. After owning my business for five years and nesting into a new stage in my life, I’m rethinking a lot about my business. Wanting to create something based on what I feel is my full-being (interiors, personal style, entertaining) vs owning a company purely out of necessity. Interior Design and Fashion have always been the twin pillars of my existence my entire life. Before I started my Social Media business I was looking into what it would take to start a Lifestyle business. At that moment in time, I had a lineup of potential Social Media clients (plus the ones I was working with already). I chased that path and this past year have found I’m back at the original fork in the road.



Virtual photoshoot with Jacqueline Kekos, at her home in Portland, OR. Photo credit Lisa Haukom, The Goldenbrand Studio.

Were your parents entrepreneurs? Did you have examples growing up of people following their passion and dreams or were you raised in a more traditional home?

I learned the art of creating and design at my Mother’s knee. I grew up around women who create. My mom is a beautiful painter and dressmaker. She wanted to pursue a career designing hospital gowns for children (this was back when gowns were basic), her college counselor laughed and told her that wasn’t a career. Those were different times, so my mom ended up working in a corporate position for a fabric company. Although she always brought art into the home. We frequented Michael’s—I had a stamp collection, tried my hand at an at home pottery kit, pressed flowers, markers and paints… you name it, we did it all. The minute I showed an interest in the arts, my mom made sure to let me know I could do whatever it was that made me happy.


I grew up playing in my Grandmother’s garden every weekend. I would say it’s an English meets California style—lots of brick, fresh cut flowers aplenty, a beautiful bed of romaine lettuce, outlined with potted trees in wine barrels. My Grandmother’s home is filled with treasures from my Grandparent’s travels. Their home is my happy place. It’s been my goal since I was sixteen to someday build their exact home whenever I’m ready to plant my roots in one spot.


What's Something That You're Still Working On When It Comes To Understanding

Yourself And How To Work With Your Natural Areas Of Genius Or Areas Of Opportunity?

Working from home can feel redundant from time to time. Getting out for a couple hours during the week has been my goal. I strive to go on an “Artist Date” once a week. I learned the concept of taking your inner artist on one date each week from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It’s the perfect way to try a new skill to push myself out of my comfort zone or pick up a previous love—which for me is pottery.


Did you always feel connected to your intuition or was it something you had to learn to trust and use in your business?

My mom says that I’ve always chased my intuition since I was a child! Whenever an inspiring idea hits, I go for it. I’m someone who has a hard time pushing herself out of her comfort zone so whenever I get that “gut feeling” I know I can lean into it and trust it wholeheartedly.


Virtual photoshoot with Jacqueline Kekos & Archie, at her home in Portland, OR. Photo credit Lisa Haukom, The Goldenbrand Studio


How do you strike a balance between intuition and strategy (intellect), or do you? Maybe this is something you are working toward?

I believe if intuition hits you, it’s something you should at least pay mind to. If it’s life/career changing intuition then you should definitely ponder on it longer, journal about it, have conversations with friends and family, and ask yourself deeper questions. I’ve always believed that if you know, you know. For me personally, I get a high off intuition/impulse and figure the strategy will follow suit… but that may be the Mani Gen in me ;)


What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the inner work I’ve done for myself in my 20’s. I’ve done a lot of work to get the proper tools for inner work with communication, reactionary tools, and fully understanding my inner workings by way of my birth chart and enneagram sign. Working on myself allows me to show up as the friend, daughter, business leader, and partner that I want to be.


If you could send your younger self a tweet, what would it say?

It’s okay to feel like you’re the weird girl outcast. It’s okay to have different interests than all of your friends. Own that weirdness and creativity rather than trying to silence it and “fit in”.


Where do you find inspiration and motivation on the days you are not feeling it?

The best lesson I’ve learned for my personality and as a business owner, is to allow myself to fully listen to my body and moods. Creatives are driven by emotions/moods. When I’m really not feeling it, I’ve learned to move my body or journal it all out. These are ways I can get out of my own head. I usually rely on low energy activities or do something that fills up my heart such as antiquing, online shopping, flipping through interior magazines, or putting on music. I’ve also found on my more emotionally taxing days, I just need a laugh. Watching a funny show, TikTok video, or standup routine pulls me out of a funk. Another important lesson I’ve learned which has reduced those funky days is learning the balance of work/life. Hence, why I adore being in Oregon. My M-F routine is usually spent on my laptop at my desk. The weekends are for me and for exploring. The weekends I make sure to fuel myself so I can go into the week as my best self. Trust me, I can tell the difference when I don’t spend the time recharging myself!


Best advice for someone struggling to trust themselves in their business?

Silence everything that you can. Silence the DMs, don’t worry about posting on social media, spend a week to a month in reflection and just be in your thoughts. Ask yourself what is pulling you presently, does the thing feel true to YOU and how you want to conduct business, or are you struggling because of what you’re SEEING in your industry? A phrase I try to live by is: create more than you consume.


Virtual photoshoot with Jacqueline Kekos, at her home in Portland, OR. Photo credit Lisa Haukom, The Goldenbrand Studio

What did you enjoy most about our virtual photoshoot?

I loved the open energy and sense of fun you brought to our photoshoot. What was your favorite part of the process? Having direction on how to angle the camera to show off my space and how to pose in a flattering way! I love being directed when I have to be in front of the lens and someone else has the knowledge and expertise on making it all look good!


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