To start, what are a few ways you identify yourself? (some examples: name, age, type of work you do.) But really, anything you believe is important.
My full name is Jacqueleen but I go by Jackie, Jaxx, JQ, Jack, anything really! My pronouns are "she/her" and I do a handful of things. I'm currently working at Trader Joe's and have been there for 4 years now. Fun fact: it was my first job when I turned 18. I also work part time for a tattoo artist in LA, which explains all of my tattoos. Finally, I'm also a freelance photographer which I dream of becoming my career.
Image courtesy of Jackie Quintero
How did you start climbing?
I have a strong obsession/connection to Joshua Tree and when I completed all the hikes, I realized the other thing JT was known for was climbing so I forced my friend to take me to a gym (shoutout to the Factory!)
What impact has climbing had on your life?
Climbing has made one of the most positive impacts in my life. I got into it when i was going through a break up and a time when I was feeling most lonely. It gave me a sense of community and brought me a ton of uplifting friends. A hobby became a passion quickly and opened so many doors/opportunities- it also gave me my boyfriend!
What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
I love to draw on my ipad and make portrait commissions for friends and family; I enjoy hanging out with Duke (my aussie) and Oliver (my russian blue kitty)
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
Don't take life too seriously. It's okay to go against the status quo and do what YOU love, even if society says otherwise. When I was 17 I was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME). Having a father with ALS and a brother with a rare blood disorder, I thought to myself "why me?" And then I realized, it happened to me so I could share my experiences and journey with people going through the same things. I dropped out of college when I was 20 (the biggest stress factor/epilepsy trigger), adopted a dog, traveled the U.S. and I've never been so happy in my life. I'm 22 now and so excited about what the future has to offer. What I'm trying to get at is, sometimes, going the unconventional route can be the biggest blessing. You don't always need a degree (but if you do, major props) and all the money in the world to be happy. Don't be hard on yourself.
Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.
I'm currently working on branding my photography business and teaming up with climbing small businesses to become a content creator. So if any of you small climbing businesses want to team up, make sure to DM or email me! I tell great jokes and I'm fun to work with.
Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?
Besides all the unique and creative products, what I love the most is the opportunity I was given by Leslie to shoot for her and the businesses' products. I've reached out to multiple climbing businesses to partner up and practice my craft and Dynamite Starfish was the one company that welcomed me with open arms. Their trust in my work and craft gave me the opportunity to do two things I'm most passionate about- climbing and taking photos.
Want to get to know more of the climbers in the amazing Dynamite Starfish community? Check out our archive of Climber Interviews here.
We hope you have enjoyed these sneak peeks into climbers' lives. We're on a mission to share diverse stories about rock climbing. Let's push the boundaries of who we know as climbers. Let's use our energy and passion for the outdoors to love our environment and inspire one another.