It is never too late to find your passion. Just ask former “hummingbird” Jacqueline, or Jack, Perez ’82.
After corporate jobs in marketing, consulting and finance, including running her own public relations firm, Market Accelerate, in San Francisco, Jack felt that she was living like a hummingbird.
“A hummingbird never stops moving,” said Jack. “They move from flower to flower taking nectar and leaving pollen. I kept thinking ‘Wow! I am not really finding my passion.’ I thought I would spend the rest of my life moving from career to career. Then in my early 50s, I felt like I was disappearing. I was used to living a colorful life: jumping out of planes; starting new businesses; traveling the world; singing and dancing on stage; training in martial arts; and being an all-around risk taker. How could I be disappearing?”
Searching for what to do next, Jack felt that there was a lack of content for women in their 50s. “This cohort is the healthiest and largest in history, with the majority of the wealth, and make over 80% of the purchasing decisions in their households. How could they be ignored?”Just like that, Kuel Life, an online community and curated shopping experience for women in their second act was born.
“I created the content as a hobby to bring relevant information to women,” said Jack. “The more I wrote, the more women reached out to me who also wanted to write. Now I have more than 10 women who write about a variety of topics that are relatable for women my age. I’ve also started a weekly video series, Kuel Chiefs, to bring relevant topics to light for women.”
In March 2019, Kuel Life expanded to include an ecommerce platform. The Kuel Shop features women-owned businesses.
“As an entrepreneur,” said Jack, “I wanted to give and be authentic while making money in an honest and forthright way. As an avid online shopper, I developed the Kuel Shop because I wanted to have a place to curate items I like and that other women in their 50s might like too.”
Jack wants The Kuel Shop to be the premiere platform for shopping small in the comfort of home: purchase with a purpose.
“When you go to the shop, find a unique item, and buy it, you are weaving your way into that woman’s story,” said Jack. “You can feel good about empowering a small, local woman-owned business — even if it’s not local for you. I really believe that as women we need to help each other and stick together.”
Pine Crest alumnae have been some of Jack’s biggest supporters, from being the first to share their stories for Kuel Life, and now by being vendors in the Kuel Shop. A few of those include Java Love owned by Jodie Dawson ’88 and her partner Kristine-Ellis Petrik; a collection of birdhouses created from recycled license plates by Sally (Rothenhaus) Faulkner ’79; and silk scarves made by Melinda Abrams ’83.
“The great thing about Pine Crest is that it doesn’t matter when you graduated,” said Jack. “When I reach out, I receive nothing but support and positivity. Many alumnae have given me the gift of their time and expertise. Pine Crest is a community. My dad was a teacher at Pine Crest, my mom worked in the library, and my brother Nelson ’74 and sister Leslie ’88 were students for some of the time I was. There was a period in my life when my entire family would get up and drive to Pine Crest! It was a unique way to spend my formative years. The education, love, and support I experienced at Pine Crest gifted me the ability to set my bar high and not take ‘no’ for an answer.”