In 2012 when I founded Christine McGovern Design, I turned a lifelong dream into a reality. Having been fascinated by homes and decor from a young age, pursuing my interests though my college studies was my goal. My early years were spent in Waterbury, Connecticut, but my father worked hard, and he and my mom sacrificed to move my younger sister and I out of the city and into a more idyllic setting with better schools. In 1976, my parents, now expecting another child and another younger sister for me, finally moved us permanently into our new home built by my old-school Albanian father on weekends. By day, a car salesman working hard and putting in long hours to move up through the ranks from sales to management, and by night and on weekends donning a tool belt with his ragtag group of brothers and friends.
Interior Design was not something my gritty and street-smart dad thought was a sound decision. Redirecting, I became a teacher, and design my hobby. I loved decorating my classroom for my 3rd graders and it fed my artistic side. I kept binders of home decorating and construction ideas pulled from magazines and newspapers. Ideas for entertaining, floral arrangements, projects for kids and recipes all had binders too. Had I thought to take all of this online when I purchased my first clunky Mac desktop in 1992, I might have been the creator of Pinterest!
Leaving teaching in 1997 to have my first son, Charlie, I turned to renovating my own homes as a way to fill my need to create warm inviting spaces. I fell in love with the process of searching for a home to buy, moving into it, and beginning immediate renovations. I spent many late nights sanding walls, painting rooms and cabinets and scouring the internet for fixtures. I was selling my homes and making great profits in a short amount of time. My growing family, however, wasn’t enjoying my process as much as I was. 4 more sons came along during those years…Kieran, Finnegan, Liam and Mac. The constant relocations were getting harder.
In 2011 a friend recommended I go back to school for Interior Design and turn my passion into a career and by the next day, I was enrolled in the Interior Design program at Fairfield University. I was hired by a local designer who had seen my drawings in class within a few weeks and word also spread within my community that I was heading down this new path. I quickly began receiving calls for projects. Before I realized what was happening, I had a packed calendar and was working full time as an Interior Designer. I will be forever grateful to my friend for pushing me to jump in and believe in myself, as well as to my first clients who also believed in me. They are still clients today.
I love my family immensely for their unconditional support and for keeping me confident in times when I questioned myself. I will never forget the late nights when my sons showed up in the kitchen to do their homework by my side as I worked on mine. They will always be my Varsity Team.
When I am not working as a designer, I am busy attending lacrosse, soccer and football games as well as Finn’s wrestling matches. I would not miss them for anything! I usually have my 3 whoodles by my side…Mom Ginger and her two little ones Kobe and Kiki. I love to entertain and spend time in my home surrounded by family and friends. I still pull out my binders for ideas. 🙂
In 2016 I partnered with Setting The Space, an experienced and award winning staging firm with 6 retail locations based in Plymouth Massachusetts. Blair Hamaty has grown his staging inventory of furniture, art and accessories and currently fills a 20,000 square foot warehouse. With his own dedicated team of installation and delivery experts, I am able to offer staging and styling services to clients in a short amount of time and at amazing price points. Staging has become an indispensable asset to successful real estate sales and Setting The Space is an invaluable partnership.
In 2017 I partnered with Michael Smith Architects in Norwalk. In collaboration with MSA, we offer a full service, in-house experience for clients. I am involved at the very beginning of renovations and new builds, from conception to completion. We help clients make all selections necessary for construction to keep the process a seamless one. Moving into the interior design phase feels like a natural next step for clients . It is a fluid process that has had amazing outcomes. My partnership with Michael Smith continues to be one of my most valued and successful endeavors. I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful clients and an extremely talented group of colleagues. It continues to be a growing and learning experience from a design perspective.
In 2019 I completed the circle by becoming a licensed Realtor in Connecticut and am in partnership with Higgins Group Private Brokerage in Westport. I am excited to be working with a creative and innovative group of professionals. This partnership gives me the ability to offer clients a full lifestyle design experience, as well as continue my love of flipping homes.
Jackie lives in a former church nestled in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. Her art studio is in the choir loft and features two beautiful stained glass windows which brighten up even the grayest day.
Jackie is known for creating fresh, dynamic collections for home decor, tabletop, social expressions, and gift industries. Her collections include a wide array of themes, ranging from trendy color palettes and icons, to sophisticated, up-scale designs, to nostalgic seasonal imagery and endearing juvenile collections.
She is a professor and the Program Coordinator for the Visual Fine Arts and Photography program at Tunxis Community College and a faculty member for Hartford Art School’s Master of Fine Arts in Illustration program.
Licensing partners include: RAZ Imports, Cape Shore, Creative Bath, Manual Woodworking and Weavers, Red Rooster Fabrics, Creative Converting, Certified International, Legacy, Transpac, Carson, Studio M, Homefires, Leanin’ Tree, RJR Fabrics, burton + BURTON, Demdaco, OESD, Custom Decor, Fancy That, Pumpernickel Press, Lowes, Blank Quilting, Sunset Vista Designs, The Cranford Group, and Thirstystone.
I am grateful to have Jackie as part of my creative team and love seeing all of the beautiful logo artwork she continues to create for Christine McGovern Design. We are both looking forward to sharing some exciting new endeavors together so stay tuned!!