Written by Lindsey Lowe Osborne
Photo by Beau Gustafson
“Staying grounded is key,” says Jacklyn Loquidis Hamric—aka Jackie Lo, queen of Substrate Radio’s Jackie Lo Show and the blog I Am the F-Bomb (iamthefbomb.com). Hamric can also be found making music on her own as Jackie Lo, as well as with her band, Twinside; announcing for the Tragic City Rollers, Birmingham’s female roller derby league; and working as an interior designer for Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds. How does she do it all? Well, staying grounded is key.
The other trick is a good, hot bath at the end of a long day. But Hamric, 36, says that while she does get tired, her life is a whole lot of fun. “I don’t let myself get overwhelmed. I spend my nights organizing my next day and spend my weekends lining up posts for I Am the F-Bomb and making a playlist and concert calendar for the Jackie Lo Show,” she says. “I also make sure to eat dinner at home every night and do something for myself like go to the gym, play my guitar, take a hot bath, read a book, or just not do anything for at least an hour every day.”
Hamric “married into” Birmingham, though she’s been here since 2001 and considers herself a true Birminghamian now. Before Birmingham, though, was Dothan, Alabama, where her midwestern family settled when she was 10. Her upbringing laid the foundation for the spirit she’d need decades later, pursuing a bucketful of creative ventures. “My dad works in the steel industry and had thought of becoming an architect, which is interesting [since] I spend my days working in an architectural firm drawing plans. My mother is constantly creating and making things and instilled a strong work ethic in me to make and do things myself,” Hamric says. She left for school at the University of Montevallo, where she studied music (she’s a classically trained flutist.) It was a demanding choice, but one that served her well. “Anyone who tells you majoring in music is easy is lying to you,” she says. “It’s some of the most grueling time I’ve put into anything but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Though she considered going to grad school for music, Hamric ultimately ended up going back for design (she also runs a design blog, peppermags.com.) “This was definitely a pivotal point in my life. I auditioned at a few schools [for music], but could feel myself burning out a little,” she explains. “I took six months off after my music undergrad degree, waited tables, and decided to go back to school for design and try something new. Architecture/design and music actually work beautifully together. They both require you to use both sides of your brain simultaneously.”
She’s proved there’s room in her life for all the things she loves—music, design, her dogs, Buster and Maggie. It was her husband, Jason, who suggested that she do a radio show on Substrate Radio (substrateradio.com); he had begun the station out of their dining room in 2013. “I was just along for the ride to help and support however I could,” she says. “One day, while testing mics, he told me he liked the way my voice sounded on the radio and that I should think about doing a regular show.” Hamric just celebrated two years of the Jackie Lo Show, which airs on Monday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. Each week, Hamric interviews interesting people and plays a themed playlist that corresponds to the guest. “It has been so much fun and definitely keeps me on my toes as to what is new in music today and what is happening in Birmingham,” she says.
Her other creative baby is I Am the F-Bomb, a blog she started to give women in Birmingham a platform to share their voices. The blog was born out of an experience she had as a panelist for Sidewalk Film Festival. She sat on the panel alongside some powerful women and decided there needed to be a place for such women. “Sitting on that panel with a feminist studies professor and Ann Powers, music critic and writer for NPR, I realized that I liked what was being said and wanted to continue the conversation,” she explains. “I am surrounded by amazing women who love to write and are full of inspiring stories. I contacted a few of them and told them of my idea to start a website for women writers to share their stories and speak their minds. Nearly every one of them told me they loved writing but weren’t inspired to do it as regularly as they’d like because they didn’t have anywhere to publish it.” I Am the F-Bomb launched in November of 2013 and has since been a home to dozens of stories, each sharing a different perspective or experience. “We have over 30 writers and have covered everything from a broken vagina, rape, abortion, motherhood, online dating, escorting, domestic violence, music videos, collaborations, original comics, eating disorders, virginity, books, and anything and everything in between,” Hamric says. (Anyone can submit a story, and submissions or inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
It seems like a lot because it is a lot, but she says there’s nothing like the feeling of knowing she threw herself into the day and the day threw itself into her. “I don’t like to be bored, and everything I do is so much fun and fulfilling,” she says. “Even though I’m human and get tired, it’s that ‘I just can’t do one more thing’ kind of exhaustion you get with a smile on your face, knowing you did everything you could.”