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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jasmine Jackson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Jackson.

Hi Jasmine, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
In middle school, I took a home economics class and was introduced to sewing. My sixth grade teacher inspired me to sew and I found something I enjoyed. It turned into a passion and it became an interest I wanted to nurture. I began sketching ideas on pieces of paper, taking art classes in high school and attended the Savannah College of Art and Design for Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing and Merchandising. During my time at SCAD, I learned more about the fashion industry through the paths of business and design. I knew I wanted to design fashion that was different than the “normal” ready-to-wear items, I was a softball player and thought to fuse my love for sports into my work. Swimwear became my market, a fashionable yet athletic market for curvy women. A lot of people haven’t flooded that market at the time. I wanted to build a brand that would bring confidence to women, especially plus-size women. As a plus-size woman, I’ve found it harder to find garments that fit my curves and make me feel good in my own clothing. I wanted to establish a brand that would be desirable through colors, prints, and silhouettes and offer more for multiple body shapes.

When it came time to think of a name, I spent a while jotting down names at every moment one came to mind. Running them across co-workers and family to get their feel and thoughts, then making sure they weren’t already taken by another business. After doing my due diligence and researching current established brands, swimwear designers, swimwear characteristics and sewing techniques, manufacturers, fabrics, and sustainable fabrics and processing methods, I finally got to a point where I felt comfortable to establish a brand of my own. Two years after I earned my BFA from SCAD, I started my swimwear lifestyle brand, Jasmin Ronelle, as a boutique. March 2014 is the brand’s birthday. I purchased from other designers and included my own swimwear designs. Since the beginning, I’ve joined a women’s business organization, attended plenty of business events and expos, and have continued to grow my brand. Now, I am rebranding and emphasizing Jasmin Ronelle, the swimwear lifestyle brand for women to be comfortable, feel confident, and add to their sexy. I am working on finding ways to incorporate a more sustainable brand and make sure the values are carried through every piece of the business.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My road of being an entrepreneur and fashion designer has been nothing smooth. I’ve had moments where I’ve felt failure and decided to view it as a lesson needed to be learned. That’s how I motivate myself to keep pushing. The road of an entrepreneur is up and down, never a straight path. Change is the only thing that is constant. I’ve been told I was doing everything right and no one could really see what I was doing that wouldn’t help me gain exposure or growth. The hardest part in such a niche market is the combination of the right price and the right target market. As most new businesses start, it is common to have family and friends support you on your journey and have your name travel from word of mouth. That road works, but what can be a speed bump on my journey are my luxurious prices. For instance, I have a one piece signature suit that costs $1oo USD. As a smaller business, my cost of goods can be higher than a larger corporation because I am not able to order larger quantities. Smaller orders create higher costs, but I am also making sure the quality and material is high for my customers. I wouldn’t want to present a product that isn’t worth it in my eyes, so I make sure everything is of high quality. In addition to cost of goods, I’ve been working to add more sustainable fabrics to my brand. Trying to become sustainable is harder because some manufacturers are still working on incorporating those procedures into their factories or have higher costs for the fabrics that are sustainable. I want to add recycled fabrics into my fashion because it lessens the carbon footprint and is my part of reducing textile waste in the environment.

The toughest part of my journey has been pinpointing the target market and shifting into sustainable practices and fabrics. Thanks to social media and business expos, I have had a wider range of exposure for my business and am working on introducing sustainable fabrics into my new line.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a woman of many talents, but my specialty is in art and design. I am a fashion designer that loves to look to nature and architectural lines for inspiration. I find colors and patterns interesting and think of ways on how to create my own designs from those inspirations. I specialize in swimwear but am not limited to the fashion industry. I am also a UX/UI designer and creative soul of the arts. I am known for being a passionate, analytical, detailed, artistic, and organized woman. I am always working to provide a great presentation and give my best efforts. I’m most proud of my work ethic and accomplishments that I have obtained. My life has been a blessing and through all my tribulations, I still have faith and motivation to achieve my goals. What sets me apart from others professionally is my determination and my fight, which is very special these days because of the need for instant gratification. I don’t have a quitting bone in my body and I do not accept any shorts. On a personal level, I bring the same intensity. I’m loving, caring. and outspoken when needed. My love is not common and that really sets me apart from others. I am always seeing the greatness in others, especially in my community, and that gives hope that is needed to spark their own fires. I have this aura that makes people want to be in my presence and absorb my energy to gain a positive and memorable experience.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I can not quit! I may have some bad days or even slow days, but if there is something I really want to achieve, I have to learn to love the process in order to execute the big picture of success.

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Image Credits

Jasmine Jackson Kahlil Smith

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