In Conversation with Jasmine Marie of black girls breathing™

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Describe your business in a few words?

black girls breathing makes space for Black womxn to manage their mental and emotional health through breathwork and community.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Every business I’ve started has been either my back being against the wall and needing to find a solution or me looking into the market and seeing a need that I was deeply passionate about solving.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Global brand marketing was my background prior to my entrepreneurial journey. I worked in haircare at a global consumers products goods company.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I never foresaw myself being an entrepreneur. But in my senior year at NYU Stern, my MBA mentor listened to me list my plans after graduation and he told me “So you’re going to be an entrepreneur?” I wondered…where on earth did he get that information from? I said I wanted to be a Director at Unilever in 5 years…not become an entrepreneur. But in listing out my goals and dreams, he saw something I didn’t in my ambition. After I started my first business, I went back to thank him for not only seeing that but for saying it and affirming it for me.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

I learned so much from my 2nd business — which “failed.”

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

That I kept going…and after business failure, had the courage and worked through (moved through) the fear to keep going and eventually start black girls breathing and to witness all the success that we’re having now.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

I think having a passion for our work is so important. We have a diverse team though our work and mission is focused on mental health care accessibility for Black womxn. Everyone who signs on with us is deeply passionate about that mission.

I look for individuals who can take accountability, showcase a growth mindset, and are solutions-oriented.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We’ve always offered virtual breathwork circles since we started but for those community members who preferred our in-person sessions, the pandemic forced them to adapt to our virtual sessions to feel that sense of community.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

I’m so excited for all the ways we plan to expand our mission of making mental health care accessible for Black womxn in 2021 and beyond. You’ll have to stay tuned for more details.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

The smallest moments aren’t really that small. Leaning into all the things that we seem to skim or rush past when we’re engrossed to what we’re building. Stopping to celebrate how far we’ve come…taking a pause to meet that friend for coffee. Connection is so important to me. Building upon and nurturing my intimate relationships…I don’t take those for granted and want to be intentional in making space and time for them in 2021.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Hmmm…by the time I launched black girls breathing, I already had past business failures under my belt to apply lol. So this time around, I’m leaning into those lessons and other lessons I’ve seen shared by founders.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Being honest with myself, my friends and my community about what I’m going through. Giving myself so much self compassion about the rapid growth of our business and what it has in-turn required of me.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Yes I do! But balance looks different for different seasons in life. I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself when I’m in chapters of extreme transitions as I’m figuring it out. I’ll find my balance well enough…but in the moment, I’m truly doing the best that I can.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I do great freestyle raps..Mercury is in Virgo so the quick-wittedness comes in handy.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

I don’t really like the word being productive…I prefer being fruitful.

  • Stay hydrated and fed for a healthy mind.
  • Try and get as much sleep as possible.
  • Do check-ins throughout the day on what tasks feel aligned to the energy levels I possess.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

It means crafting, creating and building in a way that’s unique to your gifts and mission and according to your own personal values and definitions of success.

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