“Find a different room,” Jasmin Foster from Be Rooted
Welcome to the Pass the Mic and the Defining Moment series. We’re giving powerful women in the industry the opportunity to make the world their mentee. These rockstars are joining us to share their stories and sage advice with up-and-coming women.
Meet Jasmin Foster, the CEO & Founder of Be Rooted, the first black-owned stationery in large retail stores, named one of Time Magazine’s 2022 Most Influential Companies. Growing up, Jasmin had a love for all things stationery, gift giving, and decorating. Although people questioned her decision to start a brand in the paper world, Jasmin saw her opportunity and is now changing the face of the paper industry in addition to celebrating and uplifting women of color.
Jasmin stopped by our podcast booth at Advertising Week New York last month. In this Pass the Mic, she shares her advice with rising stars. You’ll learn the power you can find within when you align your goals with your passion and go where you’re valued. Listen and learn below.
Go where you’re valued.
“Never let anyone tell you what you can't do, and never be afraid to step into whatever that looks like for yourself. So, I was always the person in the room where someone told me that, ‘You're too loud. Like you're a loud voice in the room. Like you always have to speak up?’ And I'm like, 'Of course, because I have opinions, and I have thoughts, and they should be heard.' But what I did is I had to find a table where my loud voice, my opinions, and my thoughts were actually appreciated. And so, when someone kind of tells you that you can't do something, I always tell people, go find a different room to be in where you're actually valued and you’re appreciated.” – Jasmin Foster
Align yourself with your values.
“You're never going to be ready. But at the end of the day, as long as you are aligning yourself to your purpose and your passion, you're on the right foot. And, so a lot of my friends around me have amazing ideas, and they're like, you know, ‘How did you know it was the time to step into this?’ And to me, it was, I spent so much of my career fighting the fact that I wanted to work in the multicultural space. I was always told when working in big corporations that if you just focus on multicultural, you're going to narrow your niche too much. Like we see you as the VP of X one day, but if you only stay in this one box, you're only going to be seen in that one box. And at some point, I had to be comfortable saying, my purpose is to center my work around black and brown women, and that's okay. And that may not seem like value to you, but that's value and purpose for me. And so, aligning myself with my value, my purpose, has unlocked so many other greater opportunities.” – Jasmin Foster
You are capable.
“And I had a mentor say, ‘Girl, if you don't take this call and figure it out, like, you are capable.’ And really having those people in your life who can speak honesty, and truth, and passion into you is so important. And she was so right. I, in 30 days, kind of figured out all of these things. I felt like they were such a daunting task at first. But when you launch a brand, and you aren’t V.C. backed, and you're bootstrapping it yourself, there's so many things that you have to decide. Like, okay, I want to have this sexy branding and website, and all of these things, but I also need real money to fund capital. And so, a lot of it was making a lot of those upfront decisions, like what can I actually afford? What's necessary? And as we continue to build a brand, how can we go back and now do some of the fun stuff now that we've had a little bit more time?” – Jasmin Foster
Find the value in yourself.
“We were Time's top 100 Most Influential Companies this year. Like, you know, for someone who was told that this was too much of a niche, and then to have that honor from someone like Time, that's crazy, right? And so sometimes people can't see the value, but you have to find the value within yourself and be comfortable staying within it.” – Jasmin Foster
We’re inspired by Jasmine’s amazing journey to creating one of the most influential companies—and we know you are, too. If you’re ready for even more motivation and advice, dive into more Pass the Mic content.