I believe in connection, creativity, hard work, and french fries. Lots of french fries.
a little bit about me
My name is Jasmine, and I tell stories. I was meant to help people thrive (and to shake my tail feather on the dancefloor). I sometimes feel that my role in life is that of a translator—to help people feel connected and understood. To help people reach others.
I'm a Canadian who's been in California for twelve years, and while I'm based in San Diego only minutes from the magic of the ocean, it's actually the desert that has my heart. I’m constantly wowed by this place we call home, and spend much of my time in my 1939 abode, renovating it with a Joshua-Tree-meets-Oslo aesthetic, and gardening with totally unearned confidence. I grew up in Montreal, so I can swear fluently in two languages. I’m an INFJ and enneagram one, so I’m an empath, a big-picture thinker, opinionated as hell, a perfectionist, and driven to make the world better.
I’m a whole-hearted believer in the genuineness, curiosity, growth, and art of making things with one’s hands. I use mine occasionally to make pottery, paint, or strum on my guitar (poorly, I might add), and daily to tell stories about the intangible wonder between people, and the inspired magic that comes from creative entrepreneurship.
Years as a brand strategist and designer helped me to fall in love with storytelling and out of love with corporate bureaucracy. Now I’ve spent over a decade as a photographer, authentically reflecting real human experiences, inspiration, and creativity. I also coach small-biz and creative entrepreneurs on how to repair and rebuild unstable brands, figure out their purpose and direction, identify their unique strengths, and start reaching the people that matter.
My Three Faves
20 lbs of snuggly demanding tuxedo beast. Our grumpy old man. 16 years of telling us who's the boss. AKA the chaperone—he sleeps between us.
17 years together. Born in Glasgow. My rock, my tech guru, personal woodworker, and second-biggest fan (he can't compete with my mom).
Our sweetest Tilly-Girl. Rescue from the streets of Mexico, seven-ish. Velcro dog, people-lover, kiss-obsessed, desperate to show you her toys.
The Whole Story
As a natural entrepreneur, it’s a wonder I spent so many years fooling myself into thinking that working for someone else would be best for me. I studied to be a painter in college before eventually following that with a degree in design. I made the change because remember thinking that while I loved making art, there was no way I would be able to make a successful living at running a business. After all, what did I know about management and marketing?
Years after my design degree, I was settled well into my supposed dream job as a brand strategist and designer, working at a hip, in-demand branding/ad agency, and I was utterly miserable. I was working on high-profile ad campaigns for major international brands. I was flying out of state for important meetings and launching high-reach projects. Yet I was unfulfilled, frustrated, and stuck.
What was wrong? First and foremost, there was a pervasive emptiness in the foundational brand work we did. All my years of brand strategy studies never mattered in giant boardroom meetings where everything was design-by-giant-committee without being rooted in wise and effective design planning and goals. It all led to utter disconnection, and to campaigns that were often ineffective or weak.
My rare joy at work always came in between the big campaigns, when we’d squeeze in a rare small project—local people launching their businesses, creatives striking out on their own, inventors, shops, makers, and artisans. They really cared about what they were doing, they were engaged with their communities and looking to build something real. These are the people that inspired me, the projects that made me feel empowered and connected.
It eventually became clear that that’s where I belonged. I’d been a photographer on the side for years, and after going full time, I thought to myself that maybe one day, if I was REALLY lucky, I might be able to reach my old salary. That’s was my “big reach secret goal” because it felt so incredibly unrealistic that I didn’t want to say it out loud. I hit it two years later, and doubled it the year after that. Now I’ve been a professional, six-figure photographer for twelve years, while growing my coaching offering for the past several years, which has been even more fulfilling.
Connection—helping people reach others—that’s what I’m about. My path to success has drawn so heavily on all of my history as an artist, strategist, and designer; I feel enormously fortunate that education laid the groundwork for my experience at being an entrepreneur. It's informed so much of what I've done, and how I've done it. I used to think I had wasted so much of my time studying/pursuing/working in the wrong domains. But it all led me here.
These days, I wear many hats and titles, but at the core of it, I’m simply a storyteller. Sometimes that means taking photographs, strategizing about or for brands, writing, speaking, or teaching. Sometimes it means helping others harness something in who they are and what they do, in order to make their impact in the world, reach the right people, and connect and serve a growing audience.
I’ve walked the path you’re on, through the dense forest of uncertainty that leaves you feeling stuck. I know how terrifying it is to commit to the great risk of pursuing your dream. I know the hard work it takes, day-in and day-out just to stay afloat. I know how frustrating it is to feel like you’re spinning your wheels. Like you have so much talent, so much magic to offer the world, but yet you’re struggling to connect, to grow, to progress. Like I said—I’ve been in the dense forest you’re stuck in. And I know the way out.
It's time to take control of your brand!