Jasmine Flood knew she wanted to be an artist at a young age. It started with jewelry in 4th grade, after seeing a fellow classmate make earrings on the bus. However, throughout the years, she has expanded her craft and now focuses primarily on printed lifestyle work, paper goods, men’s accessories, and branding services. Her products have been featured on Good Morning America and she’s worked with brands including Birchbox Man, Zulily, and Dapper Black Man. I was lucky enough to pick Jasmine’s brain and get to know more about her creative journey.
Carly: How did you get into typography and print?
Jasmine: Even before learning to make jewelry, I enjoyed practicing my handwriting. I practiced by writing notes and doodling on any piece of paper I could get my hands on! As an adult and entrepreneur, I became so involved in my digital art and design that a few years ago I decided to reach back to my younger days and began putting actual pen to paper again.
C: Why do you love it so much?
J: Calligraphy and hand lettering provides me with a delightful interruption of designing via computer. I’ve always been fond of eloquent language, quotes, and mantras that lift spirits and foster conversation. I love that typography and print design can transform how words are interpreted. ‘Hello’ written in a simple sans-serif font might evoke one emotion but ‘Hello’ written in calligraphy with elaborate curves and detailed swashes evoke an entirely different feeling.
Jasmine attended North Carolina State University as a Park and Centennial Scholar and earned a degree in Textile Technology with a concentration in Design. Her Senior year she entered and won a design competition funded by the Geoffrey Beene Foundation. Her entry was an original design concept called, My Custom Covers. The concept included personalization of color and designs for customers via a design app for custom bedding, pillows, rugs, and home decor. Winners of the design competition were awarded $30,000 and mentorship from top companies and individuals in the fashion industry.
After graduating, Jasmine made the decision to continue her life long pursuit of entrepreneurship. She turned down job offers to start a jewelry business, RIADA ADAIR. In time, RIADA ADAIR expanded from jewelry to men's products, stationery, and wall art. In 2013, she was contacted by BirchBox man and five months later, her tiny start-up company fulfilled an order of 40,000 tie bars for BirchBox Man subscribers!
C: How nerve-wracking was it to turn down “traditional” work to start your own business?
J: A quote comes to mind when thinking of the decision to start my own business: "What if I fall? Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” from Erin Hanson. Making the initial decision to turn down traditional job offers wasn’t as tough as some of the days during the first two years of the business. At the moment when I was making my decision, I felt like it was a now or never moment. I made up my mind that I was going to start my business and that’s what I did without turning back. I had concerns but they did not outweigh the possibility of starting something of my own and succeeding.
C: What would you say is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?
J: Decision Making. Learning to say "no" is one of several difficult parts of being an entrepreneur. Figuring out how to make the best use of your time and services or products is also difficult because needs can shift depending on demand. It's easy to say yes more than you should when you are capable of offering many services. Quality and profit margins must also contribute to the goal of maintaining balance within a business.
In addition to designing accessories, Jasmine’s true joy lies in typography and print designs. She has created prints for characters like Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty, and The Little Mermaid, sold in stores such as Jo-Ann Fabrics and Wal-Mart. She is passionate about her work, “I combat the many hours spent on designing at the computer with getting dirty by hand lettering and calligraphy design. I thoroughly enjoy writing uplifting quotes, painting and sketching fun wall art, stationery prints, and fabrics.”
C: What keeps you motivated?
J: I genuinely LOVE what I am blessed to get to do each day - create! The incredible support of family, friends, and community keeps me motivated and excited to continue lifting others by adding beauty and creativity to the world one design at a time.
C: What advice would you give to other artists trying to find their medium?
J: Artists should not be afraid to explore, try something different that is out of their comfort zone or create something totally new. Never give up!
When Jasmine is not creating, you can probably catch Jasmine teaching a pop-up calligraphy workshop or helping other entrepreneurs with brand design services. Her mission is to create designs and products that add value to peoples' lives while spreading happiness and fostering conversation. Whether it's through a notecard that someone gives another during a tough time, or a personalized sign for a wedding, or a tie clip used during a job interview - she loves being able to help others with the many moments of life.