Back in March 2022 I had the distinct pleasure of laying my eyes on the stunning journals, stationery, and writing tools from Be Rooted. The detailed images of beautiful black and brown women adorning sleek updos, laid baby hairs, headscarves, and free flowing curls were unlike anything I had seen before. Shortly after this I had the chance to meet Be Rooted founder, Jasmin Foster, who had shared her enthusiasm and excitement for having her products sold at Target.
As the creator of Be Rooted, Jasmin sought to create a business and products that would allow women of color to be seen, appreciated, valued, and uplifted. Be Rooted gives customers the freedom to live out their wildest dreams in the safe space of journals, notebooks, and planners. It encourages you to be introspective, thoughtful, and confident in the pursuit of your day to day activities whether you’re looking to travel, channel bravery or hustle harder. We’re so excited to chat with Jasmin and discuss her entrepreneurial journey, her inspiration for her designs, and what’s on the horizon for the brand.
Who were your hair influences growing up?
Growing up, I loved spending the day at the beauty shop. I was always excited to see what new hairstyle my stylist would have, see what celebrities were rocking in the latest beauty magazines, and listen to gossip that was way over my head. I learned a lot about beauty, style, and confidence in the beauty shop.
What was your favorite or signature natural hairstyle to rock when you were younger?
I spent a lot of my earlier years exploring what worked best for me between braids, sew-ins, straight styles, and learning my curl pattern. I don’t know that I had just one, but I love the versatility of our hair.
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How would you describe your entrepreneurial journey?
My entrepreneurial journey has been a lesson of learning myself. It has been an amazing exploration of testing my boundaries and pushing myself to design the life that I want to live. I love the freedom of waking up each day and knowing that the effort that I put into today directly impacts me seeing my vision come to life while also consistently getting direct feedback from the community on how it is having an impact in their life.
What inspired you to create “Be Rooted”?
As a little girl growing up in Indianapolis, I always loved stationery. With every new semester I would be excited to buy school supplies, and into adulthood, I’d buy a new planner to map out my work and life. Despite my enthusiasm, over the years I realized that I always felt disconnected from the category. I never really felt like journals and stationery were designed with women of color in mind. I wanted to change that.
After many years waiting for a brand to come in and to help me feel seen, I launched Be Rooted because I wanted to change the face of the stationery and gifting industry. For far too long and in too many spaces, Black and Brown women have been left unseen and unspoken to. Be Rooted was created to flip that narrative and center Black and Brown women by making them feel loved, celebrated, and uplifted.
What are the origins of the name?
I want my community to feel rooted in culture, rooted in representation, rooted in who they are.
Imagery is the heart of your products, how do you capture the range of texture in your graphics?
Our design process is multi-step. It first starts with brainstorming the theme and mood of what we want to evoke from the collection. From there, we are able to build out a more detailed mood board and color palette that is inclusive of inspiration from the real world. From there my designers move to sketching, and once we align, we illustrate.
Why was it important for you to use these images on journals and stationery?
The stationery industry is over $40B and there is not one major Black-owned national brand. Black and Brown women deserve to feel seen, heard, and loved across all industries.
You’re a champion for collaborating with independent artists for your products, how does this support the mission of “Be Rooted”?
I am a huge advocate for not just being a business that sells goods, but to really think about your impact on the whole ecosystem. With the community that we are building, I love being able to expose our audience to independent artists and using our platform to continue to widen their exposure.
How does stationery, journals, and writing accessories support BIPOC representation?
Be Rooted supports the representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color in their prominence on the artwork on the journals and gifting items. Be Rooted is focused on amplifying a diverse range of BIPOC so that they too feel seen and heard.
What new products can we look forward to in 2022?
We have a very exciting Holiday collection launching at the end of October. We will be launching 20+ skus across 6 different stationery and gifting categories.