This is a guest post by Jasmine Thomas, jesmonite enthusiast and founder of Jasminite.
Hey there! I’m Jasmine the maker and creator behind Jasminite, a small business that makes homeware out of Jesmonite. I’m originally from a small town called Mold in North Wales, and I moved to Manchester in 2015, then qualified as a graphic designer from the University of Salford in 2018. After leaving university I worked for a digital design agency for 2 years before getting made redundant this July due to the pandemic. That’s where the hobby of making jesmonite homeware turned into my full time profession.
So how did it all begin? Last December I was gifted a Christmas present to attend Katie Gillies coaster workshop, which is where I first came across jesmonite and fell in love with the material.
I’ve always been a lover of arts and crafts and liked to experiment, so after that workshop I bought some jesmonite and silicone moulds and decided to experiment more with the material. I found the process very therapeutic, making colour terrazzo chips, waiting for the mixture to set and sanding down each product was a way of creating something meaningful, fun and a time to reflect - which drastically helped with my mental health.
When I was working full time, I found my job to be stressful, limited creativity because I was stuck behind a screen all day, and I was creating for someone else and rarely creating meaningful work. Coming across jesmonite genuinely helped my mental wellbeing, it helped me find my design spark again, which is so important!
Jesmonite has unlimited possibilities, I love that it sets so quickly, you can create endless colours, and continuously experiment whatever the outcome, it will still look amazing and someone out there will find a home for your homeware.
As part of this year's new year resolution I told myself to look after myself - put myself first (and this was before the pandemic happened), I sought out a therapist and continued to make homeware items on my days off and any time after work. When I was furloughed in April, jesmonite was what kept me sane and creative during an uncertain time. I started posting my creations on social media and got a hit off friends and family for custom orders. From there my business has been growing and I love that someone loves my work enough that they want it in their home! It’s a win-win outcome.
I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason. As unfortunate as the pandemic is, I’ve never felt more free! If I hadn't been made redundant, I don’t think I would have ever left my job and I wouldn’t have found happiness that I have found making homeware. I feel part of an amazing design community and have made friends for life with people I’ve not even met (yet) through making and creating something I love.
So there we have it, a graphic designer who set up a business through a pandemic making stuff I love and getting paid for it! I’m sure I’m not the only person that has had time to reflect this year but life really is short and you need to live it to its full potential. Don’t live a life in regret wishing you had done something. There will always be obstacles, sometimes you need to take the bull by its horns.
Jasmine Thomas is a multidisciplinary designer, founder of homeware brand Jasminite and makes all her pieces from her spare room studio at home.