Jasmine Gescheit is the founder and fashion designer at Jasmine Alexa, a fashion brand focusing on active daywear for active lifestyles.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I studied a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Fashion at the Whitehouse Institute of Design over ten years ago now. After graduating and at the age of 20 I started my first business, a women’s clothing and accessories boutique here in Melbourne (which I still run today).
At 25, I started my second business, my eponymous label, Jasmine Alexa, focused on encouraging women to feel their best from the inside out. Earlier this year, and during the peak of lockdown, I also became a part time design teacher at the Whitehouse Institute of Design where I studied all those years ago.
I still run my two businesses alongside teaching and yes, finding the balance has been tricky, but teaching has given me a new perspective on my approach to design. It has allowed me to give back and share my knowledge that I have learnt from my businesses, with eager students who were just like me when I was in their shoes.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
No two days are ever the same! When you work for yourself, you wear all the hats. Some days I am out at my manufacturers or sourcing fabrics, other days I am working on a marketing strategy or social media content.
Recently it has been working on my new collection ‘Soleil,’ which is releasing very soon. The one constant though is how I start my days. I wake up around 6am every day and exercise. It is a non-negotiable for me!
It is the only time in the day for myself and I cherish it, plus it helps me come into the work day with a clear and focused mind.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I always say that when you start a business, you need to be honest with yourself and ask ‘what life do I want to live?.” Then you reverse engineer and build your business around that life.
If you want to live a more flexible life and routine, like myself, then you must make decisions every day to foster that life eg, don’t lock yourself into an office space if you want to work remotely.
It seems simple in theory but very challenging in practice. It has taken me many years and a lot of hard work to get to this point, but I am almost finally at a stage where I can work flexibly and remotely.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I am still figuring out what work-life balance means to me. Work is a big part of my life, not in a negative way, but in a way that I am proud of. I love what I do, and I am able to bring it into my everyday life without it being a burden.
I am very mindful of burnout though – something I have struggled with in the past, of not knowing when to stop. We live in a culture where burnout is glorified which is not something I believe in.
Listening to our bodies and nurturing our mental health is vital to achieving a balance, so knowing when to slow it down is key – and more importantly not to feel guilty when you do!
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
The past 12 months have been a rollercoaster going in and out of lockdown, so routine has been quite important to me in keeping some stability in my life. My morning workout has been that for me. It has kept me sane and something I will continue with post lockdown.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Brene Brown’s Rising Strong. Hands down the best book I have ever read (so much so that I have read it many times!). I also love listening to The Tim Ferriss Podcast, as well as reading Seth Godin’s daily newsletter. Both are inspiring and full of nuggets of gold.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Call me biased, but I started the platform ‘This is me’ as part of Jasmine Alexa. ‘This is me’ is a directory and a digital sanctuary of all things mental health and wellbeing.
It’s a place where women (and men too) can go and find useful tips and tricks about managing mental health, fun recipes, workouts, inspiring interviews as well as a place where they can share their ideas and experiences too. ‘This is me’ is my go-to for when I need a pick-me-up or a boost of inspiration.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Jacinda Ardern! Possibly one of the biggest role models for women all over the world, Jacinda has been able to run a country, successfully combat COVID-19 in New Zealand, manage terrorist attacks and natural disasters, all whilst being a mother! If anyone knows the key to work-life balance, it is her!
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I interviewed a friend of mine, Erika Geraerts, the founder of Fluff and one of the co-founders of Frank, for ‘This is me’. She shared a quote that has stuck with me and I feel is relevant to those on the journey of finding balance in their life. ‘Do not seek the pursuit of happiness, but rather the happiness of the pursuit.”
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