We had the good fortune of connecting with Jasmine Briones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jasmine, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking has been one the most important factors in the growth of my business and my career. I grew up believing that I needed to follow a specific path in order to attain the success and happiness that I sought after, but what actually lead me to where I am at today was the total opposite. Although I was checking all of the *right boxes* in my life (excelling in school, pursuing medicine, blossoming socially), I always felt like there was something missing, as if my happiness was being blocked in some way. I never truly felt fulfilled in what I was doing, but I always blamed myself for not being grateful enough for my life, because in my mind what I was achieving should have equated to happiness. Even after graduating college, that feeling still lingered and I did not know what I could to do fix it. I struggled so much mentally through my teen years and I never really realized until I was in my twenties that it was because I was forcing myself along a path that I didn’t belong on. I saw what others around me were doing and used that as an example of how I should be living my life, instead of looking inward to truly ask myself what it was that I wanted. I continuously dug myself deeper into a hole and feel stagnant with my life and my achievements. After graduating college, I decided to, at the time, take the biggest risk that I had ever taken and pursue my own online business. It was the first time that I had strayed away from a traditional career path, the first time that I had ignored the doubts, worries and opinions around me, and just truly the first time I decided to finally follow my own heart. Although I was terrified, I had never felt felt so free and genuinely happy. As cliche as it sounds, it was a breath of fresh air. It was like I was given another chance to repave the path of my life and that is ultimately what lead me to where I am at today. The path that I chose definitely had more bumps in the road and I want to emphasize that it was the more difficult route to take, but it’s true when they say that the greater risk equals the greater reward. Ultimately, my advice to all young entrepreneurs and creatives is to always remember to look inward and trust what feels best for you.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I started Sweet Simple Vegan, my number one goal was to show others that going vegan did not mean that they had to give up their favorite foods and traditions. Specifically, I wanted to show my family that I could still make all of the amazing Filipino and Ecuadorian foods that I grew up with, but with all plants. In the beginning it was rough because for one thing, not a lot of people believed in me, and that really took a toll on me believing in myself. I also needed a lot of practice in the kitchen because when cooking with only plant based foods, you really have to get creative! But as they say, practice makes perfect. It was not easy, but overtime, my skills improved, both socially and in the kitchen, and it was only up from there. I want others to remember that failures should be looked at as lessons in disguise, and how important failure is to our growth and our success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite places to visit in Los Angeles are Cena for amazing vegan Mexican Food, a San and Wolves Bakeshop popup for veganized Filipino classics, and the Hollywood Farmer’s Market for some of the best vegan croissants out there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents have always been my number one cheerleaders, and their support helped me build the confidence I needed to start my business.
Jasmine Briones, Sweet Simple Vegan