“I just like to make stuff for people,” says Jasmine Lawrence, Founder of EDEN Bodyworks and Program Manager at Microsoft, “That’s my #1 job. I consider myself an avid maker, in my personal and professional life. I make what I can to improve people’s lives.”
But Jasmine has always been a creative. She’s been coloring, drawing, and building physical things since childhood. She cites two major things in focusing her passions.
The first pivot happened when she was 8 and she saw the movie Bicentennial Man. The film is all about robots, and a robot grows up and becomes human. Once she saw it, she knew she wanted to make that.
A few years later, Jasmine lost her hair due to a chemical hair relaxer, and that put her making skills to the test.
“I couldn’t afford things that could help me grow my hair back, so I researched, studied and followed the scientific method I learned in school to find a solution.”
Those life-changing moments pushed her to dive deeper into the two areas of focus she dominates now.
That same year, she went to business camp and learned about how to start a small business.
“I also went to Lockheed Martin with my mom for ‘take-your-kid-to-work’ day,” she says, “I learned what an engineer was. The people I met were engineers who spent time building, hacking, and more. And that terminology helped me when searching online for colleges.”
Another big word for her was entrepreneurship. She knew businessman and owner, but entrepreneur was someone who’s passionate and motivated. Those terms seemed more open and to have flexibility. Now, she considers herself both an engineer and an entrepreneur.
Although she’s passionate and motivated by her lines of work, Jasmine also likes to unwind.
“I really like playing video games, especially indie games on the Xbox,” she says, “It was a pleasure to work there. I also like going for walks, they’re so relaxing to me.”
She also finds comfort in making and listening to music, making videos, swing dancing and coloring. So, even in her free time, Jasmine is a creator.
“I’m not just making for my own glory, but also to lift people up,” she says.
And when she’s not creating, making time for friends and family is important to her. When asked how she fits all that in, she was straightforward.
“I just do,” she says, “ I live by my calendar, not to say there’s no spontaneity in my life, but when I was in college it was probably the hardest time for me in terms of time management. I went to Georgia Tech’s super tough engineering school. There, I realized I couldn’t do everything and have it all. I felt like there was so much opportunity I had to find a way to choose what I was going to invest my life doing.”
Even now, there are things she does like ship products for EDEN Bodyworks and build new things at Microsoft, but she’s not living for that, she’s living for the impact.
“I think my life has value beyond what I am able to accomplish on my own,” she says, “So being nice to someone next to me, being able to speak to other women in tech — I want to help inspire and uplift others. When something seems hard, what will I learn from that and what can I give to other people? Where can I grow to make it easier next time? There’s so much to learn and so many people to help and love on. So many people in my life who can see when I’m weak and vice versa. I’m just very well taken care of and try to appreciate and echo that out.”
And although she loves to glam it up, she also loves her quiet time.
“I think I’m a social butterfly, but sometimes I go back inside my cocoon,” she says, “I like solitude to create.”
Then Jasmine came up with a system — the three ‘P’s. The first is personal, “What am I doing for me?” This could be the time she carves out for herself to sleep in, get her nails done, read a book for fun or doing her hair.
One major way she treats herself and marks important milestones in her life is through buying custom shoes. She builds her wardrobe from the ground up, and shoes that remind her of important or significant moments in her life are a staple in that.
The second ‘P’ is professional, “What am I doing to drive my career forward? This is about the future legacy she’s going to leave forward, investing in the professional part of her career and staying on top of things in the industry.
The last one is philanthropic. She asks herself where she can work this in where it makes sense, where can she find balance in her life, find community service that’s right for her, when can she visit classrooms or do pro bono speaking engagements. “As long as I’m doing something for someone else,” she says.
Jasmine has found that if you go too deep in any category, the results are not good. The balance of the three is key.
Do this daily
“When I wake up. I check if my hair scarf fell off, even though I also have a satin pillowcase,” she says, “Then I pray and think about how I’m thankful for that day before I get up and get going.”
She’ll have already looked at her calendar the night before to make sure there’s nothing she can do the night before to make her day go more smoothly. That way she wakes up with peace knowing what the day has to bring.
When getting dressed, her clothes are really indicative of her mood or intent for that day.
“When I’m nervous is when I’ll look my best, with my hair done, makeup on, a dress, heels, etc.,” she says, “I fight my inward self with my outward self. It helps to build myself up.”
She then puts on deodorant, mascara, eyeliner, and some type of moisturizer in her hair.
“I’m addicted to our styling elixir, she says, “It makes my hair so slick and shiny and bouncy.”
Most recently, Jasmine’s been starting her day with a cup of Earl Grey tea — that’s when she knows the grind has started.
“On a normal week, I’m here in Seattle working at Microsoft. I get to work at 8:30 or 9 a.m., then I’m here working and meeting with partners, driving things with the engineering team, designing and sketching. I actually love meetings, I love collaborating with people. Luckily we’re in an open space where we can without having to go outside of our desks, so I pretty much do that all day.”
Around 5 or 6 p.m. Jasmine will head home. She prefers to have dinner out and about with people. She just moved to a different area in Seattle, so she’s still figuring out what’s in her neighborhood and exploring new places. Once she gets home, she makes time to read, exercise, play a video game or go straight to bed — all depending on how she left work. If she had a late meeting that went amazingly, she’ll likely have dinner and drinks with friends, but if she bit off more than she could chew, a day relaxing and going to bed early to get that well-needed rest might be in store. This flexible approach to a daily routine is a healthy, realistic way to be sure you’re getting what you need mentally and physically to lead your best life.
“At night sometimes I’ll twist up my hair or just put it in a pineapple — but I don’t like to apply products at night because I don’t want it on my pillows.”
She uses Noxema face wipes at night to clean her skin and Simple eye wipes and makeup wipes to clean off her makeup from the day. Then she’ll light a candle (she loves Lit — a candle brand from Brooklyn — because their scent penetrates her entire home) and unwind.
At the root of everything Jasmine does is one key thing — understand the value of her life and what she wants to use her life to do in this world.
“It’s not just about accomplishing your goals — and it sounds mean when I say that to people,” she says, “ But some people live because they want to be the #1 runner. That’s great, you did that, but now what? What did you learn? How can you make life be about more than just you? That’s when the true impact comes. I’m more motivated knowing my life is about more than just me, my family or my small circle of friends. It’s about impacting the whole world with thoughts, ideas and the kind of person you are. And those things can be super unexpected. Some kid saw me on PBS eight years ago and let me know recently that they graduated from Duke with a computer science degree because they saw me. You can’t write that down on a goal list, but by you just living, you can do so much.”