On Four Years Of #BBATX: An Interview with Jasmine Robinson
As we reflect on our upcoming fourth birthday, current #BBATX committee member Jasmine Robinson shares her notes with #BBATX board member Jasmine Brooks on four years of resilience and future-building.
This interview was written, photographed and illustrated by Jasmine Brooks.
Jasmine Brooks: What do you do?
Jasmine Robinson: Currently I work from home—I am a health benefit specialist, so that’s what I do by day, but my side passion is Collegiate Mom Coalition, which is my nonprofit. In my spare time, I work on that and my whole goal is to continue giving scholarships to moms in college.
Brooks: When did you first hear about #bbatx?
Robinson: A friend of mine invited me to my first #bbatx event when I moved out here and it was actually a panel that they did with female architects, and I actually got my bachelors in Architecture, so I was like “oh, this is awesome” so that’s what got me initially interested. My friend was late, and I was there alone and after a while I just realized that I felt very welcome, the space was open, people were just really nice and friendly. By the end of it, I left knowing more people and feeling more open to having those interactions and less scared and afraid. After that I just kept going, and I couldn’t stop. Then I started to volunteer because I wanted to see, and I just kept doing it. It’s the connectivity and sisterhood—that feeling of not being alone and that nobody has it all figured out, we’re just all figuring it out together—that has kept me coming back.
Brooks: What was your first take away from first #bbatx event you attended?
Robinson: There are badass women out here doing badass shit and I’m just happy to be in the room and feel that energy. We’re on this level playing field and we are helping each other to figure it out. One of the young women, Jeanne Schultz—we’ve really connected she was a young mom, too. She now has her own architectural design firm and she worked her way from community college to UT to then employing people. All of that really resonated with me and further solidified my position with what I was doing and just understanding how important that piece is for women—to get an education and determine what you want to do for your life.
Brooks: What were your initial goals when you first started attending #bbatx events and how has that changed now?
Robinson: My initial goals were to find my tribe, in a sense, because I was coming from Houston and I didn’t know anyone and working from home. I had to be really intentional about the people and the spaces that I put myself in. So, initially it was to find other like-minded women and to build those connections, but I think now fine-tuning that understanding. Now my intentions with going to the events and being on the nonprofit’s committee is really just seeing how the nonprofit’s structure works and understanding what it means to be in community. I feel like #bossbabesATX is a really good blueprint of that, because they’re still figuring it out. It’s cool to be a part of an organization that’s doing great work, yet really being mindful and thoughtful. It’s definitely permeated through my own process.
Brooks: How has #bbatx helped your business grow? How have you helped your business grow?
Robinson: Being a recipient of the SOTU donation—that was a huge deal for my organization, Collegiate Mom Coalition, because I was really going into it with no money and trying to figure out how to fundraise for the nonprofit’s start-up costs, so that was a great help. I would say, outside of that, just learning from the committee and being behind the scenes. There is so much work and effort that goes into it. I have learned to pay attention to detail and see the different ways everyone communicates.
Brooks: What is the most important thing you’ve learned over the past four years?
Robinson: Control your environment to the best of your ability. One of the biggest things for me was understanding what my needs are and being vocal about my needs . Then, understanding where other people’s boundaries and needs are and being able to work with that. I’ve learned how to work with others and be mindful.
Brooks: What does #bbatx mean to you?
Robinson: #BBATX means safe space. It means so much to me because it’s connectivity, it’s a vibe, it means happiness to me, it means growth—and not just business-wise, but personal growth. From the dynamics of our programing to the women who are on our panels to the people who vend our shows. The people are the best part of it.