Having a cool notebook or journal to stash one’s thoughts and dreams can always be a great gift. Add a cool planner to help keep track of important dates and events, and you are on your way.
But with all the different stationery products on the market, it can be tough picking out the right journal or planner to help you vision tomorrow. Enter the “Be Rooted” line of stationery and journals at Target.
Jasmin Foster, the creative visionary behind “Be Rooted,” told NewsOne that she leveraged her background in retail and product development to create something that Black women could see themselves in. Reflecting on her own need for staying on task, Foster said that as a Virgo and a perfectionist, she personally understood the need for a good planner.
Earlier this year, Be Rooted was featured on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Companies after breaking into the $40 billion stationery and gifting industry. While the accolades are well received, Foster says the true measure of success is Black women and girls seeing themselves accurately reflected in the “Be Rooted” brand.
Breaking into this multi-billion dollar industry is just the beginning for Foster, who is focused on building a brand that will penetrate through every aspect of people’s lives. Whether they are looking to buy for themselves or products for people in their lives, Foster hopes people will see themselves in the “Be Rooted” line.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
NewsOne: Did you have a particular thought of who your intended target group or audience could be when you were first creating the series?
Foster: I knew that I wanted it to be directed towards women of color, specifically Black women. But when I thought about the age ranges, I really wanted a brand that could eventually speak to all. The beautiful thing about Black culture is that there’s so much influence to pull from. There’s so much inspiration out there. And as we continue to grow the brand, we want to ensure that we have items that are kind of appealing to different people at different life stages, starting with kind of the 18 to 40 audience.
NewsOne: Can you tell me about your creative process? How do you go about choosing your layouts, your colors and just figuring out kind of what components you want it to include as a part of like your stationery line?
Foster: When we started off, we really wanted the brand to be very expressive and bold to really stand out from the other kind of color palettes that you saw in the industry. And so, we went with a really bright and bold color. We wanted to make sure that we were showing a breadth of skin tone, hair textures and hairstyles, attitudes, moods and aesthetics. I like to say that we kind of have a journal for every mood and a journal for every girl.
NewsOne: That’s very cool to hear. What are some of your own personal influences when you’re thinking about you know, being creative in this way?
Foster: I find inspiration in a lot of different places. I’m still buying magazines and seeing what the latest trends are. I love to go to art exhibits. And stay abreast of who are the greatest artists out there as well that are breaking through. So, I take lots of inspiration from a lot of different places and then think about the consumer that I’m targeting and how can I create really relevant beautiful trend-forward artwork that is relevant to her and her lifestyle.
NewsOne: Earlier this year, “Be Rooted” was recognized as an influential company of 2022. How do you balance accolades like this with keeping authentic with why you started the line?
Foster: When you launch a brand, you want to bring with the hope that you’re going to be able to make an impact. An impact to me is when young Black girls see our journals, they feel seen and heard. And then we’re walking through the aisles of stores like Target, that they’re stopped because they haven’t ever seen anything like this before. And they’re finally feeling like there’s a brand that speaks to them.
Receiving the email that we have been award it was being a top influential brand of 2022 is just not even something that I could have put on my vision board. It’s a dream come true. And it’s just something that is obviously an award an accolade that will stay with me.
NewsOne: You have this section about like independent artists like we want to work with you. Why is it important for you to kind of build a community with independent artists and helping to expand that platform in the way that that collaboration?
Forest: I wanted to create a brand that finds the right moment to work with emerging and independent artists and collaborate. And hopefully, we will create space to kind of elevate their brand and awareness as well. One example of that is we partnered with artist, Melissa Kobe.
We first started off small by just doing a collaboration that was on our website. Now we have one of her artworks in journals as a collaboration with us being sold nationwide at Target. To me, that’s really cool because we were able to leverage our platform to continue to expose her and other artists like her to more people.
It’s just always kind of important to think of the ecosystem and the moment where I can continue to uplift women, I will.