#onedaywith Jasmin Arensmeier
I'm running a bit late and can feel my heart pounding in my chest during the last few meters to Jasmin's house. Just before I get there, I avoid, by a hair, two cyclists. Consequently, they have some choice words for me. As a Berliner, I’m used to these close encounters, but amazed that so many in London have already switched to cycling, at least that seems to be the case here in the neighborhood of Shoreditch.
Just over a year ago, Jasmin was one of four influencers that came with us on a trip to our wind farm in Roscoe, Texas. We were impressed by how professional she was at producing content, images, videos and blog articles, and how active she is and how often her community was responding. Someone asked, for example, about E.ON's current strategy and discussed it with a lot of engagement. Today, I would like to see, on site, how a successful influencer lives and what a typical work day looks like.
The next obstacle, after the cyclists, is Jasmin's dog Jimmy, who barks at me as I climb the steps of the little house and stand in front of her door. The poor little fellow is not only extremely old, but also blind, and that for quite some time. This explains his nervousness over visitors. Jasmin shows me her cute and lovingly furnished little apartment. Afterwards we decide to have breakfast in a nearby café to catch up.
"Influencers have a wide variety of biographies. How did you come to your current profession?"
"I grew up in Stuttgart, where I also went to high school. Later, I studied rhetoric and media sciences in Tübingen, then completed my master's degree in electronic media with a focus on corporate communications. I started my blog right on the first day of my studies. In 2006, that was something new and fresh. My main motivation was to gain journalistic experience on specific subjects that mattered to me."
Later, Jasmin worked for various newspapers, creative agencies, but also in film and publishing. After some time, she decided to be self-employed, to gain more control and have creative freedom over her own work.
We briefly interrupt the conversation to eat our breakfast. Jasmin is a vegan and eats accordingly, whereas I enjoy a classic English breakfast, including fatty sausages and a weak coffee. I look around, and see some of the skyscrapers of the city, a few hundred meters away. But the small, green square where we are located could also be in any medium-sized city.
"How can you afford life in London? Surely it's not easy to monetize a blog. "
"Good question. It was initially difficult. In the beginning, there were no customers, no understanding of what a blog is good for. This has changed in the meantime, and of course there is much more competition. My advantage may be that I have a niche. The blog I offer and the topics that I discuss are always based on my personal interests."
Jasmin describes her niche as a mixture of the genres of well-being, organization and lifestyle - thus serving the general trend of self-organization in the most holistic way possible. A current product of hers is the so-called "Bullet Journal", a hybrid of a diary and a calendar. As we finish our breakfast, I look over Jasmin's shoulder and look at her recent entry in the Bullet Journal and am impressed with the creativity and care of the design. Nevertheless, I ask myself the question whether there is enough potential for such a thing. Who works with paper anymore?
„It's probably due to the digital revolution that there’s a desire for analog experiences with things that provide more stability and last longer. This gives you security, especially when planning and organizing. "
Since Jasmine cares about environmentally conscious and mindful living, we use public transportation to get to her office, which is half an hour away. We take the Tube, as they call the subway in London, and then one of those famous red double-decker buses. We push through the crowds, joke briefly with the bus driver, and breathe in the air of this giant metropolis. Business suits alternate with African dresses, while souvenir shops, cafés and glassy entrances to the skyscrapers pass us by. Since we’ve not talked so much, we skip a typical station of Jasmin's morning routine: a visit to the marketplace for food.
Jasmine fell in love and moved to London a few years ago and feels comfortable here in the meantime, although it took a while. "It's a city where people take longer to arrive. It's just super multicultural, very loud and sometimes exhausting. For me as an introvert, London is quite a task and a challenge, every day. "
We arrive in the district of Brixton, where we enter an inconspicuous and outdated brick building where Jasmin's office is located. Like so many freelancers, she worked a lot from home at the beginning, enjoying the benefits of being able to live and work completely flexibly, even sitting in her pajamas on a laptop. Then the apartment filled more and more with work materials and there was a lack of contact to the outside world, to colleagues and like-minded people. The next step was to move into the office we are now entering, which she shares with two artists. The two illustrators are on their way. Jasmin uses the time to prepare a collage on the floor between the tables. It’s a commissioned work for a well-known customer. Before she starts, she makes us a typical English tea, which I take with milk.
"Can you name a few of your customers?"
"At the moment I'm doing a lot in sustainability, working with Held, the Swiss counterpart to Ecover. Apart from that, I've just done something for Origins, and in stationery I've made illustrations for a brand called Schneider, who have a great, sustainable concept. The company sits in the Black Forest in southern Germany. For them, I not only conduct product tests, but I’ve also made a photo reportage on some cool things that they have on site, for example, the machines that generate energy for the building."
Back on our tour in Texas, I admired the simplicity with which Jasmin produces outstanding, creative results. On the floor, I see a product bottle and some cut-outs, which are just colored cardboard shapes, but the picture on the screen looks great.
Her colleagues finally arrive, hugs are exchanged, people laugh, joke and drink tea again. Jasmin looks at the clock. She has to finish another illustration today, the signal for me to slowly start my journey back to the airport. Jasmin will be leaving in two hours for one of the many panel discussions on sustainability, where she meets a friend who is also very active on a lot of social networks, focusing on food.
Jasmin can be found on various channels under her handle @teaandtwigs and it’s definitely worthwhile to pay an online visit to this thoughtful, intelligent and likeable person: