November 6, 2017
Howdy! I’m Jasmine: New to Fast Horse, new to Minneapolis and new to Minnesota. I bet you’re wondering where I came from and how I got here. Well, buckle up as I take you through the journey that has led to this very moment — my very first Peepshow! *crowd goes wild* This story will focus on the five places I’ve been lucky to call home and the people I’ve met along the way.
I grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., a suburban city right outside of Manhattan. The cool kids (self-included) call it “New Ro” and it also happens to be where Jay Leno was raised — his cousin owns my favorite burger shack. Living in New Ro was pretty basic; I grew up playing soccer, going to New Roc City to catch the latest movie, and taking the train into the city to wander the streets with a bubble tea in hand. I don’t want to say I took NYC for granted as teenager, but the truth is, I took NYC for granted as a teenager.
For me, going into “the city” didn’t translate to going into “the greatest city in the world.” So, when it came to choosing a college, I was ready to leave New York behind in search of something fresh and new. Somewhere not too far from my family, yet far enough from my family. After touring a few New England schools, I fell in love with the charming city of Amherst, Mass.
Zoomass & Londontown
After unloading my parents’ SUV full of Target’s must-have dorm-essentials, I quickly settled into my new home away from home: a 250-sq. ft. dorm room at UMass, Amherst. Being known as a party school, I naturally convinced my new friends to dress up as wild animals for our first Halloween, hence the title of this section. Aside from having extremely creative and original costume ideas, college really did live up to my expectations.
Some highlights: I studied psychology, education and art history; co-managed a student-run copy and print shop; and did an internship in London(town). London was sincerely the best. I worked at the Royal Exchange as an event coordinator and bopped around from country to country on the weekends. I fell in love with the city and never wanted to leave, but being away also made me appreciate our US of A, so I was excited to come back and do some stateside bopping around. One of the first stops on my American tour was visiting my abroad friends in their hometown, a small city that goes by the name of Minneapolis. Minneapolis was cool (literally), but NYC was calling. And I picked up.
I <3 NY
After graduating college, I immediately landed my dream job in Manhattan, found a rent-stabilized apartment in Nolita and got published in The New Yorker… kidding. I moved back home while interviewing as a recent grad with minimal experience. Not long after, I did find my dream job (of sorts) and moved into a studio apartment in the financial district… with my best friend. I saved no money, never owned a real closet and endured train delays aplenty, but spoiler alert: NYC in your early twenties is always the right choice.
Which brings me to my next point, NYC in your late twenties can be exhausting. After three-plus years in the Big Apple I was itching to do something different, leave for a while, miss this magical place I was so lucky to call home… and, most importantly, I needed my own closet. When I had decided to leave NYC, there were two cities in mind: Minneapolis and Austin. I had friends in both, loved each city respectably, and knew each had a creative community I could join. Just then, a former co-worker reached out asking if I had any interest in moving to LA. I didn’t.
City of Stars
Although I didn’t see myself in LA, the truth is, I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. With the intent to leave New York anyway, I thought I would check out the city of stars and see if I liked living amongst them. Living in LA was… interesting. A quick glimpse of the things I loved in LA: the sun, all of the food, the beach, the dog-to-people ratio, the desert. A quick glimpse of the things I disliked in LA: the traffic, the strip malls, most people, the traffic.
I knew in the back of mind LA was a temporary home for me, so I really made the most of it. All of the places I visited while in LA: Ojai, Huntington Beach, Solvang, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Mexico (Cabo, Oaxaca, Jalisco), San Diego, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Salvation Mountain, Carlsbad, Phoenix, Santa Barbara. When my contract had ended I thought about permanently staying in LA, but something in me was still curious to check out Minneapolis. A small frosty city in the middle of the country — who wouldn’t want to live there?!
Moving to LA before Minneapolis was, in hindsight, the best idea ever. My cross-country road trippin’ dreams became a reality. I’ll save the details for a different Peepshow, but ten days and thirty PB&J’s later, I made it to Minneapolis! After a week of settling into the industrial chic Mill District neighborhood, I was ready to start my job hunt. The phrase “it’s all about who you know” had never resonated more with me than at this very moment. Alas, I prevailed and was over the moon when accepting an offer to join the Fast Horse crew! I was in Mexico at the time, so I had some homemade mezcal with my grandparents to celebrate.
If you’re still reading by now, thank you. I hope this was as entertaining to read as it was to write. I’ll leave everyone with my one true reason for wanting to move to Minny: I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. And now, after having my first client meeting (on my first day), I know I’m in the right place.