This piece is part of our 21 Local Innovators To Watch roundup in the August 2022 print issue of District Fray. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Marketing executive + co-founder of Open Door Concept.
District Fray: Why you do what you do
Jasmine Smith: I’ve been given gifts and superpowers that come with agency, power and influence. I acknowledge and have accepted the responsibility they carry and enjoy doing the work that thrusts my clients, community, and Black women forward. It’s the impact for me.
How you are helping
Connecting Black women and other humans to ideas and more meaningful ways of doing things comes naturally to me and I do this in several capacities. For the last two years, my company has been focused on producing innovative strategies, experiences and projects that prioritize cultural perspectives. My podcast “Built To Quit,” is a resource for Black entrepreneurs navigating all things business. I’ve been committed to ensuring Black-owned, Asian-owned, LGBTQ+ -owned and other underrepresented business owners in the wedding industry get access to educational resources, mentorship and financial support. I’m most proud of my most recent business venture, Open Door Concept, a physical space in Northeast D.C., for people to connect and create using their own ingenuity and superpowers.
Who else is helping
I’ve recently started following the work being done by Dine Diaspora. What they are building and doing for Black women in the food and beverage industry is dope. They are trailblazers. Loupe and Grain is also doing good work. They are creating an incredible talent pipeline of BIPOC, women and LGBTQ+ creatives.
Where you escape in D.C.
My home or a cute coffee shop. I really love my apartment. It’s peaceful, full of plants and I have lots of natural light which keeps my spirit high. Baker’s Daughter at Eaton Hotel has become one of my favorite coffee shops. I love the vibe and it’s a good place to people watch.
Where you go to escape D.C.
When I don’t want to travel too far, I’ll take the drive to Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia. It’s luxurious but not stuffy and Black-owned. If I’m looking to disconnect and fly, I’m going to Bermuda. I fell in love with the Bermudian culture and food earlier this year and see myself escaping at least once a year. I’m heading back around the holidays.
I enjoy podcasts and music and listen to “How I Built This,” “Get Shi*t Done” and “Imposters” weekly. I just re-started the “1619” podcast by Nikole Hannah-Jones. I start and end my day with music and currently have the new Drake and Tems on repeat.
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.