Passion & Ethics with Jasmine Aarons

Jasmine Aarons4.jpg

"I'm not a savior. I'm a collaborator." Don't you love that?

Jasmine Aarons is the founder of VOZ – an ethical fashion company with a mission to protect and promote the stories, livelihoods, and cultural values of rural indigenous women around the world. Jasmine has spent years working with artisans in South America, creating a collaborative design model with an inspiring ethical and sustainable vision.

In this episode, Jasmine shares her journey to becoming a founder, taking us through the moments in her life where she wanted to give up, but didn’t. She talks about the “blessing” of being a novice, and shares key insights and moments of growth as a founder.

Subscribe and listen to the full episode here (you must subscribe to receive latest episode).

HEROINE episode cards [Website].jpg

Highlighted Excerpt:

Jasmine: There’s been so many times where, maybe not rationally but definitely emotionally, I felt like the world would end if I failed or didn’t succeed. But I’m coming around to a different point of view, which is that we are transient – we’re part of a much greater whole.

I’ve been a part of this community for many years and we’ve been creating extremely beautiful, positive collaborations together. And it’s been great! Very hard, also, but completely worth it.

I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. You have to be willing to take a certain amount of personal risk that can be unhealthy at times. I think the hardest thing about being a founder is watching your health, both your mental and physical health.

Majo: It sounds like you’ve figured out how to create a healthy space between the ups and downs, instead of being stuck in them.

Jasmine: Well, I’ve seen enough now to be able to zoom out. Every peak and valley is not the end, it’s actually just part of a greater whole. Both in the context of my own life and in the context of the community and even the economy.

Majo: You’re reminding me of a client I have, she’s an executive at a tech company who really wants to take more personal risk in her life. But she has a lot of people who depend on her, which creates a lot of pressure. I’m curious how you deal with that enormous pressure of having all these people and communities who depend on you.

Jasmine: Well, maybe to think that they depend on me, personally, was a less mature point of view. They are very self-sufficient people and such hard workers. And no matter what, they’re going to create bounty and stability. So I’m not a savior by any means, I’m a collaborator. And that role is extremely important to me.

Special Announcement:

Do you want to see more interviews like this one in the future? You can now support the show directly through Patreon. Help us continue to elevate women's voices, & check out our rewards for supporters.

Show Notes:

  • A precocious, creative little girl with an old soul: Jasmine’s childhood, plus the challenges she faced in her teens. [2:20]

  • How theater and performance saved her in high school, and how that training has aided her throughout her life. [7:26]

  • “It has never felt easy, but I’m willing to show up”: On Jasmine’s college years, being shameless about having a weakness, and the moments where she wanted to give up but didn’t. [9:20]

  • On the thesis that was the seed for her work today – Jasmine’s passion for culture and concern for ethical systems, and the inspiring mission behind VOZ. [12:45]

  • The journey to Chile that changed her life, and Jasmine’s insights on what it takes to be a founder. [19:10]

  • On dealing with the peaks and valleys of founder life, how the vision behind VOZ has grown, and Jasmine’s passion for celebrating feminine leadership and women’s stories. [26:35]

  • How VOZ champions sustainability, connection, and authenticity, and what feminine leadership means to Jasmine. Bonus: An inspiring story about one of VOZ’s artisans. [30:48]

Subscribe and listen to the full episode here (you must subscribe to receive latest episode).


Check out VOZ & learn more about their mission