“On Her Hustle” is a monthly series of interviews with women of color artists, entrepreneurs, healers and activists who hustle hard for our communities. Colored Girls Hustle uses this series to amplify the work, talent, and passions of other women and girls of color. Click here to read more about our series and to nominate someone to be interviewed.
To kick off our series, we interviewed Jasmine Burems: a Bed-Stuy based entrepreneur, herbalist, doula and the founder of HONEY & GOLD, an organic women’s wellness beverage and bodycare company. She is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to begin production of HONEY & GOLD’s Signature Elixir, the first ever organic bottled women’s health drink made with 24K edible gold. Support her campaign and read her full interview below.
Colored Girls Hustle: What is HONEY & GOLD? What inspired you to start this business?
Jasmine Burems: HONEY & GOLD is a revolutionary, feminine body care company.
It’s a vortex of my passions and pleasures; and my desire for a world where people who are nourished and empowered lead society in the direction of wellness and collective advancement.
My life’s work is to inspire women to nourish themselves. Often we are last on our own list after family, friends, strangers, employers etc. HONEY & GOLD is the way I share my “self-love life” with the world. Its how I offer simple lifestyle alternatives to facilitate the cultural shift I seek in society.
Colored Girls Hustle: Tell us more about the HONEY & GOLD lifestyle. What kind of women can benefit from your products and services?
Jasmine Burems: Every woman can benefit from HONEY & GOLD products. Any woman who is interested in pursuing optimum wellness, any woman who hasn’t even thought about it because she’s too busy running the rat race, taking care of family, or meeting the superficial demands of society.
The HONEY & GOLD lifestyle is about integrating simple self-care rituals into your day: wellness teas, mindful meditation, energy cultivation, preventative breast massage treatments, optimizing your digestion and absorption of nutrients. Its about taking time to wallow in your own desires and passions, finding a pleasurable way to break a sweat daily or laughing so deeply that you massage your internal organs.
Colored Girls Hustle: Tell us a bit about your hustle philosophy: What does the word “hustle” mean to you and how does it apply to your life and professional practice?
Jasmine Burems: To hustle is to close my eyes, dig deep within, find the most inspiring otherworldly gem, fall deeply in love with every facet of it…and then open my eyes, stay woke and completely align my words, thoughts and actions to the manifestation of that jewel. That’s my true hustle. The work of it is just as much receptive as active. Left brain and right brain. Projection and surrender. To live my life on my own terms, I have to hustle. To hustle is to do the internal and external work to bring a vision into fruition.
Colored Girls Hustle: You just launched an Indiegogo campaign to begin production of HONEY & GOLD Signature Elixir, the first ever organic bottled women’s health drink. Tell us more about your campaign and why this drink is important for women’s health.
Jasmine Burems: Signature Elixir is the first ever woman-specific wellness, pleasure and beauty drink. It’s made with organic herbs, local raw honey and 24K edible gold. It tones, strengthens and nourishes the uterus and vagina. It pairs with the Rose Quartz Yoni Egg, a semi-precious crystal used as a vaginal fitness tool that promotes wellness and pleasure.
I want women to fall in love with themselves. I want you to treat yourself like royalty. HONEY & GOLD is important because it’s an example of how we can do it in a truly responsible way. A lot of brands sell us cosmetic confidence, superficial benefits, body bashing ideals and environmental toxins. HONEY & GOLD is about cultivating an internal relationship. Signature Elixir and the other HONEY & GOLD products are all natural, support organic agriculture and are manufactured in a responsible way. No one and nothing has to suffer for us to feel and look good. The Indiegogo campaign will allow me to make it happen. I have many innovative products to offer and I see Signature Elixir as the gateway product that will establish a foundation so the brand can offer women self-care products for generations to come.
Choose the “Rose Quartz Yoni Egg” package when you contribute to the HONEY & GOLD Indiegogo Campaign. You’ll experience the benefits of Signature Elixir, a 30-day Signature Tea Cone Supplement, the Rose Quartz Yoni Egg and also receive a copy of My Self-love Life- Recipes and Rituals: An Essential Guide for the Woman Who Loves Herself.
Colored Girls Hustle: Describe yourself in 3 verbs.
Jasmine Burems: Cultivate. Nurture. Harvest.
Colored Girls Hustle: What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?
Jasmine Burems: I own my day. I wake up and devote myself each day to doing my purpose. I’m growing personally and professionally. As an entrepreneur my job is to create solutions, make decisions and raise currency to propel those solutions so they are accessible to the people who will benefit from them.
Colored Girls Hustle: Time management can be challenging for entrepreneurs, especially if this is the first time they’re working for themselves. How do you successfully manage your time? What advice would you give to young and new entrepreneurs?
Jasmine Burems: I think the best advice I can offer is to keep moving outside of your comfort zone. Do what’s most important first. Don’t leave the least comfortable tasks for last. Courage boosts productivity. Also, work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Give yourself small windows of time to complete defined tasks so you don’t lose morale.
Colored Girls Hustle: Clearly you have a passion for women’s health – you’re also a doula and an herbalist! How is your HONEY & GOLD work connected to reproductive justice?
Jasmine Burems: I believe that self-love, and self-care deepens our sense of bodily autonomy. Our bodies are one space in the world where we are truly sovereign. I hope to see women, especially women in the reproductive justice movement gradually move from using self-care as an antidote (taken to counteract a toxic lifestyle) to incorporating it as a daily way of life.
Colored Girls Hustle: What advice would you give to people who are hesitant or resistant to pursuing their passion?
Jasmine Burems: Do it! Be “both and” not an “either or.” Say yes to yourself.
Colored Girls Hustle: What resources or rituals have helped you maintain your sanity and self-care?
Jasmine Burems: Prayer. I love to pray and lately I’m finding new ways to pray with my voice, my body, in the stillness of my mind, or in movement. Bathing is one of my favorite rituals. I find peace, center and release in the water.
Jasmine Burems is a Bed-Stuy based entrepreneur and founder of Honey & Gold. She was born at an Aquarian eclipse and believes that a gratified woman is the most precious and potent resource to her community. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and honeyandgold.us.
As a queer woman of color doula, I soooo appreciate this! If there are any LGBT families interested in a doula for your pregnancy/birthing journey, hit me up here or message me on tumblr. Currently working on building out my doula practice in the tri-state area.
by Aleia Mims on ElixHer
In an age where many of us are daring to live our dreams by unapologetically loving who we please—and even demanding equal protections in our unions—it shouldn’t come as any surprise that some of our aspirations include starting a family. Beyond adoption or conception via heterosexual intercourse, conceiving a child as a queer woman involves choices that challenge one’s beliefs, finances, and stamina.
Here are ten choices you’ll have to make:
1. You have the choice between a known donor and an anonymous one. Choosing 50 percent of your child’s DNA is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make once you’ve decided to try pregnancy. Since we aren’t at the point in medical technology when male involvement isn’t necessary in conception, you’ll have to figure out if you want an anonymous or known sperm donor.
In order to go the anonymous route, you’ll have to purchase your sperm through a cryobank. This can easily cost more than $500 a month, but you’ll be assured that all samples are medically safe. Additionally, there is legal protection against the donor being able to claim paternity rights down the road.
If you decide to use a known donor, you can use one designated as such from the cryobank or choose someone you know personally. If you forego the cryobank, you’ll save several thousands of dollars, but may opt to invest in legal counsel, since paternity cannot be abdicated by a simple contract.
2. You have the choice of frozen sperm or fresh sperm. If you use sperm from a cryobank, it is stored in liquid nitrogen and brought to room temperature just before insemination. This type of sperm has a life span of 12 – 24 hours inside a woman’s body compared to the 72 hours of fresh sperm.
3. You have the choice of trying at home or going to a doctor. In many states, you can conceive at home with either sperm from both a cryobank or from a known donor. Yes, there are banks that will ship specimen to your home! Likewise, you can also go to a fertility doctor (reproductive endocrinologist) for assistance with conception to use known and anonymous donors. The laws for home and doctor-assisted conception vary by state, as do insurance coverage and mandates. Do your homework to find out the rules as they apply to you.
4. If you go to the doctor, you have the choice between a medicated cycle and a natural one. Medicated cycles may employ an array of drug types – from those that assist with egg development to those that sustain a potential pregnancy. A natural cycle means that the doctor monitors your hormone levels and egg development but does not interfere with its natural process.
5. If you go to the doctor, you have the choice between an IUI and IVF.Intrauterine insemination means using a catheter to insert specially washed sperm directly into your uterus. This eliminates the need for the sperm to swim from your vagina through your cervix on their own. In vitro fertilization literally means “in the glass.” With this type of procedures, your eggs are removed, fertilized in a Petri dish, and then returned to your uterus after they have are 3 or 5 day old embryos. The biggest differences between these two procedures are cost and level of medical intervention.
6. If you try at home, you can use a variety of ovulation predictors. Timing is everything when trying to conceive. To predict the moment that egg is released from your ovary, you can use digital monitors, basal thermometers, predictor kits, as well as an assortment of biological indicators.
7. You have the choice of where to live, sort of. Believe it or not, some states mandate that companies of a certain size provide insurance coverage for artificial reproductive technology. Those are fancy words for saying that some states make your employer cover you using a doctor to help you get pregnant. States like New York mandate the coverage of IUI, and states like New Jersey require insurance to cover IVF. With IVF coverage alone, you can save almost $20,000!
8. You have your choice of resources. Don’t depend on your doctor to tell you all the ins and outs of trying to conceive. There are books and blogs, support groups and websites. Choose an information source and support type that resonates with you.
9. You have the choice between following doctors orders and researching everything yourself. This follows #8, but asks you to consider whether you see a doctor as a medical authority or a service provider. This is a mindset difference that you may not be conscious of having, but will need to be revisited as you go through the emotional roller coaster that is trying to conceive.
10. You have the choice between accepting or fighting that this will be a roller coaster. This is the last and most important choice you’ll have to make. Trying to conceive will bring out strength (and sometimes pain) that you have never encountered. Regardless of the outcome, you will be better for it.
- Aleia Mims
Aleia Mims is a wife, mother, daughter, and sister for whom writing is a form of liberation. She shares her journey so that others may name their own experiences and realize their higher truths. Her commitment to self-empowerment was a key feature of her eleven years as a classroom teacher, and remain as such with her current work at an education non-profit in New York City. Follow more of her journey at liberationtheory.wordpress.com and on Twitter @liber8ntheory.