The Underline: A modern maker
Jasmine Branderhorst is the bright young creative at the heart of theunderline.ca, a design and home goods business based out of Toronto, Ontario.
“Jasmine has made it her mission to bring quality home and furniture design into the living spaces of her clients.”
On her website you can find everything from cozy wool boucle pillow covers to custom upholstered leather ottomans and chairs, as well as custom furniture and upholstery projects.
Gorgeous interior photos share space with her e-commerce store and a biography of her rise as an entrepreneur.
A family affair
Jasmine’s path to the world of home furnishings began watching her grandmother mend and make clothing, creating everything from bed sheets to custom ball gowns.
She noted the artistry and care her grandmother put into each piece as she approached its design and pattern making, and the pleasure and satisfaction she took in creating beautiful things.
In her first few years as a creative, Jasmine focused her talents on a self-made fashion line specializing in ponchos. But eventually, her passion and creativity found a home in the pairing of fashion and form she discovered when designing and building furnishings for a one-off.
“My first milestone was creating a daybed for a client. It was really the first piece of furniture that someone truly trusted me with and gave me the opportunity to make. It was a huge piece— literally six feet long. I learned so much about the build and structure process while I was making it, but in the end, it came out a huge success.”
Succeeding in spite of COVID-19
Jasmine continued to develop a loyal client base that would regularly come to see her wares displayed at local design shows and collective spaces — until the came along.
As conventional sales opportunities for independent home furnishing makers dried up with restrictions and lockdowns, Jasmine had to rethink her sales plan, and fast.
“The local markets and pop-up shops where I would normally be able to showcase my work shut down. Without those spaces that tend to be an excellent and affordable way to share products, everything needed to move online.”
She felt that a website attractive to buyers would help to continue to grow her business and reach her current clients and potential customers. So she started a search for a website building tool that would meet her needs.
Creating an online business with .CA and GoDaddy
Jasmine found an ideal solution with GoDaddy’s Online Store. It allowed her to have creative control over her website, without the hassle of needing to know any of the tricky tech behind it.
As Jasmine says, “I’m grateful I used a platform that so easily catered to me and my business.”
“GoDaddy has really created a streamlined platform to make beautiful websites on with an integrated suite of online tools that enables all comfort levels.”
“I didn’t need any help at all to choose an appropriate theme and upload photographs of my work. I was able to produce a gorgeous website that featured both my interior design projects as well as my e-commerce store!”
The convenience and immediacy when needing to add new products and remove sold products from her e-commerce store is another feature that Jasmine loves. The fact that she can do it from her laptop or her smartphone makes it even easier to run her business from any location.
Accessing the inner workings of her e-commerce store while working on multiple projects at the same time is a must for Jasmine to keep ahead of her clients’ needs.
“It was only a matter of time until I went online. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit that I really took a leap and decided to try this out.”
Along with creating her website, Jasmine chose a .CA website domain because she is proud of building a successful Canadian business.
“The main reason for choosing a .CA domain was because being recognized as a local Canadian designer was important to me. I believe it's attractive for many buyers to know that they're supporting local and makes the transaction feel more personal- which it 100% is! I am also just very proud to have created and built a Canadian made brand, and I wanted my domain to translate that.”
Growing by leaps and bounds
Looking back at the decision to go full-time with her business during the height of the pandemic, Jasmine muses, “I started really working to be my own boss, so it was obvious I needed a website to house what I was doing”.
“If it wasn’t for GoDaddy’s Online Store, I can’t imagine how I would have been showcasing my products to potential buyers during lockdown.”
Since going online, Jasmine’s productivity has skyrocketed. She is adamant that staying happy in the work you are doing is one of the keys to success for any business owner who is responsible for the creative decisions and direction of a design-based business.
“You need to wake up and feel happy about what you’re about to do. There is a lot of hard work to be done and sometimes you can experience creative blocks. But self-motivation, and the emotions that are involved with running your own business can be framed as challenges to be overcome. Then those challenges turn into something manageable and opportunities for success.”
The future is bright
Her long-term goals for her business, “would just be to continue to create products that people love. This has always been a passion-driven focus for me, so I want to continue to carry that out. I love being able to produce items that stem from my own mind.”
Jasmine’s advice to other would-be entrepreneurs is to not sit back and wait for that “perfect time” before launching out on their own, because it might never come.
“If you find yourself thinking about a business or a project but struggling to take that step to actually start it — just do it! Be gentle and patient with yourself. Enjoy the process of either learning a new skill or amazing yourself with what you are capable of!”
“I have amazed myself on multiple occasions after taking on a project that was scary, that I didn’t know all that much about. I gave myself time and was patient in just doing the work and it is wild how quickly a skill or understanding can grow by just putting in the work.”
She concludes by saying, “whether it’s the challenges I’ve overcome, or something beautiful I’ve created sitting in front of me, that dedication to my craft is what success is all about.”
Jasmine’s creations, products and custom commissions can be accessed at theunderline.ca.
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