Jasmin • Owner, The Black Pineapple

Jasmin moved to Denver from New Orleans two years ago. She is the owner of The Black Pineapple, a handmade, natural soy wax candle company, that offers seasonal favorites and custom created scents. She loves to ski and describes this city as a game-changer and a place where she’s put personal growth into conscious practice. Keep reading to learn more about her perspective.

What does it mean to you to be Black in Denver?

In the Black community, we fall victim to what it means to be Black. Often being the nerdy Black kid, the smart Black kid, the shy Black kid, whichever one it is, you are forced to fight to be a part of your community or run away from it. It’s a natural thing that happens. I’ve learned that you can’t be upset with your decision. I choose to fight to be a part of my community, while some of us are more passive. I think the choice is yours.

To me, Denver is a place that allows you the space to learn who you are and walk in your purpose. Honestly, no matter who you are or where you go, this is possible, but you have to be brave enough to take it. In Denver, with so few of us, the opportunity to create is greater than in most cities. The power of connecting with others of the same image is a necessity, and therefore, the community is more open and accepting.

Ultimately, Denver is a safe space to be comfortable with yourself. Denver is a blueprint. Denver is a place to learn who you are in an environment that is free of judgment. I love it here.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

Personal growth. I’ve become more open here. I’ve had opportunities to experience new things, like skiing and salsa dance. I’ve also learned about new cultures and have met and befriended all types of people.

New Orleans is a loving city, but it can be very cruel in how it raises you. The people here are genuine and open. There are so many people growing and coming out of their cocoons here. I think we’re all going through our own personal transitions, and there’s a lot of willingness to support one another in that transformation. I also credit that to being an adult. We’re all doing the work to heal.

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?

Denver is so different than where I was raised. All the new information and experiences I’ve had here are molding me toward my goals. I am becoming who I’ve always wanted to be here. I am happy to be open and growing. I am learning and I’m excited about it. It feels like falling in love.