In this installment of Forward Mag, Jasmyne Spencer of the Seattle Reign describes the challenges and rewards of being a professional soccer player and an entrepreneur who's championing the environment one headband at a time.
Tell us about your move to Seattle from Orlando, how have you found the transition?
It was difficult in the beginning because I didn't expect the trade, and it came with pretty short notice to the start of preseason but overall it was a positive experience. I'd only ever lived on the East Coast and the cross-country move was a big adjustment for me, but the girls and the club have been amazing.
Congratulations on making playoffs!
Yes - I was super excited to compete against the Thorns in the playoffs this year. We were obviously disappointed by the result, but look forward to being back again next year.
What is your go-to pregame song?
It changes all the time because I'm always finding new tracks. Right now it's a SOCA song called HULK by Blaxx.
When you’re not on the pitch, what is it you spend your time doing?
I spend most of my time running my company JAS F.C. I started it 3 years ago just running soccer clinics in my hometown of Bay Shore, but a little under a year ago I decided to branch out into apparel and launched my own headband collection called JAS IT UP.
Why did you start JAS IT UP?
I launched JAS IT UP as a way to express myself and encourage others to do the same. Fashion is one of the biggest ways people are able to express themselves and while I'm far from a fashionista, I have always loved a good hair accessory to add some flare on and off the field.
Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit? When was the first moment you realized you did?
I would have never pictured myself as an entrepreneur and still don't quite view myself that way at times. It was actually my sister-in-law who encouraged me to launch the collection. She was well aware of my extensive headband collection and encouraged me to start making my own instead of spending so much money buying new ones. At the time I was really working on building a brand for myself as a professional athlete and so it kind of all clicked. I realized this collection was an extension of myself anyway so why not introduce it to the public, and voila JAS IT UP was born.
What is the biggest thing you have learned from this experience?
I've learned a ton about producing and manufacturing clothing which is pretty cool. I think one of the most interesting things I've learned is how big of an impact clothing production has on our environment. As a self-proclaimed environmentalist, I've already begun to explore ways to make my future collections sustainable so I can help promote the importance of preserving our environment.
How have you managed doing JAS IT UP while being a full-time professional athlete?
Surprisingly, it hasn't been too difficult to manage JAS IT UP with my schedule because as I mentioned before, JAS IT UP is really just an extension of myself. This collection is synonymous with me as a person and a professional soccer player and I create the headbands and market them as such. I'm an active person, always on the go, and I have wonderfully curly hair that sometimes needs to be tamed every now and again, so I just develop different headbands that can suit my lifestyle. I know if it works for me then it will probably cater to the vast majority of people interested in headbands.
Tell us about working with Goal Five. Why did you come on board as a Goal Five Athlete?
It's been a pleasure being a member of the Goal Five team. I was excited to be a part of a brand that focuses on growing the women's game and helping to give opportunities to females all across the globe to play soccer.
What kind of impact do you hope to have on the women’s soccer community?
I just want women to know that they can do anything they want to do and be anyone they want to be. I want the next generation to never have to wonder if there is going to be an opportunity for them. I went through that after being drafted in the WPS and then having it fold 2 weeks later. Everything I ever worked for and dreamed of as a child disappeared just because I was a female. No one should ever have to experience that or wonder if their dreams are going to still exist. I think it's important to be a part of this next wave of the movement because if it weren't for the women who came before me who helped fight for the existence of women's soccer as a collegiate sport and as a professional league in the US, I wouldn't have the luxury of being a professional athlete today.
Goal Five is so proud to have Jas repping our brand. Her commitment to making the world a better place is inspiring to us and we hope to you. You can purchase Jasmyne's amazing, sustainable headbands here.
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