Meet Jasmyne, Our Newest Employee!

Posted March 10, 2020 by Jasmyne Harris

Fun fact about me: I’ve lived in more countries than states! Not so fun fact, I barely remember two countries. With being the youngest of four in a military family, most of the traveling and moving around the world happened before me. I’d like to think that being born in Japan is where my love for Asian food came from. Sushi, lumpia, bulgogi, ramen (like the real deal ramen and not the 10 cent packs), dim sum! Pretty sure I just got hungry thinking about it! 

Sadly, I was only in Japan for a year before moving to Germany. Here’s where I’d say my adventurous side came from. I can remember jumping from tire swings into bushes in the woods, running through the vacant storage units and telling ghost stories, having crabapple fights with my sisters. Where were my parents, right?! The best part of Germany was finding my love for daiquiri ice sorbet by Baskin Robbins. OMG! I’m lactose intolerant, so sorbets are my thing!  

Here we go again, another move, this time to America. Kind of funny how I’m an American but didn’t make it to the U.S. until I was 5. Military life, no big deal. I’ve lived in Southern Illinois most of my life now and started my formative years on Scott Air Force Base. There was a lot of freedom with growing up on an Air Force base, especially in the summers. As soon as you wake up it’s either getting on your bike and ride around with your friends, hitting the pool, going to the park, or going to the youth center and hanging out. There was always something to do and not being glued to my phone like kids these days. Life was seriously so much fun “back in the day.” Everybody looks out for each other in the military community, but just make sure you get home by the time the street lights come on!

Once my dad retired from the military, my family had to move, yet again, but this time just off base and down the street to Belleville, IL. One blessing from my dad retiring early in my life and not doing as much moving as your typical Air Force brat was that I could put roots down. I went to school in a small town where we have one stoplight and a bar called The Juicy Peanut. Mascoutah is as hometown as it gets. The town roots for the high school football team on Friday nights, there is a kickball tournament on July 4th, a big homecoming parade at the end of summer, and we learned how to throw darts in our senior recreation class in high school.

I’ve played sports all my life: basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, you name it. Summers were spent at sports camps or watching my siblings play. We were always on the move! My siblings and I are still very active to this day. Even though I’m not on the court every day of life now, you can still catch me playing volleyball and trying to relive the glory days. Just please have some Icy Hot and Ibuprofen ready, I’m getting old! 

Since I could remember I’ve always had a love for food. I would always ask my mom for the spoon when she was baking or for samples when she was making dinner. While some kids asked for new toys or clothes as Christmas presents, I asked for kitchen appliances. The best present I ever received was a KitchenAid mixer! Often you could catch me watching the Food Network or skimming cookbooks looking at recipes to try. After realizing that social work wasn’t the career for me, I decided it’s time to put on my apron and go to culinary school. I went to Southwestern Illinois College and got my degree in culinary arts. I finally found something I loved, and it came naturally! School wasn’t a drag anymore, and I got to eat my work. After school I started working in restaurants and gaining more knowledge from incredible chefs. Eager to learn more, I started working at a winery. Working at the winery made me realize my potential. I helped cater weddings for 400 people, helped to make a menu for the tasting room and helped with intimate wine pairing dinners. I made sure I had my hands in every aspect. Little did I know, I was about to get my big break … head chef. Scared? Intimidated? Nervous? YES! Being in charge of a full kitchen staff at 25 was my greatest accomplishment. It was a lot of hard work but also very rewarding; I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

I’ve been fortunate to help Brightly Creative in the past with some smaller gigs. Helping set up classrooms for honey summits, or passing home-brewed beer to judges or traveling to Louisville to get to learn more about the importance of bees, I’ve gotten a feel for the job. I hoped for a job opportunity to open up for me, but it wasn’t my time. Fast forward a few months and my hopes have been answered! I’m thrilled to be a part of such an amazing team and see what the buzz is all about!

With doing some moving around early in life, I’ve learned to adjust. I had to make new friends quite a few times and switch schools, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I’ve met some of my best friends from these situations. Life is a rollercoaster and you have to roll with it. You can’t be afraid of the drops and twists and turns, it’s all a part of the ride. I’m always ready for the next ride and anxiously waiting in line. 



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