Mari Jasmine
Written by Mari Jasmine
Mari Jasmine
Written by Mari Jasmine

Meet Mari

Name: Mari Jasmine

Age you feel (and actually are!:) 31 and 31!

Cultural Background: Japan and Australia

Your Off-Resume Title (blend personal with professional): Highly sensitive entrepreneur who loves stories and people

Tell us about your upbringing. Where did you grow up? Who raised you? What was your home life like? How would you describe yourself as a kid?:

I was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and English father. My parents, my two younger siblings and I immigrated to Sydney when I was 5. As a young child I was reserved around those I didn’t know, silly and strong headed around people I was comfortable with.

Is there a story or moment from your youth that you go back to as an adult? How does who you were as a kid translate to who you are now?:

I always feel nostalgic when I’m on an oval (sports field). So much of my youth was spent outdoors playing sports – playing touch football in PE class, softball practice after school, or playing on my local soccer team on weekends. Sporting culture is a huge part of the Australian lifestyle. I also think back to family trips to the local swimming pool on hot summer days - the car windows wound down, 3 kids in the back seat singing along to my father’s favourite REM album. I’ve definitely retained an affinity to the outdoors to this day.

We're endlessly inspired by the process of personal evolution – are there significant moments that have defined who you are and what you do? If so, how many times have you recognized a significant shift in your identity? What has been the hardest part of these personal shifts? What has been the most gratifying?

I learn most about myself through my relationships with others. It was through my friendships in London that I realised that I didn’t identify with much of my English heritage at all. It was through falling in love with a woman that I discovered that my identity wasn’t as binary as I was conditioned to believe. It is through my relationships with my siblings that I understand what binds us and what makes us unique. It is through endless conversations with my friends that I realise the human experience is more diverse than I could ever understand.

Personal evolution can come with growing pains but I’m continuously intrigued, inspired and humbled by the process.

How has your style evolved with you? Are there pieces you have kept forever? Have there been trends you loved, and then forgotten?

Until I went to the Philippines, style wasn’t even on my radar. After having spent some time working in the entertainment industry and forming friendships with people who are really passionate about fashion, I’ve started to develop a style that feels more true to me. At the moment I tend to stay away from anything too trendy and enjoy interesting silhouettes that flatter the body.

Mari Jasmine

On what kasama means to her during the holidays

Kasama means togetherness in Tagalog. In the spirit of the holidays, who in your life has had the most significant impact on your holiday traditions or rituals? Please share any meaningful memories of that person that come to mind.

Christmas has always been pretty relaxed in my family. Late December is peak summer in Australia, so sometimes we go to the beach and have a dip before enjoying an outdoor lunch at home. I don’t think we feel like there’s anything we absolutely must do every year.

How would you describe your holiday style - from the meal and decor to your clothing and gift-giving? Are you more of a maximalist or a minimalist? Give an example or two.

A minimalist! Gifts are definitely not my love language - I really love and appreciate quality time. My ideal holiday set-up would be one abundant with great produce and where everyone feels at home and relaxed.

This year, the holidays will look a bit different. With limitations on travel and large gatherings, how is your family (chosen family too!) adapting? Are there any major differences? What will you miss about your usual routine and what are you excited to introduce?

This year more than ever, I’m just so grateful to be home. For a while, it looked like I didn’t know when I would be able to come back to Sydney to be with my family. I won’t miss anything at all, I’m just filled with gratitude.

At what age (or ages) have you felt closest to yourself or true to your identity? Why? How did that make you feel? Perhaps the present time?

At the present moment, I feel very much at home in my body. That being said, I think that our identities are never static, we are constantly evolving, and it’s more about how comfortable we are in this state of flux. We can know ourselves deeply and also understand that our sense of self continuously changes.

Mari wears the The Forager set

Rapid fire questions:

Go-to holiday recipe: My mum makes a christmas tree salad out of broccoli florets! It’s very cute.

The best gift you ever received: Time.

Favorite holiday entertainment - song, movie, book, etc.: Home Alone!

What you’re most grateful for this year: For the past 8 months -- waking up every day and seeing my parents.

Your 2020 give-back highlight - charities you're supporting, volunteer work, etc: Filipino LGBTQ charities I’ve supported this year: Galang Philippines, GANDA Filipinas, Love Yourself PH. I’ve also raised funds for For the Future - a grassroots, youth led organisation centered around community development and environmental issues.