Plants are important to all living things and have played a vital role in human life for as long as we've all existed. Aside from being used as decorations, plants provide us with oxygen.

Are you a plant-lover or know someone who is? If yes, you'll love our featured brand for today! Duke and Pepper creates lovely enamel pins so that you can exhibit your love for plants. Their designer, Jasmine, aims to bring positivity through these plant-inspired pins.

We chat to her as she tells us how she created her brand that envisions to share her love and respect for plants.

In Jasmin's own words:

"Hello! My name is Jasmin Lee, the designer behind plant-inspired enamel pins and digital art. I also recently started selling plants as well! I am originally from LA but currently based in Queens, New York."

"My career started as an apparel designer in the fashion industry. When I left the industry about a year ago, I was searching for a personal project that will bring me joy. I thought of things that I love; plants, dogs, design, and enjoying delicious food (I decided to enjoy eating as a separate hobby!) I thought it would be fun to reimagine plants as an art form. In case you were wondering how dogs play into this, Duke and Pepper are two of my dogs that I grew up with! I love them so much and thought it would be wonderful to have them be a part of my new journey.

My vision is to share my joy for plants! Aside from the visual aspect of plants being amazing, they bring so much value and positivity into everyday lives; they purify the air that we breathe in, boost mood and concentration, lower stress, and much more. Especially during this time of uncertainty, I want to bring positivity and help brighten the day. I also wanted to provide a means for plant lovers to proudly exhibit their passion outside of their homes."

"Starting my little shop was not easy! Most of the challenges came naturally as I am a complete newbie to owning my own business. I am still at the beginning stages and have so much more to learn. What has helped me through each part of the process is doing a TON of research. The internet is an open book! After I've done my research, if I had further questions, I would reach out to family, friends, and anyone who has experienced the questions I have and asked for their advice. I also reached out to helpful Facebook groups and Reddit. You'd be surprised how many people are willing to help. Other than researching, my tip would be to just do it. It doesn't have to be perfect at first, and you will always get a chance to fine-tune as you go."

"What inspires me to keep moving forward is the very fact that I am moving forward! I have a growth mindset, and I love to learn, create, and bring value to people.

As mentioned previously, plants and nature brings so much joy and value. The trees, water, air, and animals that we take for granted each day are all living organisms and should be treated with utmost respect. My brand would not exist if it wasn't for the beautiful plants that God created!"

"When I started, I researched how to lessen my environmental footprint. I showcase this through my packaging materials. I am using biodegradable bubble mailers and boxes, biodegradable crinkled paper stuffing, and last but not least, noissue's tissue paper!"

"Coming from a fashion background, I learned that packaging is an extension of the brand. I wanted the customers to smile and connect with us as they opened each package. The best way I know how to do it was through visuals. I wrap each order as I would wrap a gift for a friend."

"I chose noissue because of their strong stance on sustainability! It was a cherry on top of being able to plant a tree! The design process was easy because the steps and pricing structures were easy to understand and follow."

Find more of Duke & Pepper here:

Instagram: @duke_n_pepper

Etsy: dukenpepper

'How I Got Started' feature