After college, Jasmine Diedrich found herself in the same spot as a lot of millennials — living on Dad’s couch.
She spent six months at home when her dad told her that she needed to get going. She hasn’t stopped going since.
Diedrich wanted to buy a business and was interested in purchasing a Subway. She couldn’t find any franchises available.
So she decided to start a coffee stand, Diedrich Espresso. Since no one would lease a stand to a 19-year-old, Diedrich had to get her dad to co-sign.
“I flew by the seat of my pants the first three years and I got in trouble,” Diedrich said.
She got herself out of trouble.
The first stand opened in 2011. She worked in the afternoons and purchased all of the supplies at Costco on the weekends.
By the time she added a third location, Diedrich was working 16-hour days with an hour commute each way.
Six years later, she owns 11 stands in Snohomish and Skagit counties. She still is the sole shopper for the businesses, spends time at the espresso machine four days a week, manages all her employee’s schedules and maintains her own books.
She said she’s taken failing stands and turned them into profitable locations. Diedrich has made an effort to get involved in the community. It’s a trait that she’s seen in others of her generation.
“What I do like about being a millennial is that a lot of the younger people who are starting businesses are giving back to the community,” Diedrich said. “You can see it on Instagram.”
She started as a Relay for Life team captain in 2015 and took over as Everett Relay for Life chair last year. She doesn’t have any close family affected by cancer, but she said it’s a worthy cause.
So far, the drive is on pace to double the more than $50,000 raised last year. Diedrich has also volunteered at the Marsyville Strawberry Festival, became an ambassador at Economic Alliance Snohomish County and joined the South Everett Mukilteo Rotary.
She also said she has committed to paying the managers at her stands two-hours a month to volunteer.
“I’m so excited to know so many young businesses owners,” she said “I’ve been networking like a crazy person the past two years. I know three different people who are running for office, which just blows my mind. I think continuing to motivate my colleagues to do the right thing and be bad asses and be all for Snohomish County is what I need to do.”
It takes a lot of energy to devote so much time to a business and then give back to the community.
It isn’t her coffee that keeps her going. It’s her personality.
“Demure people are so boring. I just couldn’t be the person who sits on their hands and doesn’t say much,” Diedrich said. “I’m loud, I swear and I think I’m a blast. I’m able to surround myself with colleagues who are just like me.”
That doesn’t mean there aren’t lows.
“Don’t get me wrong, I cry in bed with chocolates and Adele blasting in the background with the best of them,” Diedrich wrote in her nomination form. “But after my chocolates are eaten, I am able to pick myself up, turn that frown upside down and find a solution to the problem at hand.”