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JASMINE JOY SARRIA

Founder & Owner, Beelieve Hawaii LLC

Success:

Financial and marketing counseling client

Rescue, relocate, rehabilitate, and educate—that’s what Beelieve Hawaii LLC is all about. Founded in 2012 by Jasmine Joy Sarria, the company takes a holistic approach to apiculture, also known as beekeeping.

Although Jasmine found her way into this line of work on her own, you might say that it’s in her DNA as her paternal grandfather was a beekeeper. “Since I was a little girl, I knew my life purpose is to work with endangered species and children, and I do both," she said. “In the world of beekeeping, I’m able to bridge all these beautiful things in my community as a bee removal specialist, conservationist, and activist.”

Jasmine’s journey in apiculture began in 2011 while working in manufacturing for a North Shore-based organic skincare company whose products are made from honey and beeswax. During this time, she discovered a need for humane bee removal, and Beelieve Hawaii was born. Now, she’s been a partner of Hoa ʻĀina O Mākaha, one of the first nonprofit educational resource centers on the island of Oʻahu, for the past seven years. Additionally, she’s created value-added products, including a tincture made with propolis (tree resin harvested by honeybees) and a Coco Cacao Bee Balm moisturizing stick, and has apiaries in Mākaha and Waiāhole.

When asked what sets her business apart from others, Jasmine responded: “It’s the ethical and intuitive aspects of my mentorship and curriculum. These are all known words in beekeeping—natural, holistic, and treatment-free. Beekeeping is a very ancient trade. The conventional side of it is abusive to bees, and that’s the opposite of what I teach—the connection to the ʻāina (land).”

Most recently, Jasmine completed her second Beelieve University (BU) cohort through which she mentors others about ethical beekeeping, and she already has a waitlist for the third cohort. Additionally, after rescuing bees at Hanahauʻoli School and allowing students to watch the process from a safe distance, she was invited back to give an educational talk about bees. “All the classes made bee art, bee jokes, and they performed a skit. That’s when I knew I’m exactly where I need to be. It was so precious. They love me as much as I love them,” Jasmine said. Now, as a certified school garden teacher, Jasmine leads an afterschool enrichment course at Hanahauʻoli School called PolliNature that covers native endangered species, weather observation, and the relationship between habitats and humans.

During the pandemic, Jasmine rescued bees at Iolani Palace and was soon inundated with requests from people wanting to purchase bees since many were spending more time at home. “The ethical part of myself is like, ‘I rescued and rehabilitated them. Why would I sell them to people I don’t know?’” Jasmine explained, noting that this prompted her to start BU. “The challenge was me getting out of my own way and believing in myself, that this is what people want and what I have to do. Since I launched it, the experience has been amazing. Supporting our local food system and economy is a priority before it’s time to grow globally.”

As part of the Pākōlea pilot program offered by the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association in partnership with the Purple Maiʻa Foundation, Jasmine participated in a product showcase event and met Marla Momi Musick, director of the MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center. She has since received support as a financial and marketing counseling client from counselors Stacey and Ryan, respectively. “They’re both really amazing women. They gave me such great guidance and advice,” Jasmine said. “Maybe toward the end of the year, I’m going to reconnect with Stacey. Because I’m a 10-year-old business, she said it’s time we recreate a growth plan. I’m excited to do that with her. I went to school for business and marketing is one of my strengths, but Ryan gave me ideas and suggestions that I hadn’t thought of. They were very helpful, and I really appreciate both of them. I can tell all the women at YWCA really care, which means a lot to me because that’s how I am too.”

Jasmine’s plans for Beelieve Hawaii include putting her BU curriculum online to expand access to the program and generate passive income; creating a pollinator oasis and doing pop-up workshops at a local hotel to encourage conscious, regenerative tourism; expanding her wholesale accounts and product line; and publishing a children’s book about bees.

To her fellow woman entrepreneurs and small business owners, Jasmine offers the following advice: “Having a weekly routine is very important. Make sure you self-prioritize and are mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually balanced. If there’s a consistency in that, you can give your business or whatever goals you have your all. When I overwork myself and my cup is completely poured out, I’m exhausted. If you’re a one-woman show like me, you have to fill your cup as much as you pour out. Our ‘no’ is as powerful as our ‘yes’. When I say, ‘No’, people respect that.”