April 12, 2014

Ashley Brooke Designs

I know I've been a bit neglectful, but I promise its for a good reason! I have been busy securing interviews and exciting new projects for Gorgeous Chaos that I can't wait to share with ya'll! One of those little presents you get to unwrap today! But first, let me set the stage for ya!

I have recently become fascinated with women who dare to define their own success. Women who grab life by the horns and create their own opportunities instead of waiting on life to give them the green light. I guess this obsession started because I know that college is ending soon and that I'll have to find something meaningful to do with myself.

So to inspire myself, and hopefully you guys as well, I reached out to some of my favorite business owners and asked to feature the story of their business on Gorgeous Chaos and to my delight, they said yes!

 To kick things off is Ashley from Ashely Brooke Designs. This 26-year-old owns her own company, creating "everything festive" to help you celebrate all of life's special moments. From custom stationary, to sassy mugs and t-shirts, Ashley has you covered; and then some. 
It was truly a pleasure working both with her and ABD brand relations director Francesca to make this interview a reality! 

Be sure to check out Ashley's work throughout this interview and head over to her site! 
Below you will find our interview! Enjoy and happy Monday!

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I am from Titusville, FL (where the NASA shuttle used to launch!), and I now live in sunny Orlando, Florida… home of Mickey and Minnie!

Talk to me a little bit about your education background? What was your major in college?

I have a degree in interior design, which is funny because it has been surprisingly useful for my work now… who would have thought! Drafting was by far my favorite! I love that we would draw for hours and be able to create something beautiful! It was really the only class besides Rendering that allowed for that much illustrating.

I attended UCF Business School from 2005 to 2008, and also attended Seminole State College of Florida during the same period. I graduated from Seminole State College with an Associate of Science in interior design.

I read in an interview that you started Ashley Brooke Designs when you were just 21 years old! That’s absolutely amazing! What inspired you to launch your brand and what were your first initial steps?
Honestly, it was an idea that was birthed out of necessity. I was laid off from my fancy interior design job when the market crashed and just decided that I needed to do something and do something fast. No one was hiring for ANYTHING, so I decided to do my best to take control of the situation and start something. I put all my skills together with the resources I had, and Ashley Brooke Designs was born. It’s been pretty crazy.

I didn’t have a business plan or an outline. I just asked a bazillion questions to anyone who would listen to me, read every business book I could get my hands on and hustled. I worked really hard and made lots of mistakes, but every once in a while I would succeed and that is what kept me going. I have a fairly persistent personality, so I focused all my 
energy on that.

Walk us through a “typical” day at the ABD office.
Oh gosh, it changes a bit everyday but the normal day usually looks like this:

Spin Class from 5:45 a.m. - 7 a.m.

House Chores, taking Lucy for a walk, and getting ready 7-8:30ish

I sit down to do my daily devotions and journal around dish

…And around 10 we start! We have our morning conference calls around 1o o’clock every morning and depending on what we talk about in that call really roadmaps the rest of my day! I then work on e-mail, social media, and blogs and spend the rest of the day working on projects!

Describe your workspace? Do you think that it plays a role in your creativity?
Ha! Well, right now we are in the middle of re-doing my office, so it’s not quite how one would envision it but, I will say there is a lot of white space… I can’t handle clutter and really can’t think in mess! So, for the most part, my studio is very clean!

How has your faith played a role in your business?
God has provided in so many wonderful ways and has shown me strength and taught me a whole lot of patience. ABD would not be here today if we didn’t have God in the center of our business. Lots of things have happened over the past five years and God continues to show up each and every day. Life is hard, there are struggles that seem like they are unmanageable, but I have found that when I give up all of those worries and anxiety and just follow God’s lead, life is easier. And things start to really fall into place.

How would you describe your brand?
Ashley Brooke Design is for the girl who loves life, and is always looking for an opportunity to be just a bit sassy!! Our brand has really become a lifestyle brand and I think that sets us a part in a BIG way. When you buy something from ABD you are buying a feeling and that is what we want.

What has been your most rewarding moment as a business owner? Most challenging?
Our biggest struggle changes all the time. One that we are facing right now is growth. I love it, growing is good… but where in the heck are we going to fit all of these mugs?!!!??? I am assuming God has an EXCELLENT answer for that, He just has yet to share that particular answer with the class.

As a soon to be graduate, the idea of being in the “real world” can get very overwhelming. Do you have any advice for getting through this time of gorgeous chaos?
Take it one day at a time! Sometimes the big picture can be unhelpful, and when you stick to what you know you are good at and keep trying everyday to move forward in small action steps, that’s when the biggest things come together. Persistence, endurance, and faith are key.

What’s your ultimate dream for Ashley Brooke Designs?
I have so many dreams for ABD, I can’t just settle on one!

Describe a time of Gorgeous Chaos in your own life? (Gorgeous Chaos has many definitions, but to me, its a moment in your life that is full of uncertainty but you know that it’s a journey you’re meant to be taking)
Right now! Honestly, we have a plan for ABD but things keep changing so quickly that it becomes a bit chaotic! I love the excitement and a bit of the unknown… I think that’s what makes my job so magical!

What’s your favorite fashion accessory?
A fancy watch and bright lipstick!

How would you describe your style?
Preppy, girly, and classic… I don’t like to be any one of those things… I like when all three come together! Like a tutu and an oxford… the perfect match!

What’s your favorite coffee mug phrase?
“Everyday I’m Hustlin’ “ it was the first mug, and by far my favorite!

Connect with Ashely!

1 comment

Megan @ Lush to Blush said...

Great interview! She seems like an incredible lady. Yay for women running the world!! :)

xo Megan, Lush to Blush

Blogger Template Created by pipdig