LOCAL VENDOR FEATURE - ASHLEY @ ASHCO.
Get to Know Ashley of AshCo.
Hey – I’m Ashley! I’m 31 (literally a few days ago) and I’m stationed in Strathroy, ON.
Even though some call this a small town, I really did come from a SMALL town. I’m talking population of 402. And guess what? The sign still says 402. But planting our roots here made the most sense to my husband and I, seven years ago when we built our first home. Fast forward – a lot – two boys, and a way messier house!
Life is busy and the grocery bills are high – but its fun, right? ;)
How and when did you first decide to start your own business?
I was on maternity leave with my second. I didn't want to go back to a 9-5, two hour commute job. I didn't know how we would manage with the two boys and I didn't see it being possible.
I have diploma in Graphic Design and took an extra year of Marketing at Fanshawe.
So after some heavy research and planning, I decided to jump into this on the second half of my mat leave to see if it could work. It was slow moving. There was a lot to learn, a lot to invest in, but I didn't want to throw in the towel.
I would say it took about a year to really get my feet under me. I still went back to work in April of 2018 and managed both up until August of 2018.
What does life look like for you on a daily basis?
Wake up: 5am... (jk, my husband is way better at that than I am) more like around 6-6:30am
Our days are all very different. We have daycare, preschool, grandmas and Mom time spread out across the 5 days.
I keep track of it all in my phone, and every Sunday we go over where the kids are and who's doing drop off and pickups.
*I also work a little more than part time for a Marketing Firm. It’s a company out of London that allows me to dabble a little into my second passion (marketing) from home with a balance of office visits.
How do you balance work and personal life?
I'm not very good at it. To be honest, I don't feel 'present' that often when it comes to personal time. Because the sole way of communicating with me at this point is through messages and comments on social media... I find myself glued to reading and responding instantly.
This is still so very new that I find myself so "pumped up" at each and every message, inquiry and comment that comes my way I tend to drop a lot to grab my phone.
I need to figure out that balance, and am taking any advice :)
How do you think social media has helped get the word out about your business?
It's been huge! Not having a store front or physical location for people to see is tough. The time devoted to online marketing - learning the ins and outs of social media tips and tricks almost outweighs the time spent on physically creating your product or service.
What do you love most about what you do, and about having your own business?
Chatting with other girls - MOMS, busy, getting it done, hustling women who do the grind 5, 6, 7am till whenever! There are no set hours when it comes to having your own business, especially when the little people are involved.
But being there in the mornings, and pickup and drops off, are what make it all worth it.
Have you learned any valuable lessons along the way? If so, what were they and how did they help shape you?
Don't sweat the small stuff. It's not worth getting worked up about and letting something small ruin your day. It's tough to do - and sometimes you need to turn a blind eye or put your guard up. But once 8oclock rolls around, and your revaluating what you accomplished that the day, those 3 baskets full of laundry will still be sitting there, and guess what…they’re not even mad at you!
Slow Down and take time. I truly am my happiest when I take some time for myself. I don't need alot. Sometimes 2 minutes in the washroom alone, a quick yoga session or a trip to the grocery store (to pick up my click and collect obviously) is Enough time for a deep breath and a quick scroll through instagram ;)
Read the books. When those little humans ask you to do the bedtime story's and tuck in - just do it. The inbox can wait. The dishes can wait. And the toys will be there to tidy up in 30 minutes. But those open-mouthed kisses, and "I wuves you" aren't going to happen when their 18. I don't think?
I want to thank Ashley so much for taking time to answer some questions about her journey as a working mom! She is incredibly kind and gracious and has been a dream to work with! I absolutely love her gear - my MAMA sweater is one of my all time favourites. It’s cozy, excellent quality, and what better way to rep mamahood! Myself and the kids also have her “Choose Kind” sweater/tees, which are amazingly soft and cute! Any of her items would also make amazing gifts. You can message her on Instagram or Facebook if you’d like to purchase something! The best part? When you shop local, you support amazing families like Ashley’s!!