all images via the Ashley Brooke Designs Blog
I have always loved following and window shopping on the fabulous shop and blog by Ashley Brooke of Ashley Brooke Designs. She has such fun creativity and always a bright and cheery blog.  When I had the change to interview her, I had to pass along all my pressing questions! She seriously has great talent and I love that she is willing to share so much advice and guidance to anyone looking to succeed in business and life in general. Enjoy!

1. When did you discover your beautiful creative talents?
I always knew I was creative, and had a thing for the arts, but I didn’t know I could really draw until my senior year of high school. I had run out of credits to take, took a advanced art class, (I had faith in my crafty skills!) and realized quickly after my first assignment that I could draw! My teacher even had me stay after class one day so we could chat about why I had never taken one of her art classes before! Ha! I told her, “You and I are both thinking the same thing!”

2. When/Why did you decided to start your own business?
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 need 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 have a success and that is what kept me going. I have a fairly persistent personality, so I focused all my energy on that.

3. What advice do you have for young women looking to start their own business?
Don’t be afraid to fall flat on your face… failing isn’t always a bad thing, you are just that much closer to succeeding!

4. How to do you keep up with the hustle and bustle and behind the scenes work?
I try to stay as organized as possible so that I am working at a higher efficiency rate while I am at work so that when I am not, (i.e. nights and weekends) I am fully present. Organization is key. Also, I try to keep my priorities in check; I know what my limits are and all “my people” know that they come first. Work is always last. Always. (P.S. don’t take this the wrong way, I love my job and it is important that I tend to it diligently each workday. But if my Great Grandmother who is 100 needs a visit and a few flowers from my garden to cheer her up… everything else waits. End of story.)  

5. What is the best part about your job?
The ability to build and create something that I am truly proud of, even though each day has its own struggle. I get to wake up every morning and do what I know that I am good at, and there really isn’t a better feeling. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I also reallllly like being my own boss. When I was little, I would get in trouble on the REGULAR for being a bit too bossy. My dad would say (daily), “You being so bossy is one of my favorite qualities you possess, and one day this whole bossy thing will work to your advantage, but child, today is not that day.” Ha! So I guess being my own boss was kind of inevitable!

6. What are your top 3 favorite items from the ABD shop?
Every Day I’m Hustlin’ Coffee Mug
Ice Ice Baby Tumbler
Gold Foiled Gift Tags

One of Ashley's favorites - the gold foil gift tags. So cute and simple!

7. As a blogger, I struggle all the time with comparing myself to others, especially across the Instagram platform. How do you not get consumed with social media and comparison?
To be honest, I struggled with this a lot when I first started out. And it became entirely too crippling… I became obsessed with trying to look perfect online, be as successful as so-and-so, and compared everything I did to other people in my line of work. It was EXHAUSTING. But a day came a few years ago where I realized that this was ridiculous and way too time consuming, and I just started being me. And you know what? Sales skyrocketed and readership went up! God made only one of me, so I figured I should start using that to my advantage.

I truly do this by being fairly disconnected. I really only use social media for my business and that is it. I don’t spend my free time on Facebook (I don’t even have a personal one) or blogs. I subscribe to a few of my favorite blogs and have them delivered in my e-mail, but other than that I really try to stay away. I found out that I do so much better and can be so much more creative when I don’t have everyone else’s creativity clogging up my brain. The one thing I do like is Instagram; I like pretty pictures, and that is a way for me to be able to not be TOTALLY out of the loop!

8. I love that you show your faith and how it plays roles in your life. What is your favorite scripture?
There are quite a few, but three of my favorites are:
- “Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ” – John 13:7

- “My soul finds rest in you alone” – Psalms 62:1

- “My heart will not fear; I will be confident.” – Psalms 27:3

9. What inspires you to create?
Truly? My everyday life. My life in general is a bit crazy, and so the sassiness and the touch of girly-snark just comes out and I realize, “Gosh! That would be cute on a mug!” I have stopped designing for what I think my clients might like and I’ve started designing for myself and things that I need… like a Happy Thoughts notepad!

She even does custom illustrations. Check her out if you're interested!

10. Describe ABD in 5 words.
A lifestyle brand on a mission for fancy. That’s 8, sorry!

11. Who is your style icon?
I have quite a few, but right now I really love Miranda Kerr’s style, I mean honestly --- Pinterest


1 comment

  1. These interviews are so much fun to read! #4 makes my heart melt :)

    26 and Not Counting