To say we’re a little bit obsessed with Ashley Brooke Designs may be an understatement. A self-taught illustrator and a budding entrepreneur, she’s such an inspiration! She’s all about creating lifestyle products that are not only useful, but are absolutely stylish and adorable. We love it! Read on to get a peek into the work behind Ashley Brooke Designs and the boss lady that runs it!
How did you come up with Ashley Brooke Designs?
Honestly, it was an idea that came 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 have a success and that is what kept me going. I have a fairly persistent personality, so I focused all my energy on continuing to move forward.
What does a typical day look like in your shoes?
It changes just about everyday, but the majority of my days look a little like this:
5 am wake-up call
6 am gym
7-9 am I make breakfast, do my devotions, walk Lucy, check e-mails, pay bills, etc.
9 am I get ready for the day
10 am I get back into the office for more e-mails
11 am I start attacking my to-do list I made the night before, usually looks something like:
writing blog posts
editing product designs
working with our production team
6:30 I usually stop working so I can get dinner started, and after we sit down and eat dinner, I do another inbox sweep and address any fires before I shut it down for the night!
Having a balance between your personal life and work life can be difficult. How do you manage to stay organized?
Haha! Well, I do my very best to try, but balance is one of those things that I don’t think really exists. ABD is personally connected to who I am and my lifestyle so the lines can get blurry and things can get a bit disorganized quickly, I definitely try and keep things in check, but I fail just as often as I succeed… just like everyone else! My husband and I have a date rule that when we are out, we can’t talk about work or try and solve “work problems.” I also try and put my phone in my handbag and leave it there when I am with my family, and lastly I plug my phone in at night across the room so I am not tempted to work till 2am and bonus it helps me not hit the snooze button in the morning!
I am by nature a very organized person, so I try and schedule/plan my weeks on Sunday that way everything is in the calendars (I have three! OMG) and everyone knows the plan for the week! I will say taking that time out on Sunday night to get my ducks in a row is extremely helpful!
Can you tell us some of your favorite pieces from Ashley Brooke Designs?
It’s so hard to choose a favorite, but I still love our very first coffee mug, our “Every Day I’m Hustlin’” mug and I am obsessing over our new Floral Dopp Kit! If I had to choose favorites, those are it!
How do you let your personal style shine through your business?
Since Ashley Brooke Designs is a lifestyle brand I’ve really been able to use my personal style in all that we do! I like to say that ABD is a true reflection of me just bit more saturated, so it’s really fun and exciting for me to create products/content for our brand.
What advice would you give someone starting a new business?
Keep your head down and do what YOU do best. Don’t waste time looking at the competition; un-follow all of their social media accounts and unsubscribe from those newsletter lists, clear your head and make space for your ideas. Let’s be real: you have great ideas, you just need to stop clouding your mind up with someone else’s.
What can we expect from Ashley Brooke Designs this year?
Oh gosh, so many things! We’ve have a lot of really fun projects up our sleeves and a line of new products… I can’t give anything too specific away, but I pinky promise you will love it!
Where do you go for creative inspiration for your business?
I really enjoy reading books and listening to podcasts. Right now I’m on a big Tim Ferriss podcast kick, and I just finished reading The War of Art… if you haven’t read it, you must.
Also, it really helps for me to get out of my office, go to a coffee shop, a park, and get some fresh scenery! I always feel so much more inspired after a “field trip”!
What are some hobbies you enjoy that our readers might not know about you?
I really enjoy entertaining! To me nothing quite beats a house full of people and a kitchen full of homemade food; it’s my absolute favorite.
How do you want people to see your brand Ashley Brooke Designs?
Ashley Brooke Designs is a lifestyle brand that is on a mission to make every day just a bit more fancy. We believe that it is the little things, like a sassy coffee mug, that can change your morning around! It’s go-to gifting for all your favorite ladies, from your besties to your bosses! And our blog is where we share our latest obsessions, secrets, and ideas; it’s like a girl’s night, every night.
Photography: Gregory Daniel