I enjoyed all of the Ashley Asti products that I had the honor of sampling, though my absolute favorite was the Blue Chamomile Everything Oil, which can be used as a cleaner, moisturizer and makeup primer. It's rare to find such a gentle all-in-one and this miracle potion really helped to soothe my irritated winter skin.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Ashley to talk not only about her skincare line but also her life as an entrepreneur. Here at TCM, we value hard-working, intelligent women who take the necessary steps to make their dreams a reality. Ashley happens to be one of those women.
Here's what we asked and how she answered:
TCM: What inspired you to create this brand?
AA: The seed of the idea stems from my own experience. When I was in college, my skin was a mess. I tried so many products, including those up and down the aisles of Whole Foods, but nothing was working. Out of desperation, I somehow had the idea that I could make my own skin care products, so I started reading and experimenting, beginning with the basics like organic coconut oil. This was also a darker period in my journey where I was struggling to find my purpose and my passion; there was a lot of mind-body-spirit healing that needed to happen for me. So when I finally took my health and my joy into my own hands and begin creating skin care products for myself with love, my skin begin healing, clearing up, and radiating a new glow. It seemed like a miracle!
A couple years later, after graduating from college, this healing project that began in my dorm room kitchen emerged into my business and the work I love.
TCM: ...and how did you go about doing it?
AA: For me, it was (and still is) a matter of learning as I grow. As it is with any creator (and we all have this gift—to create art, music, love, anything that moves us and gets us excited), I think the first step is building the courage and inner fortitude to create your own path. A lot of my journey as an entrepreneur has been about learning to own what I do—to follow my passion, claim it, and not be deterred by doubters or naysayers.
I could give you the steps -- how I built and molded each product and began envisioning and creating my line, my website, the energy behind my brand -- but I think the most important thing I can tell you about creating a business, or anything for that matter, is to follow your intuition, your inner voice, and remain persistent even when it seems there’s only darkness. The key is to stay true to your vision and trust it; you are capable and you were put here to manifest the unique vision you have inside yourself. Follow what excites you and bring that to life. That’s where joy, innovation, and true success come from. Be you, courageously. [TCM: We just love that last part!]
TCM: Can you talk a little bit about what makes your products special (i.e. organic ingredients, etc?)
AA: I wanted to create a skin care line so clean, so healthy, that it feeds your skin with love and radiance and doesn’t add a toxic load to our already overburdened planet and bodies. 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body, so I’ve created a line that you’ll want to feed your skin: it’s hand-crafted with organic ingredients; no parabens, no phthalates, no artificial fragrances, no alcohols, no sulfates. I make each product by hand, fresh when it’s ordered.
The problem is that there is little federal regulation of the cosmetics industry today, meaning toxic chemical ingredients that are now being found in scientific studies to be linked to breast cancer and other chronic disease (think parabens, aluminum, and artificial fragrances in your deodorant, which is applied so near the breast tissue) are being used in our skincare products, 60% of which are ending up in our bodies. This is not ok.
My line is free of all those harmful ingredients, which will protect your health, give you glowing skin, and will treat the environment with the respect it deserves by not using herbs and plants harvested with pesticides or other toxic chemicals.
TCM: I love the inspiring quotes you feature on your social channels about our duty as women to empower other women. Can you expand on this and how it drives you on the day-to-day?
AA: There’s a quote by the poet and writer Maya Angelou that says, “I’ve been female for a long time now. I’d be stupid not to be on my own side.” And maybe that’s where some of my drive to make women aware of their own power, majesty, and brilliant ability to endure and thrive comes from: I’m a woman; how could I not want to be on my own side? I believe all women are capable of finding their own beauty and strength inside them and bringing it magnificently to the surface.
But, in truth, I believe finding our inner selves and harnessing that into living our purposes is not only one of the greatest joys we can have, but our responsibility here on this earth—as men and women. I am a supporter of women, but I love creating with men, too. Men, as our partners, brothers, fathers, sons, and friends are our support, our balance, and our co-creators.
I want to lift up other women and men along with myself because there’s more joy in sharing. There is plenty to go around; it’s a thrill to watch and support others in finding who they are and living their visions. Never be stingy in supporting others; the energy you pass on will come back to you.
TCM: Where do you see yourself, say, 5 years from now?
AA: I, of course, have a vision in my head of where I want to be, but I like to keep that close to myself. What I can say and I do know is that I would love to speak more and write. I have a nonprofit organization that I will be launching soon; I’m excited to begin my journey with it. But that’s all I’ll disclose for now; I tend to be quiet and let my work emerge and speak for itself.
TCM: Where can our audience buy your products?
AA: On my website: http://www.ashleyasti.com
Come browse, shop, or feel free to connect with me and ask any questions; I’m always happy to share.