BBBY: What words best describe you?
ASHLEIGH: Driven, Determined, Empowered, Beautifully Flawed, Perfectly Imperfect, Amazingly Capable of Everything, Striving to Extraordinary. God's Favorite Child!
BBBY: Who is one of the most inspirational women in your life? And why?
ASHLEIGH: I don't have one particular woman that inspires me. I find motivation and draw inspiration from all types of women I meet and see every day. It could be women that I read about, ones I follow on social media, those I meet at the grocery store, the brave women in my family, the powerful and beautiful women in my inner circle or ones that I meet in the bathroom at Joey's. I appreciate and admire any woman that is striving to be her best self and walking in her calling. That empowers me to be a better me and strive for excellence within myself.
BBBY: What was the inspiration for starting your own business?
ASHLEIGH: “Home Decor has always been a passion of mine. As a child, I would always rearrange my bedroom or sketch my ideal room in my notebooks. As a teenager, visiting people’s home, I would always redecorate a space in my head and even secretly move a chair or picture that was out of place. My grandmother's house was my original blank canvas. She allowed me to paint walls, pick out and change curtains, create picture walls, help with her kitchen renovation and more. That was my first taste of home design, and over the years my love for it has only grown.
It was my friends and my inner circle that encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, stop dreaming about what could be and turn my passion and love for design into a business. In 2014, Maximizing Solutions transitioned from being a weekend hobby to business that I'm proud to have. From there I was able to launch my sub business Classique', which strictly focuses on event decor and design.
BBBY: What is the mission behind your?
ASHLEIGH: Throughout these years, one thing has been consistent in my vision of an ideal space…it should reflect the owner’s personality, speak to the heart of who they are and desires with the result being uniquely theirs; exuding elegance and class. I believe a person's home is their daily sanctuary and it should reflect that. It should be warm, inviting, and their place of peace and refuge. My goal is to successfully blend all those things into a place of function and beauty; to create a balanced living and community space. Translating my client’s vision into design elements that tell a story of who they are and what drives their passion.
BBBY: What challenges did you face when starting your own business?
ASHLEIGH: My biggest challenge was simply getting my name out. Gaining customers and getting people to trust that I could transform their house into a home they would love and want to show off to others.
BBBY: Do you have a life mission or inspirational quote that you live by?
ASHLEIGH: "Be authentic! It's not always easy, but find your voice and message and stay there. Don't always compare yourself to others. You have something unique and powerful to bring to the table that no one else can. Believe that, always, and you've won half the battle".
With that quote, I learned that it is so important to be confident in your work. It's not always going to be for everyone, but if you love it and are faithful, God will make room for it, create a lane that only it can travel down and shine His light on it so that it's so bright no one will be able to miss it.
BBBY: What inspires you to do what you do?
ASHLEIGH: Transforming a person house into their home and joy that brings to them and their family encourages me to do what I do. That may not be big to some, but knowing I can bring peace, comfort, and supply the backdrop for years of happiness and memories all within four walls is huge to me.
BBBY: Tell us about a time in your life, where you felt most powerful as a woman.
ASHLEIGH: Honestly, I have little moments every day that makes me feel powerful. If I complete a big project by a due date, I feel powerful. Carrying all the groceries up to my apartment in one trip makes me feel powerful. Being able to check everything off my to-do list within a day makes me feel REALLY powerful. For me, finding strength and power in the little things in life help to keep me going.
BBBY: What has made you most proud and why?
ASHLEIGH: The fact that I stepped out and started something that I was terrified to do and I'm finding individual success with it makes me proud. I know I can't help but grow, evolve and get better from here. Taking the first step was all I needed.
BBBY: What's the most important lesson you've learned as an entrepreneur?
ASHLEIGH: The most important thing I've learned is not everyone will like what you do or even support you, and that's ok. Even when other's doubt you and don't believe you, you must believe in yourself and stay focus on your goal.
BBBY: What are 3 tips you can share with aspiring entrepreneurs or someone ready to go after their dreams?
1. Only you can create the life you want to live, and it's your job alone to make sure it's exceptional.
2.Take action of your dreams and live life on your own terms.
3. Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God your needs and wants and if it's for you, He will provide. If not, thank Him for blocking your lesser and giving you His greater.
BBBY: Fill in the blank: I feel most empowered when________________
ASHLEIGH: I'm surrounded by other empowered women. There's nothing like being in a room with other beautiful, bold, like-minded, women that look like me and are on the path to personal greatness. That just sets my soul on fire and makes my heart happy.