Aside from having the same name, Ashliy and Ashleigh, they carry several other of the same characteristics, such as being raised by a single mother who migrated from a different country and a love for entrepreneurship and creation. These two dynamic ladies are the founders of AsHolistics.
“Both of their mothers were hard working single women, trying to raise them to be the best! They each grew up in the same city together. We actually relate a lot, we both had a stepfather around growing up.”
Ashliy’s mother moved the family from New York to Rhode Island when she was seven to start fresh. They moved around a lot trying to adjust to Rhode Island. Her mother tried her best to show her and her little sister a stable home. In middle school, Ashily was really into reading books about astrology and spiritual practices. Her mother’s is mostly Santeria. They are are Dominican so she was raised in the “fiestas de palos” and things like that.
“I can say that at first I was really scared but little things my mother would do around the house to keep certain energies up really made me want to indulge,” Ashily explained.
Ashleigh grew up with her mother and was close to family members. She had an uncle who played the role of a father and a cousin who the same age. The two of the grew up inseparable. Ashleigh’s mother had gotten married and gave her a little brother who was like her first child. The most moving she did was from one city to the other to become closer to her siblings and father’s family.
I recently interviewed these two ladies where they chatted more about the company. Check out the interview below:
Growing up and still to this day who are your inspirations/mentors? How did they impact your life?
Ashliy: I would have to say that my mentor was my grandmother. Before I knew about anything she was really there to help me be a woman. I called her when I needed to change my mother’s mind, just being able to see how she checked my mother and all that power was amazing to me! I wanted to be just like her. She is my everything. As I started to get into hip hop I looked up to Erika Badu she was so great and aware of these principles of life I wanted go through these same teaching. And then I would have to say that Lauren hill has my last inspiration she was so fly she could sing and she wasn’t down with the white supremacy crap. True rebellions in my eyes.
Ashleigh: My inspirations growing up would have to be my mother and aunt. Knowing they both went through similar things growing up. Now being grown seeing that they actually did their best to break cycles with me and my cousin to give us better is inspiring. Mentor would be a lady Nikki I met in Atlanta, I took a class of hers, learning body sculpting just to try something new. Her drive and passion to help others win in every way after things she’s overcome is amazing! I look up to her in so many ways.
When did you realize you had a passion for entrepreneurship and holistic living?
Ashleigh and I became tight in high school around 11th grade. We graduated high school and Ashleigh became my best friend, someone that I speak to everyday. We would joke about owning our own business but had no idea of what. Ashleigh is so creative! She was always into DIY crafts in high school she would be-dazzle her jean jackets and picture frames and I told her that once I graduate we would take over the world.
I got really depressed after graduating college and moved to Florida. I couldn’t get a job in my focus which was international business. Everything was commission based and I was not about to sit here and make someone rich when I could do that same thing, but for myself. So, I left Miami, Florida and moved back to New York to my grandma’s house. There I started meditating. I became a server and started making quick money.
At the time I got pregnant and stopped eating meat. I became really particular of what I did with my energy and started listening to Moorish knowledge, Bobby Hemmit, Dr. Sebi, Phil Valentine, and other spiritual leaders. I stopped wearing deodorant and everything, so the closer I got to my baby shower, Ashleigh asked me if she can make me holistic baby lotion, soap, powder, belly cream, and deodorant. And that was the only thing I used on me and my son until he was about one-years old.
I struggled with postpartum depression after I had my son so I started to look up oils that help relieve these sad feelings. I used lavender, sweet orange, ylang ylang, sandalwood and other mixes. I brought a whole bunch of books and fell into making my own soy candles. I pitched the idea to Ashleigh about correlating oils with zodiac signs and she was all for it, a real rider.
How did you come up with the idea to start your own holistic cosmetic health care brand?
I was always into skin care products and always trying different things that weren’t so natural but worked for me. One night, Ashliy sent me videos on Dr. Sebi’s products that I have never heard of. I became so intrigued in the videos, I watched them over and over again. I did my own research and learned about so much I never even knew existed.
As mentioned above, Ashliy pushed me to put my DIY skills to the test. She wanted something natural and I delivered. I appreciate her for that because I am always nervous and she’s pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and try a lot of new things. As for the other products, I am big on skin, so thought why not make something for people to enjoy too. I love natural skin and want everyone to be comfortable in how they really look. So creating a product that may help one become ready to replace foundation with lotion or even men who may have bad acne become more comfortable, makes me happy!
Your brand is called AsHolistics, can you tell us the meaning behind the name and what are your short term and long term goals for the brand?
AsHolistics is the name of the brand because I remember a teacher calling us Ash squared. We both said that if it came down to it, we wouldn’t have to fight about who’s name comes first, it’s the same name just spelled different. Holistic because we were really big on everything being organic.
Our short term goals is to become more comfortable marketing ourselves and making sure that we make the right business connections. I really want AsHolistics to use local products. I want to put all my sisters on. Our long term goals, I would say is to stay ethical to ourselves and our community. Our business model is that we heal ourselves through healing others. When someone wants to heal a certain issue they have, I have to do a lot of research about their zodiac sign and send them a questionnaire. Then I get in the kitchen messing with different oils and scents. Sometimes I have to take a break if my energy isn’t right or if their traumas come up and it takes a toll on me. Some scents bring up some feelings that I need to handle so we literally have to heal ourselves during the process of making a customized candle or body butter for someone.
How many different products do you currently make/produce? What kind of products do you sell?
Everything is made to order but we do have some on tap and samples of some face mask that we’re still perfecting. We also make custom candles based on one’s birth chart, that can be ordered in completed in a two week span because of the time it takes to study a birth chart and put everything together.
Frankincense & Myrrh: This blend is for that younger feel
Rose: Stretch mark blend
Turmeric Sol-Glow : Encourages wound healing hyper-pigmentation, helps with dry chapped skin, acne, psoriasis and eczema
Lemongrass : Helps with inflamed skin, reducing irritation, fights fungal acne and tones skin
Candles and Benefits
Geranium and Lavender: PMS & hormone balance, Sleep issues, stress anxiety, teeth grinding, allergies hay fever, migraines and headaches
Orange and Eucalyptus: Stimulating, refreshing, clearing, purifying, balsamic regulating, congestion, cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, shingles, malaria, cold and flu, asthma, sinusitis, respiratory, mental sluggishness; Insomnia and stress, scurvy and colds, menopause, depression, fear and anxiety, and irritability, lack of energy, creativity and production concentration, digestive upset due to anxiety.
Lemongrass and Ginger : Refreshing, active, stimulating, soothing, insect repellent; Nausea, morning sickness, loss of appetite, memory and brain support, vertigo, neurotransmitter, deficiencies, congestion, sinusitis, laryngitis
Rosemary and Lime: Respiratory infections and conditions, memory and focus mental, adrenal and chronic fatigue, jet lag, nervousness, depression, addiction and dopamine issues. Memory and clarity. Exhaustion and depression
Citronella and Peppermint: Insect repellent clears and refresh mind, maintain focus. Stimulates the throat Chakra; Alertness and energy; Loss of sense of smell; Promotes healing
How important is it to you and the general public that we all use your essential products?
It’s very important to us that the general public use our products because they are 100% organic, made for the indigenous women. They help with issues that we may neglect due to our busy lives like grounding, anxiety, self love, and herbal teas.
Is being a business owner and working for yourself as easy as you envisioned? How is or isn’t it?
To be honest it’s very hard work. We thought it would be quick and easy and the product would speak for itself. So it’s constant marketing, revamping the products making sure that they all give the same results. Juggling our adult life, wife life, mom life and personal, it is tricky. Balance is needed. It’s a little tricky with one being down south and one up north. So keeping each other updated on what the other one is doing helps a lot. Communication has been key throughout the process.
How do you balance being a full time mother with working for yourself as a self driven entrepreneur?
Ashliy: My grandma and my husband helped me a lot. My son is definitely a handful and needs constant stimulation. He’s two-years old so I can’t put him in front of the TV all day while I work (he’ll lose his mind). I go to my grandma’s house and leave him there while I go into the kitchen and work or my husband will take him to the park when I need to buy and look for wholesalers. Many times in mid research my son will declare that he only wants me, and most of the time he wins. With juggling both mom life and business, I give myself a two week period to get custom products to our clients so I can work at a certain pace. It’s important for me to do something towards the business each day to make sure that our goals are met. We never owned a business and just learning as we go from mistakes to things we need to do has been scary!
How inspirational are you looking to be for women looking to work for themselves and make an impact?
It’s very important for women to work for themselves. In a time where we see women doing everything, that last thing they need to show their children is that they have to work a 9-5 to be successful. When I told my mother that I wanted to be my own boss she told me that that’s only a trust fund babies dream and that I need to think about a 401(k) and life insurance that only a business would provide. Now that I see my son, I want to hand him something that he can flip and extend.
Women need to stop doubting self and just jump right into it. I fail every day, but the failures help me switch it up and revamp myself and our product. My husband once told me that there’s a 100 varieties of bread in the supermarket but you still like what you like. Everyone wants to do what you are doing, but they all got their own flavor.
What great words of wisdom and advice can you offer our readers and entrepreneurs?
Ashliy: You better do it now because an idea is energy, if you don’t grab it someone else will.
Ashleigh: Don’t just work to make a living, work to produce a life for yourself that has purpose to you.