To Top

Life and Work with Ashley Archer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Archer.

Ashley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always been the go to shopping buddy for my friends. Ever since I could remember, I would help those around me to pick outfits for special occasions and even help them sort through and organize their closets.

I honestly never thought much of my skill though, I liked shopping and picking fun and creative outfits for myself but that was about it. I never imagined that I would be able to make a career out of it and better yet, truly help improve people’s lives.

It was my mother who gave me the idea to pursue personal styling. I didn’t even know that such a job existed! I thought that only celebrities in Hollywood would hire a stylist but she assured me that many of her friends would take me up if I offered to help them.

So I did just that. I started by asking family and friends to be my guinea pigs. I offered free and then very reasonably priced closet cleanouts to whomever would give me a chance and I practiced, practiced, practiced.

I was honestly amazed at how natural it was for me to help women in this area. The outfits and the organization ideas flooded my mind and I had a blast doing it. I knew right away that I had uncovered a passion and so I dove in.

Fast forward five years to present day and I am still obsessed with my job. I love watching the process unfold and my heart is just overjoyed when a client hugs me on the way out and thanks me for simplifying something that usually causes so much frustration.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road and I love that you ask that question because it gives people the opportunity to share the challenges along with the wins in a highlight reel world.

My business did not take off soaring immediately. I was young and inexperienced and I also needed more stability than a startup was affording me. I did as many free jobs as I could but you can’t really call it a business if you aren’t making any money. Lol!

I was about 19 when I first started so I really struggled mentally with my age and a potential client’s perspective of me. Thankfully, I have some amazingly encouraging friends and family who reassured me that I have a gift to offer and that I can bless others with it regardless of my age, so I pressed on.
I had to have a few jobs in between to pay the bills and only this year I have been able to go full time with my business. It may look really fun and shiny to start your own business but it is a commitment that requires a lot of discipline and staying power.

My biggest piece of advice to other young women who are just starting their journey is to surround yourself with people that will cheer you on, because you will need it!! Share your dreams with your family and friends, join a creative group at your church, show up to entrepreneur networking events. Do NOT isolate yourself in the journey. I could not have gotten to where I am now without my incredible support system.

Please tell us about your business.
One year is the estimated amount of time that the average woman spends deciding what to wear over the course of her life.

A whole YEAR!!! And unfortunately, most of that time is filled with frustration and overwhelm.

My job is to change that. I help women simplify and optimize their wardrobes.

I work to bring joy and clarity back into the process of getting dressed. This can play out in a lot of different ways depending on the unique needs of my clients but usually it looks like this –

My client and I go through and clean out the entire closet together
All of the “keep” items get rehung and beautifully reorganized
I assess the clients style preferences and needs after the clean out
All donation items are removed by me and taken to a great organization
I then shop and pull a generous amount of items for the client
Try on session in home where the client can comfortably decide what to keep
New items are integrated with the existing
We create lots of new outfit ideas including the new purchases
Outfit ideas are documented for the client to reference easily
I take care of all returns
My client is left with beaming confidence and a beautiful closet!

I also will provide outfit making sessions for clients that already have a good selection of clothes to work with but just need some fresh outfit inspiration or help packing for a trip.

I truly believe in the effectiveness of the services that I have to offer and I stand by the processes that I have developed. Personally, I think that I am no help to my client if I shop for her without first seeing her closet. Doing this allows me to fully understand her needs, tastes, and personality.

My strong organizational skills set my services apart. There is so much more to creating exceptional personal style than just buying cute clothes, which is where most stylists will stop. You want to be able to navigate your closet and easily select an outfit without all of the clutter getting in your way. That is why organization is the first step toward dressing confidently and joyfully every single day.

I LOVE what I get to do and I know that I am helping to bring peace and order in to so many women’s lives.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
Women in many industries still face gender bias and barriers to leadership that can feel incredibly frustrating and disheartening. Although we have come a long way, there is still a lot of room for improvement in this area.

Despite all of that, there is an ever strengthening wave of female leaders and entrepreneurs in my generation. Fortunately and uniquely, the personal styling industry is predominantly filled with female owners and operators and I am so proud to be among them.

I think it’s important to stay focused on the positives and the growth that is coming. We have more opportunity than ever before to use our voice on so many new platforms with social media and beyond. We have unique skills and perspectives to offer and they are much needed in many industries.

Support your local women owned businesses and if you are a woman aspiring to be a leader, surround yourself with other likeminded female leaders. You will gather so much inspiration and encouragement from the example that they set before you.

I am so excited to see what the future holds for female entrepreneurs and leaders in the years to come!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Judson Archer

Suggest a story: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in