Originally published on

Originally published on


We asked Ashley Brooke, Owner and Creative Director of Ashley Brooke Designs, for a little expert advice:

What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? Keep your head down and do what YOU do best.  Don’t waste time looking at the competition, unfollow all of their social media and newsletter and clear your head to make space for your own ideas. Let’s be real – you have great ideas, you just need to stop clouding your mind up with someone else’s.

What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media? 1. Do it and do it often. 2. Engage with others. 3. Create your own hashtags! I love a good hashtag!

When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? I know my customer. I know where they buy their jeans, what cocktails they drink, and what colors they are painting their nails, and from that list I look for brands to collaborate with.

Give a budding entrepreneur your best hiring and firing business practices. Stick to your gut. And it is never wrong to do the right thing.

Entrepreneurs often say that “you can’t do it all.” What three things do you always outsource? 1. Shipping, oh my gosh and it is wonderful! 2. Accounting, seriously we would be  in BIG trouble if I didn’t do this! 3. Coding, if I tried to fix our website when it has a bug, I would crash the whole thing in like two seconds.

What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott.

What are your thoughts on raising capital? Honestly, I don’t know enough to speak to that. We’ve run debt-free from the start… shoestring budgets are what I know best!

What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? When you solve a problem or make a big decision, there will be another one to solve or make – it never ends. So get comfortable in your role of “Chief Problem Solver”. It’s a coveted role, and you should be honored to have the responsibility. It’s a good thing.

My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… You can do this. Just take it one step at a time and go with your gut. You know what you are best at, and only you can make this happen. Take that leap!

What would your advice to your younger self be? Be yourself, you are cool.

Finally, please share your top five tips that would benefit an entrepreneurial woman launching or growing her business:

  1. Social media – Have a plan!
  2. Original photographs sell. Don’t clutter up your feeds and posts with images from  Pinterest. If we wanted to find something on Pinterest, that’s where we’d go!
  3. Set office hours. Very important!
  4. Set up for success: Lay out your clothes, prep the coffee pot, clean off your desk, and make your to-do list. Trust me.
  5. Be OK with making mistakes. Mistakes are good, they are lessons, and ones that you hopefully will never repeat.