Helping Women Thrive Personally and Professionally: a Q&A with Ashley Crouch

I am so excited to share today’s “Real Women, Real Balance” interview with you. I “met” Ashley in an online group for entrepreneurs and I was inspired by all of the wonderful things she is doing.

Ashley Crouch is the founder of Bloom, Lovely, and Appleseed Communications, a PR company that helps female entrepreneurs get the media attention they deserve. She has worked with best-selling authors, CEOs of multimillion dollar companies, TEDx speakers, and more.

Ashley was on the founding team for Verily, “first no photoshop fashion magazine.”  She is an international speaker and writes for New York Times / Women in the World, Huffington Post, Refinery29 and others.

Ashley has a lot going on and I’m excited to give you a peek into how she maintains a sense of balance in the midst of her busy life.

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Hi Ashley! Will you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

I was on the founding team for the first “No Photoshop Fashion Magazine”, Verily, and took a deep dive into the media and fashion industries. After three years, I wanted to help more female founders, so Appleseed Communications was born. Bloom, Lovely (my other company) is my passion to help promote healthy self-worth and beauty for women. After five years earning my stars in New York City, I just moved to California to expand the businesses and plan my upcoming wedding.

What inspired you to start your business?

Everywhere I looked, women had dreams that they were not pursuing, either because of their own mental limitations or lack of resources. My mission is to help women thrive personally and professionally. Appleseed Communications helps female entrepreneurs get the media attention they deserve so they can scale their businesses. Bloom, Lovely gives women permission to feel beautiful and worthy so they can start to thrive.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up and jump into my morning routine, which consists of prayer, affirmations, journaling or reading, vitamin water, protein shake, and planning my day. This is the foundation for everything else. When finished, I feel fueled and have my mindset ready to approach everything from a place of abundance and grace. My work day begins with calls to clients, media journalists, and my team. I may have a coffee date or partnership meeting (my fav!). In the afternoon, I move into my high priority creative projects such as creating my upcoming online course. I close the day with a workout and a relaxing healthy dinner with my fiancé.

I’m curious, what do you do when you’re not working?

Traveling, cultures, and experiencing beauty make my heart soar. Every Tuesday, I learn a new healthy recipe from another culture and sample it over dinner while listening to the local music from that country. So far, I’ve tried Indian, Greek, Filipino, Ethiopian, French, and more. It’s so fun to experience other cultures through their food. On the weekends, I visit the ocean and watch dolphins playing in the water from the beach (can someone pinch me?). This summer, I traveled with my sister in Scotland, Belgium, and finished in England. It is important to unplug, clear my head, and focus only on being instead of doing.

As you know, The Balanced Life is all about empowering women to approach health & fitness with a balanced mindset. How do you handle the pressure as a woman to look or act a certain way?

We are bombarded with messages about how we should look and who we should be, which can be harmful. The mind needs to eat and its food is thought. I invest in my mindset with affirmations around self-worth and beauty (receive free daily empowerment meditations through Bloom, Lovely.) I am intentional about focusing my mind on the thoughts that bring me life and abundance.

Some examples include:

1. I am beautiful. I am lovable. I have value for my own sake. I do not have to prove my worth to anyone.

2. I bring value to everybody that I meet. I speak words of hope to everyone.

3. My body is a miracle, capable of incredible things. I fuel it with proper nutrition. I cannot wait to see what it can do.

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What does balance mean to you during your current season of life?

Because I am running multiple businesses, managing a team, and planning a wedding, things can get a little frantic. I have an accountability partner and we talk every two weeks. She makes sure that I am honoring my commitment to self-care, my personal, and professional goals.

I created a system for balance that includes:

1. Daily: morning routine and fueling my body with excellent nutrition in three meals per day (limit to one coffee and minimal sugar).

2. Weekly: working out at least three times per week with cardio, stretching, and strength training. Going somewhere to experience beauty or nature.

3. Monthly: reading two books per month that help me continue to learn and grow.

Who/what inspires you to keep living well?

I believe we are put on this earth to become the best version of ourselves so we can live life to the fullest and serve others. This is only possible with good health, energy, mindset, and sense of self-worth. I invest in myself and my health as my greatest asset, because I want to help others through my work and example, and leave a legacy of a better world.

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What is your best tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a busy life?

Take care of yourself first. My motto is “If you show up for yourself, life shows up for you.” When things get chaotic, self-care is often the first thing to go, but it’s critical for staying grounded. My favorite practices are maintaining a morning routine, regular working out, healthy nutrition plan, and supportive community. If you could only start with one of them, begin a morning routine. It will change everything.

What projects are you currently working on that you’d like us to know about?

I am so excited about my new online course, Liberated, Lovely, and Loaded, which helps women experience greater abundance than ever before. The three modules go deep into the key pitfalls that hold us back, with practical tools and surefire strategies to help you unlock your fullest potential. I co-created the course with an incredible self-love coach from South Africa, Susana Kennedy, and we are stoked to share the real secrets we use to help others. Sign up for Bloom, Lovely for more information.

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Thank you, Ashley! It’s an honor to have you here on the blog today. Thank you for the work you are doing to inspire others and encourage us all to pursue our passions and live out our dreams.

To stay in touch with Ashley, you can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram. And for more about Bloom, Lovely, be sure to follow along on Instagram / TwitterFacebook.

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