It’s always the first or second question that I ask a new person that I meet. Not only is it an easy ice breaker, but I’m always curious to hear about how a person spends much of their time!
As a sort of precursor to the Behind the Business series (starting soon!), I thought I would share a bit about what exactly I do and provide some context for the things I’ll be sharing throughout the series.
I feel fortunate to be living in an age where being an entrepreneur and doing something other than a traditional 9-5 job is becoming more and more common. There are a lot more opportunities to turn your passions and hobbies into a business and that’s amazing! #thanksInternet
If you had told me 10 years ago about what I would do for work, I wouldn’t have believed you. I never imagined owning my own business, let alone two, or being self-employed. And yet, almost 10 years later, I can’t imagine doing anything else! Growing up, I always thought I would become a teacher. I pursued elementary education my first year in college and quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. I made the move over to a Sociology degree, thinking something in social work would be better suited for me. Again, as I learned more about the field and developed my hobbies outside of school, I didn’t feel like it was the right fit. Due to a variety of circumstances and wanting a big change in life, I made the decision to transfer to NC State University in Raleigh, NC, halfway during my junior year of college. I joined the College of Textiles and started working on my degree in Fashion & Textile Management, with a concentration in Brand Management & Marketing. I enjoyed my classes and loved learning about the more creative jobs and opportunities out there. When considering a career, I thought I’d get into the marketing side of things, working on branding or social media or something like that. I wasn’t locked into working in the fashion industry, although I’ve always loved clothes, but loved the creativity that I was able to exercise through my studies in the fashion program. While I couldn’t have known what would come later, I certainly think that my undergrad degree has been an asset to me!
I’ll be sharing all about how I started my business and the backstory of that in the coming series, so I’m going to skip now to what I do. I’ll give you my sort of “elevator pitch” that I’ve learned to give whenever I’m asked what I do. My answer is usually something like this:
I own an online jewelry and goods shop, specializing in everyday fashion jewelry and gifting items, like candles, mugs, paper goods, and more. I also have a fashion and lifestyle blog, where I share my personal style, home decor, and beauty finds.
I don’t give myself a title within the company, like CEO or Founder, because my true title would be about 14 words long. I do have help (which is the only way I’m able to do what I do, to the extent that I do it), but I would say that I’m responsible for 90% of what happens within Elisabeth Ashlie. (I’ll definitely be sharing more about who does what and how I knew I needed to hire help!) My day-to-day with EA is a lot of shipping, product development, website maintenance, inventory management, customer service, and more. EA takes up a large chunk of my workweek. I’d say about 75% of my work hours are put towards that business. The other 25% comes to the blog and my Instagram.
So, my second job is creating content for the blog and Instagram. Blogging can very much be a full-time job. There is so much that goes into it, which goes unseen. From developing content ideas, to photographing and getting images for said content, to writing copy, to finding links for items, to sharing what’s going on in my life on social media, and more. Some weeks, I wish that I could give all of my time to working on the blog because I love the freedom and ultimate creativity that comes along with it. Other weeks, I’m so happy to have a separate business where I can be completely behind the scenes and do more task-oriented things, like packaging up orders or checking on inventory. I love to share and act as a “personal shopper” to so many of you, but I’m also an introvert through and through, so having alone time (especially time off my phone!) is essential for me every day.
Both of my “jobs” require a lot from me. I’m often feeling like I’m not doing enough on either end. There are a lot of challenges and difficult things that come along with having my own businesses and being my own boss. On the flip side, there are so many wonderful things. Like, so many. I truly can’t imagine doing something different with my work week. I am richly blessed to be able to wake up every morning and be excited to “go to work”.
So, there it is. I do a lot of things for two businesses that I’ve grown and developed over 8+ years. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be getting into all of the details of that in the coming weeks throughout this series, which I’m so excited for!