The Aha Moment: Ashley Torres
Many people don’t know this, but Ashley Torres and I met on a BBD. (Blind Blogger Date) It was the fall of 2013, and I was one of my many trips to LA to help staff the new Rodeo Drive Flagship store for Burberry. I was getting ready to launch my now expired fashion blog, Haute Turntable, and needed to start building a network. I admired Ashley’s style and voice on her blog. I was drawn to her feed instantly. She had this real authenticity about her, yet all of her photos were flawless.
I did the borderline stalker thing and wrote her an email stating I would be in LA for work, and that I would love to get a drink with her a pick her brain. After all, I was a newbie on the fashion blogger scene and needed some expert advice. I didn’t expect to hear from her. She had well over 10k followers on IG — those folks don’t have time for us peasants.
Boy was I wrong.
Ashley wrote me back immediately, and not only agreed to meet up but also offered to pick me up in Beverly Hills at my hotel. The rest is history.
I tell y’all this story because I truly believe this captures exactly the type of person Ashley is. She is honestly one of the most down to earth and genuine people I know. She was the first person to write me back and offer her advice and friendship to me in the blog-o-sphere. A rarity in such a competitive industry.
Ashley started off her career as a Corporate Accountant for one of the Big 4 Accounting firms, Deloitte.
(As we all imagine when we graduate college, we think we have it all figured out. Until life happens.)
Ashley was working for Deloitte, and making a great living, yet was feeling unfulfilled. It was then she began her journey into blogging for a creative outlet. She created pursuitofshoes.com to tap into her creativity — and her love for shoes! As she pursued her blogging aspirations further, it was becoming abundantly clear that she needed to make a change. She recalled being scared to tell her parents she wasn’t happy at the seemingly perfect job.
She reflects on some very sage wisdom from her stepdad who said: “ You have to do this for the next 40 years of your life. If you are not happy, then don’t do it.” And cue the first Aha Moment.
Pay your dues
Ashley quit her job at Deloitte and worked seasonally in retail at Michael Kors, and also worked as a cocktail waitress on the weekend. Remember y’all, the road to fulfillment can be a bumpy one at first and involves sacrifice and dedication. She knew she always wanted to work in fashion, so she channeled her inner Mariah and (#madeithappen).
When you want something bad enough, and put it out there into the universe, things always have a way of working themselves out. Ashley received a call from HauteLook to work in Production. A far cry from Accounting, but things were going in the right direction. It wasn’t long before Ashley was killing it at HauteLook and given other tasks and opportunities. After a stint in Buying, the Head of Marketing saw great potential in Ashley given her growing following and presence on Pursuit of Shoes. He asked her to run Social Media for HauteLook, and she didn’t even realize a job in social media existed. “I went from not knowing a single thing about Marketing or Social Media to attending meetings at Facebook and Twitter," Ashley says.
Key Takeaway ---> Be open to opportunities. It might not be exactly what you want at the moment, but it can evolve. Y’all know I always talk about “the thing before THE thing.” Sometimes you have to be strategic to get into a company or industry that interests you.
So wait, backup...how did this blog thing evolve?
As I mentioned, Ashley started Pursuit of Shoes in 2010. At the time, she was focused primarily on her love for shoes. “I was broke as a joke, and couldn’t even pay for a photographer,” she remembers. She stayed tenacious and focused on putting out great content and doing as much as she could to build credibility. She started dating her boyfriend, now husband Andy — who in her mind would take all of her photos and be dubbed the legendary #instagramhusband.
She soon realized, in order to continue a relationship with Andy, perhaps she would need to seek her photographer out elsewhere. (Girl, I feel you.) Thinking of starting a blog? Ashley’s advice is to invest in your content and photos. You heard it here first.
At this point, the blog was taking off and she was also working for Revolve clothing at this point in her career. She had begun working with a professional photographer. Brands were starting to reach out to her, impressed by her content and photos. The investment was paying off. She was building credibility. By now she was realizing that she could really make this a career and do this full time. So that is what she did. She landed a client based in San Francisco that asked for help with her e-commerce site. She quit Revolve and hasn’t looked back since.
In 2016, Ashley rebranded her site and business to what is now Everyday Pursuits. Ashley recognized that she was about so much more than just her love of shoes. She wanted to connect with her readers on everything from travel to lifestyle to deeper conversation. She could also really have a future in wedding planning because side note — she was recently married and her whole wedding was just #goals. Check that out here.
As if that wasn’t enough, there is also a digital marketing arm to her business where she consults with brands on all things marketing and social media. Needless to say, this girl is nonstop. So much that she has a small team working alongside her to help her grow her FEM-pire.
Ok, Ashley — what advice do you have for the dreamers?
“For anyone that has an Aha Moment, you should act on it, but make sure you are strategic and can also pay your bills.”
So true, Ash. It is a big leap to really change things up and many people are scared to take the risk of a pay cut. Plan it out. Be smart. Save 3-6 months worth of bills if you can to get you started. You will feel less stress as you build your new career out.
What about the haters?
It is, unfortunately, a part of doing you. People always want what they don’t have. Ashley keeps it simple by saying she doesn’t let people that hate on her get her energy. While it can be difficult, it is always best to stay true to yourself.
Wind Beneath My Wings
Ashley cites the ever popular Jen Sincero the best selling author of You're a Badass & You're a Badass at Making Money as a big influence on her. While she doesn’t know Jen personally, she considers Jen to be instrumental in pushing her to do her own thing.
Jen, if you are somehow ever randomly stumble upon this, you have a fangirl over here. :)
The Greatest Love of All
Ashley’s hype soundtrack? Old school Whitney and Mariah get her so pumped. I think I am going to hit up that playlist right now. HERE. FOR. IT.
It was such an honor sharing Ashley’s inspirational story with y’all. Follow Ashley at @everydaypursuits to get a daily dose of all things badass!