Female Founder Spotlight: Blogger Ashley Gabriel
Ashley Gabriel Founder, To Covet And Bestow
Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born and raised in Northern New Jersey but always had the itch to become independent and see more than New Jersey/New York City. At 18, midway through my freshman year of college in NJ, I applied and enrolled to college in Florida and told my my mom I was leaving. It was a crash course in adult life being so far from home, having my own apartment, working, going to school full time and completing two internships. After college graduation (I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism) I moved back to start working in New York. I was lucky enough to get a job at Avon where I stayed for five years and had roles in several sides of the business. When they were downsizing, I was let go and I was devastated, but I felt like everything happens for a reason. I wanted to see the West Coast and work out there. Ironically, Avon asked me back twice but I applied to a job at Sephora, got accepted, packed my bags and left. I spent a year out there, but I didn’t feel fulfilled and wanted quality of life over quantity. I moved back last November, started writing a book, launched a blog, began a spiritual journey to become who I truly was and have never been happier.
Tell us about your blog, what’s your mission?
My blog started with a conversation with a girlfriend on a girls' trip to Palm Springs, she loves to hear my new knowledge on anything from home remedies to an inspiring book. She felt that I should share what I read, see, try and absorb with my loved ones and beyond, a place where people can share and collect pieces of information that is worth sharing on Home, Beauty, Health, Lifestyle and Inspiration. The blog houses Social Heirlooms, valuable pieces of knowledge for everyday life. The Social Heirlooms are shared once a day via email and stored on the blog. It’s a place that I hope makes someone's day better.
Writing has always been my passion but its a dying industry in terms of desk jobs, so I fell into beauty. I liked it but I was around people who loved it, I knew my heart wasn't in it. However, I felt obligated to live by society's expectations and took the well-paying desk jobs that were safe. In San Francisco, I was working like a maniac but I felt empty inside and knew I needed a major change. I decided to take a risk and leave the corporate world. It wasn't easy changing, it was humbling. I took a major pay cut and had to find my purpose again, but people's reactions to the blog have made it so worth it.
Whats the best social heirloom you have received so far?
Hard Question! I would have to say anything to do with a natural home remedy that can solve allergies, sleep issues or a bad hair day. People are so quick to run to the doctor, but if you take the time to research you will find so many healthier options.
I will say that sharing the Social Heirlooms is my favorite part. Even in conversation, I love to see someone's face when they feel that they've been let in on a secret.
Do it! Starting a blog, creating a website, learning PhotoShop was so out of my element and that's one of my proudest parts about the blog. I'm teaching and learning every day and to see people react and care is amazing.
I would say, first, bounce the idea off of people, to see if there is an audience. Plus, people love to get creative when you approach them and they will give you so many great ideas.