I’m excited to introduce our first Courageous Entrepreneur for 2017. Meet Ashley Carter. Ashley is a blogger and creator of FabEllis, a life, beauty and style blog. Ashley has been blogging since 2010 and has inspired and empowered many women along the way with her knowledge of makeup, hair and fashion, among many other things.
I met Ashley at an event for bloggers back in 2012 before I even started blogging. She and the other young ladies were so welcoming, as I was the only person at the event who didn’t have a blog yet. Ashley was so insightful and I could immediately tell that she was passionate about blogging. I was inspired by her drive and knowledge. Continue reading to learn more about Ashley, her blog FabEllis and how courage has played a role on her journey to entrepreneurship.
1. Briefly tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Ashley and I am the creator of FabEllis. FabEllis is a beauty, life and style blog I created over six years ago. The purpose of FabEllis is to share affordable beauty reviews, style inspiration and encourage women to embrace their God-given beauty. In addition to FabEllis, I am the creator of the Triad Women Bloggers Network. This network was created to provide women bloggers in the Burlington, Greensboro and High Point areas an outlet to connect share and grow with other bloggers.
2. What made you decide to be an entrepreneur?
I decided to become an entrepreneur because I was never truly satisfied with my previous jobs. I’d been working for almost 15 years and I found that with every job I’d held, I never truly felt fulfilled. Nothing gave me the fulfillment like FabEllis gave me. I feel that with past jobs, I was never satisfied because I wasn’t living my life’s purpose. I feel that my purpose is truly to encourage women and FabEllis allows me to do that daily.
3. What made you decide to venture into this particular field (fashion, food, photography, etc.)? Is this field your passion?
I actually first ventured into blogging at the suggestion of a friend. I studied Communication and Professional Writing in college and my dream job was to be a writer for a magazine. When I graduated in 2008, I had a lot of trouble finding positions in my field. I ended up beginning a job at a local call center in my hometown and one of my friends suggested I start a blog to share my love for beauty and style. I began FabEllis in December 2010 and it has definitely been my passion ever since.
4. In what ways has courage played a role in you starting your business?
Courage has played a huge role in starting my business. In blogging, it takes courage to put yourself out there for the public to see. I wasn’t always comfortable with this because I can be a private person; however, I’ve seen with blogging that allowing myself to be open has welcomed so many women to my platform.
5. What have been some challenges for you on your entrepreneurial journey?
One of the main challenges I face is making enough money to cover monthly expenses. It can be challenging because with blogging, you have peaks and valleys. I have learned that it’s important to save during the peaks. I also made the decision a few months ago to pick up a part-time job to help with slower months.
6. How did you overcome?
Opening my horizons and applying for as many blog opportunities as I can that fit my niche has helped a lot, but ultimately, opting to get a part-time position has truly helped me have the freedom of doing my blog and making sure my monthly expenses are taken care of whether it’s a busy or slow blog month.
7. What and/or who inspired you to become a business owner?
Honestly, I am constantly inspired by so many women bloggers. Bloggers like GabiFresh and Tiffany Battle are living life on their terms. They do this full-time, work with amazing brands and are truly inspiring. Their leaps made me feel like I could do this!
8. What advice (5 tips) do you have for anyone thinking of starting his or her own business?
My advice is to never let fear hold you back. You cannot reach your fullest potential in your comfort zone. Also, do your research and always be willing to learn. I am always learning from people around me, and trying to attend as many workshops and small business opportunities I can. Lastly, do what you’re truly passionate about. One thing I have personally seen in blogging, for example, is people beginning blogs only to make money. While it can be profitable, true success is when you’re passionate about what you do.
9. In what ways has networking helped your business?
Networking has been a tremendous help to my business. Many of my previous speaking engagements came as a result of meeting women at local events. Networking is so essential when it comes to being a blogger because if you build a great rapport with someone, you oftentimes can be the first one they think of for a campaign or event.
10. What resources (local in your community and/or outside of your community) have you found to be helpful for you as a business owner?
I definitely have found online tools like Pinterest helpful because I can look up just about any topic I have a question on.
11. Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
I plan to still be blogging and speaking at events. I would really love the opportunity to author a book and collaborate with beauty and style companies for my own collection.
12. Where can people contact you for business inquires?
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
13. Where can we find you on social media?
Be sure to support Ashley by subscribing to her blog and following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube.