noun || yəNG ˈhefā
When Mikel Benyamin, stylist for Keke Palmer and Cardi B, launched his website moments before the Golden Globes — we figured a magic was happening. After some careful Instagram stalking — we discovered Ashley. Turns out, she’s the mastermind behind some of our favorite bloggers and brands.
TA: What is your current hustle?
AS: I'm a graphic designer. I come from a fashion merchandising background selling clothes to high-end fashion buyers so I've developed an eye for knowing what the fashion loving crowd wants aesthetically. I traded flipping garments for digital assets — to a new type of buyer — the business owner.
TA: Explain the difference between your 9-5 and your 5-grind.
AS: During my 9-5 I curate graphics for a fashion jewelry brand, SHASHI NYC. I work closely with ads, catalogs and the website for sales. Anything branding or aesthetic related is my job. There isn't much room for artistic fun because they already have a set brand identity.
My 5-grind, is where I have the most fun! 9 times out of 10 someone is looking for "The Aesthetic Girl look," so I get to produce what feels right naturally and color outside the lines.
TA: So 5-grind excluded, what has been the hardest job to wake up for?
AS: The corporate job I had right out of college. I hated what I did because it wasn't art related, It's what made me realize I wan't cut out for anyone's corporate environment regardless of the (great) pay. I was amongst some of the smartest minds, men and women from Harvard, Yale, PENN, Princeton but I still hated waking up every Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday, you get the point...).
TA: How do you get in the right mind-set for work, what do you listen to?
AS: Jamiroquai, Zero 7, Migos or Dwele. Outside of the occasional Atlanta rap song, I'm a sucker for net-soul and acid jazz. I'm also a fan of pre-Happy era Pharrell.
TA: When your first direct deposit hit, what did you buy?
AS: Either Chanel shoes or a flight ticket somewhere. I used to be Chanel obsessed and wanderlust driven.
TA: Would you say that any career advice has helped that mentality?
AS: Yes. The most memorable career advice came from my boyfriend. He once told me, "Relax, you work too hard. It's just life. Don't let anything or any client stress you too much. It's all going to be okay anyway." Since that day I've had a lot more time to spend with him and our daughter, River.
TA: Speaking of clients, who has been your favorite client/project so far?
AS: Mikiel Benyamin — hands down! He was such a fun spirit and gave me total creative freedom. To meet his deadline for the Golden Globes where he'd be styling Keke Palmer, the website and logo had to be done in 36 hours. It was a tad stressful but well received by celebrities and followers of both him and I.
TA: What's your dream collaboration?
AS: Jamiroquai. He's a funky music artist who was hot in Europe during the 90s. He wears these amazing headpieces and makes dance music way beyond my tears. I'd love to create his comeback album cover. #GraphicNerd