Ashley Wu: Do-ing it With Style
Occupations, affiliations, and projects.
Editor-in-Chief, Exposed Zippers
People Who Do focuses on those who excel at moving forward throughout their passions in life, why is it important to you to “do”?
At this point I have a lot invested in Exposed Zippers. What started as a real passion project has turned into a company and my “full time” job. I live and breathe the blog, and am constantly thinking about ways to make it better and to reach more people. One part of my motivation to maintain the blog has always been to present a different side of the industry to my audience. The people I feature always have a commonality – they are doing something interesting that deserves attention. I’m always honest and I never write about something I don’t believe in. It’s the best and worst thing about myself.
To date, what accomplishments (of any kind) are you most proud of?
Aside from the growth and success of the blog –it would have to be my family. I have a 3 year-old and a 4 month-old. It’s not easy being present for your kids, lending an ear to your husband, and showing up for your friends and extended family while challenging one’s self with a job you love. But it’s important to me to volunteer in my son’s school library and exclusively breastfeed my daughter - and I make these choices priorities in my life. I think juggling all the demands of a home life and work life is an accomplishment. How well I’m doing it…I guess that’s for them to decide. (haha!)
Another accomplishment I’m proud of is my personal style. I have always had a uniquely personal style, and it’s evolved over time, but the main style elements always remain: effortlessness and comfort! I like to think I’ve nailed this elegant bohemian look.
#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.
It’s not business related, but it affects everything. Health is wealth. No matter how tough things can get or busy or whatever, none of it is even possible without your health. The tough moments are nothing compared to those fighting for their health. It’s all about perspective, right?
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
You’ll always find your people. This was relevant to both the blog and my personal life. About a year ago, I spent a lot of time brainstorming ways to increase readership by adding new content to the blog. Much of the content I was contemplating was not exciting to me or consistent with the message I’m trying to send. I had to accept the fact that my blog won’t be for everyone and I shouldn’t compromise my content in order to reach every single person online.
And personally, I’m on the younger end of the spectrum for a woman with two kids in New York City. I was so worried about finding women friends who are also mothers. But I did. And they’re amazing!
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned?
You can’t please everyone. I have watched a lot of people, whom I love, give up their lives to look after others. And maybe, upon first glance this may seem really noble, and selfless, but I’ve watched it consume people. And then it becomes the expectation, and stepping back or away for good, becomes impossible. And that’s when feelings get hurt. I get that there are seasons in our lives when taking care of each other is part of it. It pains me when I see people making decisions based off of how it will be received by others. I think if we can learn to prioritize our own needs and happiness it will permeate all of our relationships…in a positive way. And things will just work better.
What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?
Right now it’s Michael Kiwanuka’s newest album “Love & Hate.” It’s so devastatingly beautiful. I know, I know what a strange genre to lift my spirits, but I’ve always preferred moody music.
Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party.
My husband always, Julia Roberts, Stephen Colbert, Barack Obama (and Michelle), George Clooney (and Amal)
What’s the best piece of advice that you can give to someone right now?
Be yourself. It’s so obvious when someone isn’t – and I always wonder – why would you work so hard to maintain the so-called illusion of someone else? It just seems like so much work.
3 words that you want to be remembered by.
Thoughtful, open-minded, loving.
What’s the next goal?
I have specific readership and engagement numbers for the blog to get to by the end of the year. I’m hoping we reach all of them.
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look/be remembered?
I want my legacy to show that I loved my family more than I loved my work. And that was ok.
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