If you have been following along here or over on our social media platforms, you know well that we are constantly in awe, drawing inspiration from, and shouting praises of fellow creative women who are, for the lack of better words, killing it at their craft. Amongst their talent and noteworthy characters, they are breaking down barriers and actively practicing what it means to elevate one another in a time in which it's far too easy to plummet down the rabbit hole of comparison.
With that, we have decide to pay a nod to these women and share them with you. Appropriately titled Series: Linyage Lady, we will introduce to you a new creative each week, and their crafts will range across a wide spectrum, sure to hit home with all the areas of your soul for their own different reasons. In these Q&A's you will learn how their very own lineage has influenced them as an artist and business owner, respectively.
Kicking off the Linyage Lady interviews is a serious go-getter that, dare we say, was the catalyst behind this whole series in the first place. Ashley Adamson of a.b. ellie embodies everything it means to draw from your roots, beginning first and foremost with the name of her company, whose derivative we will let her explain below. Ashley is not only a mentor to us because of her skill set and business knowledge, but she is also our very same age and has blazed the trail for both of us, amongst many other young creatives.
Without further adieu, we bring to you a true ray of sunshine, humility and breath of fresh air to an industry that can always use more of what she's bringing.
Ashley, with her new pup Redford
Q. First things first: Tell us who you are as an artist, in 5 words or less.
A. Definitely still working on this one! I hardly consider myself an artist so I am struggling to find just the right words. Check back with me on that one! :)
Q. We know that a.b. ellie comes from a piece of your own 'linyage'. Tell us the meaning behind the name and why you chose that.
A. Bespoke by my sister, Danielle—a.b. Ellie stems from two generations: our great grandmother, Eleanor Berg---always referred to as Ellie (I still recall each and every holiday card signed “gram Ellie”) and the initials of my first and middle names, Ashley Brooke. Our great Grandmother was a strong, generous and the utmost optimistic woman I knew. Her husband passed away when their kids were so young, she raised all 4 of them on her own—there was never a pity party or complaint but rather a sheer appreciation for all that was good in life. She was one for the books and a true inspiration in all of life. We miss her dearly.
Q. How have you noticed your 'linyage' influence you as an artist? Where does that show up in your work?
A. We are family owned and operated—a.b. Ellie launched 5 years ago by my mother, sister and myself. Each of us has our strengths within the business and yet we collaborate on nearly every aspect.
Family has always been the cornerstone in my life. It is not only family that I get to work with but it is family I look to for inspiration, guidance and support. For instance, in design I recall my father’s astute attention to detail in architectural design and surpassing the expectations of what is ‘expected.’ When the going gets tough and it is easy to feel overwhelmed running your own business, I am reminded by my brother the freedoms and opportunities of being your own boss—it is incredibly encouraging and rewarding to know your future is at your fingertips, make the most of it!
Q. While you have customers and fans from literally all over the world, you chose to set up shop in your own hometown of White Bear Lake. Tell us how your geographical location influences your business.
A. As a small business owner, I can’t help but love everything local. We are beyond enthused to have a spot outside of our home to call a.b. Ellie headquarters! The studio downtown White Bear Lake was a natural fit; we are surrounded by family, friends and local energy. Downtown is full of childhood memories, from dance classes at 4th Street Dance Center to Mickey Mouse pancakes at Keys Cafe—it has always been a place for fun and comfort. Immersed in these memories puts me in good state of mind, which is always good for business!
Q. New or old, where or whom do you draw your inspiration?
A. Old. But let’s be honest, fashion is an every evolving cycle and even the new seems to be linked back to the days of yore. For me, there is something about the eras of our grandmothers and great grandmothers—no detail was overlooked when it came to their style.
Q. Favorite time of day to create?
A. Crack of dawn—before 6 am. If I am lying there with my mind racing in the wee hours of the night, I know it is time to get up and get to the grind. Ideas are no good cooped up in the mind, best to put them into practice. These hours are often accompanied by Van Morrison, Lana Del Rey and She&Him.
Q. Best nugget of advice you've been given that stands true for you today.
A. Be aware of what everyone else is doing but don’t be limited by it – it’s easy to get caught up in what your competition is doing but always remember to be true to yourself; you have supporters for a reason, keep doing YOUR thing!
And you keep doing yours, Ashley!