Alumni Spotlight: Ashlee Proffitt
Happy December, friends! We're spotlighting the lovely Ashlee Proffitt today and catching up with what she's been hard at work on since her time at Stationery Academy.
Where are you now? What has your journey since Stationery Academy looked like?
It is crazy to think that a little over 4 years ago I attended the very first Stationery Academy. And what a life-changing, business changing experience that was. Prior to attending Stationery Academy, I had no real education in what it looked like to run a business, I was going in far too many directions, I had no real ideas or clarity about what I wanted to do with my business (I was just doing what I saw everyone else around me doing) and I had no community in this industry, not a single friend I could bounce an idea off with.
Since that time, I have gained clarity about who I am as an artist and the direction I want to take my business in that is unique to my strengths and expertise. I have experienced successful growth both in profitability but also in knowledge about how to actually run a business. And my favorite thing is that I have an enormous community of real friends who understand and relate to the struggles (and joys!) of being a small creative business owner.
My journey for the last 4 years has not been easy but the lessons learned at Stationery Academy and the community gained from that experience have helped shape the last 4 years leading me to where I am today: leading a business that I really love and am finding true success in.
What has been the highlight of your year?
Highlight of my year?! Narrowing it down to one event is quite the challenge for this girl who finds most moments to be pretty amazing.
This year has been one of the most fruitful for my little business, I was able to finally put my big girl business pants on and pay myself a set salary (if you know my business story at all you know that the finances part of it has been an enormous struggle for me), through the help of a fellow branding designer I completely overhauled my branding process and have since been able to better serve my branding clients in a way that fits my strengths, I filled my little shop with goods that I loved and was really proud of and recreated the Advent Calendar I started about 5 years ago into something beautifully unique.
In all of those great joys I think the biggest highlight though was finding the freedom to really explore who I was created to be, identifying my strengths and unique gifts as well as my specific definition of success and applying those to my business. I feel like I finally have a business that is a unique fit to me (instead of constantly trying to replicate what I saw around me). In doing so, my business has become less of a burden and more of a joy.
Do you have a favorite memory from Stationery Academy?
My roommates. Amber Housley, Amber Moon & Courtney Scowby. Legitimately the sweetest, most encouraging and superiorly talented creative business owners absolutely made my Stationery Academy experience what it was. I am forever grateful to God for allowing our paths to cross. And for all the hotel room chats, beach side chats and skype chats following.
How has Stationery Academy continued to shape your path?
I think the biggest way Stationery Academy has continued to shape my path was that it created a desire to learn and grow my business in healthy, sustainable ways as well as a desire for true community within the creative industry. Both of those things have created and led to many opportunities within my business.
What's in your future?
I have some GIANT things in the future and it will most likely mean a totally new direction (and potentially elimination of Ashlee Proffitt, the business), but it's still in the super early stages so it's hard to adequately explain in this space. How's that for ambiguity?! hahaha
I would love your prayers for this new exciting venture though; I am certain that it is going to bless so many women!!
We're so excited for what's to come! Ashlee is a branding guru and has launched The Branding Parlor, fully developed brand packages with all the essential brand elements (logos, images, color palettes, etc.) without the scary $4,000 investment. Go gorgeous early with one of these luxury styles. Currently all 'brand collections' are $200 off (for a limited time). Ya'll, this is a huge savings!
P.S. Have you gotten yourself an Advent Calendar? It isn't not too late!