For the entire month, in celebration of Women’s History Month, we will feature some of our SHE Crushes! These women are doing great things in the areas as an influencer for women as entrepreneurs or in love, health, wellness and beauty. Our first SHE Crush is writer and entrepreneur, Ashley Coleman! I’m a member of Ashley’s Writing community on Facebook, The Writer’s Muse, and met her last year at the Blogalicious Conference. She is real and has an amazing spirit. She even recently wrote me and many others a personal love letter. We love what she’s doing and here you can learn more about her!
Who is Ashley Coleman?
Well, this is an important question. So many things come to mind. That’s the beautiful thing about who we are, it’s so multi-faceted. Ashley Coleman is a writer, a lover, a dreamer, a business owner and employee. But more important than what I do is that Ashley Coleman is love, a reflection of a perfect God, a wife, a friend, a daughter. I am the product of my ancestors. I am the daughter my father prayed for. I am an encourager. I am a believer. And all those parts and so much more constitute who I am.
How did WriteLaughDream come about?
I can’t really remember how WriteLaughDream started honestly. I had a blog in 2008 called Music’s Chess: A Pawn’s Story and it evolved into what I’ve created today. I always wanted to share personal stories, and then in that journey, I decided that I really wanted to encourage other people instead of just ranting and raving about my own thoughts. It honestly incorporates the things that I love to do which starts with writing, lots of laughs, and pursuing the heck out of all the dreams God has placed in my heart.
What inspired you to write your books, “Dear Love” and “Love on Purpose”?
Well, at the time that I wrote “Dear Love,” I was learning so much about God’s love. It all started with me sharing these revelations in the form of love letters on Instagram. I noticed how well people responded to them and even had a few of my followers make comments that they would love to have them all together in a book. So I did it. Gathered the love notes that I was writing and added narratives that explained them more and released the book in 2013. “Love on Purpose” was really a continuation of that journey. I wanted to dig in a little more and share my revelations on what it takes to be more mindful in our relationships not just with our significant others but even our friends and family.
What has contributed to your success thus far?
I would say my ability to keep going. So many of us want it and we want it right now. We don’t have the endurance or the perseverance to keep seeing it through. I don’t always get the results that I want. I am not blowing up all over people’s timelines. YET. But I am willing to be diligent and to do the work. To keep writing, to keep improving more importantly and to keep growing in the work that I believe that God has called me to do. So much of the success that we are really trying to achieve starts with simply believing in ourselves enough to keep going even when you are unsure, even when it seems like two people are listening and then you look up and you have accomplished so much more than you could have ever dreamed.
How do you maintain good health and wellness?
If I am being honest, I could do a lot better of a job with this. I get on these streaks of wanting to be better, eat better, and all that good stuff, but it’s difficult. We have lives that are revolving 24/7 and putting health and wellness at the forefront sometimes suffers. But one important thing that I have learned is how to push things OFF my plate. I have learned to say no to things even when I am free. Just to give myself time to actually be free. Sometimes we don’t realize how much some scheduled downtime can help our health and wellness. And I like to do things like hang out with my husband, get a mani or pedi with my best friend or go for walks when the weather is nicer here on the east coast.
Favorite reads right now?
Everything I read from Brene Brown just makes me feel like I can live to work another day. Recently I finished reading “Daring Greatly” and “The Gifts of Imperfection” which were phenomenal. I would also say that “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes was a doozie for me. It was so inspiring in a way that I didn’t expect it to be. Great read. And I would say “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher is one of my recent faves of all time. It motivated me to focus, to stop doubting, and to keep my head down and work.
What are your favorite products for hair and body right now?
I’m so not a product junky. HAHA. I wish I had more time to think about those things. But I would have to say that Belle Butters for anything body is a personal fave. I’m so low maintenance when it comes to hair. My go-tos are coconut oil, Cantu’s daily moisturizer, and the TGIN Twist Out Cream. Those three things get me through wash days to some great fro magic.
How do you feel that you empower other women and why is empowering other women so important?
I think I empower other women by giving them permission. Permission to feel what they feel, to be encouraged, to be discouraged, to dream, to write. It’s all through sharing with them my own struggles and saying listen, I’ve been there. There is so much we don’t talk about as women. So many secrets. And the moment that we put those things out in the open, the moment that we shine light on shame and vulnerability, it dissipates and we are capable of anything. That’s my goal. To help women break the chains and to be heard. And that’s important because well, the world is waiting for us to be everything that God made us to be. Literally, lives depend on our ability to realize our full potential. That’s essential work.
Finish these sentences:
I feel loved when: I am in conversations with my husband and we come to a full understanding of each other’s perspectives.
I feel beautiful when: I put on just the right thing and it fits right and I look in the mirror and feel that nothing is lacking.
I feel confident when: I am sharing my knowledge on writing and building a brand literally from the ground up, starting from nothing and feeling like I’ve made it into something.