We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Laurine Ruiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Financial freedom and the need to satisfy my ego of “I made it” was the initial thought process behind starting my business. That quickly changed as my dreams shifted, and I started to see my purpose in my dreams. As a single mother my primary thought was to be able to comfortably provide for my son. The need for my son to see his mother thrive instead of survive crossed my mind daily. However, now my primary thoughts are stepping into a leadership role as a social impact entrepreneur for my community. I formed an LLC and NPO that allows me to develop properties in my community awhile providing true impact. The thought process behind my business is no longer self seeking yet moves in a selfless direction.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am the owner of a property development LLC and an nonprofit organization in 5th Ward Houston, TX. My community includes a variety of different cultures. I am the voice of a 3rd generation Mexican American Latina. I was raised and presently reside in the 77020-zip code. Living in a rundown unacknowledged historical district, I am able to see first-hand the lack of privileged in my community along with the lack of imaginative investment. Change is required by the people of the community before we are displaced and left undiscovered. Both my companies are designed to conserve the community through outreach, restoration, and social events. I have no professional background or years of experience in this industry. I seen a need, took a stance, and applied action to my dream. I have had many challenges and more to come, but I stay grounded in my truth. God does not give your heart desires for them to wither away and there is a solution to every problem. Happiness is discovered in your purpose, and your purpose is found in you dreams. Don’t be afraid to dream!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend visiting from out of town, I would definitely take them to The Post, which is located downtown. The Post is a good place to grab something to eat and walk around on the rooftop at night. The City of Houston really shines at night. There’s also this rooftop Cinema in downtown I recently discovered. I’d probably take them to check that out too. Houston has a few parks that are amazing to walk around. Discover green, Buffalo Bayou Park, and Houston botanical gardens are a few picnic spots for a beautiful day. However, there are more than a few lounges/bars to encounter. Depending on what crowd we’re looking for we can start off in downtown with some salsa at Fabian‘s or see what the House of Blues is featuring. Chapman and Kirby along with a plethora of other bars, are all in walking distance of each other. It’s always a good idea to see what festivals and Events the city is showcasing during the week. Those are where all the City’s gems are typically found. I love me a Hip Hop flea market on Sundays, but they’re also our ATV rentals and mud trails to explore. I guess it would be a good idea to ask my friend what she is interested in doing. There’s so much to do in such a big city and to be honest my list is just the tip of the iceberg.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I can’t thank my Father God enough for the desires and purpose that live within me, and to the people aligned with the same purpose that he has placed in my path. The support that I have experienced has come from all directions. However, one little spirit has sacrificed just as much as me. Chastin Michael Ruiz, kid, you deserve all the recognition I have to give. Son, you are directly impacted by every move I make and you are the very reason why I move with such intention. The encouragement, love, mentorship, and support that you unknowingly provide is more than enough.

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