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

Hi Ashley, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?

In a fast paced world that is social media centered and everyone looking for the next big trend, you can feel the pressures of, “where do I and what I do fit into all of this?” There’s also insecurities and comparison that comes into play and not to mention the pressures of trying to keep up. But what keeps me going is remember my “why”. Why do I operate in any of my creative outlets? at the core, I want to help people, even if it’s just one person. I want to help them heal, grow, learn, find hope and purpose. That is at the center of all that I do. Whether it’s writing or music or natural hair and beauty. I want people to feel seen, loved, and empowered. To take care of their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. I feel my purpose is to help others, I can’t give up because someone out there is depending on me.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I’ve been a Musician/singer my whole life, my father was a musician/singer and I have an older sister who is also a singer, so it runs in the family. I graduated from Berklee College of music, class of 2017. I’ve been fortunate to sing all over the east coast, I’ve sang behind a few amazing artists such as gospel artist Phil Thompson and even Angie Stone, I’ve even had the opportunity to perform in Africa and Europe. My last song “3rd Party” by Ashley Tishana, was an r&b song released in 2017 after I graduated from college. Currently, I am working on rebranding myself as an artists and a new style of music that I think speaks more to who I am today. I will also be going by a new artist name. I can’t wait to share!

I’ve always had an affinity for writing. It started as inner dialogue and journaling, then it became inspirational and motivational. I started blogging at the top of the pandemic under authenticallyashleyxo, I wrote about my real life experience, my faith, and life tips. Whatever I felt compelled to share with my audience really. It was all well received. I took a break at the end of 2021 because life became a bit overwhelming and then God opened a door for me to partner with Tabitha Brown’s hair care line Donna’s Recipe. At first I was just a part of their holiday campaign, which I did a video explaining my natural hair journey and how my little sister inspired me to return back to natural. So many people loved it, including Tabitha Brown herself who shared it with her audience. From there a relationship was formed with the company and today I am not only one of their Brand Ambassadors, but also a contributing content creator and content writer for all of their platforms and website. It’s really crazy how God works sometimes. I’m also the Brand Ambassador for a small, black-owned, woman owned, skin care line located in Connecticut call Body Party. Both of these brand partnerships are fairly new, but you can expect a lot of content coming from me in the future.

What I’m most proud of, is that I am multifaceted. I used to look at this as an issue because I was always told to find a niche and stick to it. I agreed with this to a certain extent, but not completely. I’ve never liked the idea of boxing ones self in and it seemed people had been doing that to me my whole life. So I decided I’m going to do it all. None of this has been easy, and I still have a long way to go as far as growing and refining my brand. I’ve learned that comparison will steal your joy and creativity if you let it. I’ve also learned that you can struggle with anxiety or other mental health issues for that matter and still accomplish the impossible. You might have to go a little slower than others or take some breaks, but as long as you are on your path and focused on what you have to offer the world, the race is yours! I am my brand. And I want the world to experience authenticity, love, joy, and sense of community when they come across anything I put out there.

Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
I want to shout out God whom without, none of my creative ideas would be possible. He’s brought me through some extremely dark times in my life, which a lot of my creativity was and is still birth from. Shout out to my mom, who has always had unwavering faith in me figuring out my path and allowed me the freedom to do so. My grandmother for her sacrifices to bring my mother and I to America from Jamaica so many years ago now. Shout out also to my tribe of sisters/girlfriends who are always there for me in the most important ways, I wouldn’t have gotten through my early 20’s and even now, without them.

Lastly, I want to shout out my Aunt Jennifer (God rest her soul), who was the first person to make me truly believe in myself. Her faith in me and my creativity as a little girl made me feel like I could accomplish anything.

Instagram: authenticallyashleyxo

Youtube: authenticallyashleyxo

Other: Donna’s Recipe Blog Piece: https://www.donnasrecipe.com/blogs/donnas-blog/7-essentials-for-the-natural-hair-traveler

Image Credits
Feature Photo – Norman Oats

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.