When I first met Ashley, I was intimidated. How could you not be? This stunner runs a KC based fashion blog, Le Stylo Rouge, and has the quickest wit of anyone I’d ever met.
But with one flash of her million watt smile, I was immediately put at ease.
Not only does Ashley have a killer sense of style and a brilliant sense of humor, she is one of the most loyal people I’ve ever met. She’s a content strategist (and occasional grammar bully) by day and a fashion blogger by night. Not to mention a TV-screaming, rage-tweeting, die hard KU fan.
But enough from me. With much excitement, I present to you my inaugural Badass Babe – Ashley White.
EK: Tell us more about Le Stylo Rouge. What inspired you to start your blog?
AW: By category, LSR is a style blog. This lovely little web collision of what I find interesting fashion-wise + a photo journal of what I’m currently wearing.
Starting LSR was a combination of two factors: I was looking for a creative outlet after graduating college with an English creative writing degree + my boss was constantly (lovingly) bullying me to start a blog “to teach people who don’t know much about fashion how to dress.”
At first, I didn’t think anyone would really care what I wore or had to say about style. Turns out, I was wrong. I’m able to be myself (direct, self-depreciating, sarcastic) and wear what I want (usually a little ridiculous, sometimes tough, hopefully stylish).
LSR has grown into a legit side business + passion project, and I’ve gotten the chance to work with brands and blogs I’ve admired for years. It’s not just my mom pity-refreshing my site every few minutes- there are actual people out there, reading + commenting on the content I publish.
It’s crazy and humbling, but also pushes me to keep things fresh and deliver on quality.
EK: You’re also the founder of The Blogger Collective, a blogging network. What sets TBC apart from other networks? Why did you want to start your own?
AW: My pal, Nikki (from The Fashionable Wife) and I were looking to join a blogger group that was not only inclusive (vs. exclusive), but one that provided plenty of legit education around how to blog successfully. After a fairly exhaustive search and an email chain that went back and forth for weeks, we decided to start our own.
We wanted our group to include everyone- not just fashion blogs or only people from a specific city/region of the country. We also wanted to focus on blogger education in a supportive environment- no judgments, lots of 101-level basic information easily missed when you’re just starting out, with a healthy dose of “we’re all in this together” emphasis. We’re not all blogging in a vacuum (or at least, we don’t have to) so we wanted to open up avenues for learning + collaboration.
TBC is now 350+ members strong after launching in December 2014; I’m proud of what we’ve built! It’s a place where newbie and vet bloggers can come, dig in + learn something, and find like-minded bloggers to connect with.
EK: What’s next for LSR? TBC?
AW: More, more, more. Now that I’ve got a process, I want to refine it- this means constantly looking for best practices + ways to improve. You can’t get complacent. So I’m grinding in 2016.
I’ve got Kansas City Fashion Week coming up in March + some cool brand collaborations I’m excited to shoot and publish. I’ve become a regular segment contributor on KCTV’s Better Kansas City morning program, and I want to use that platform to expand my brand.
EK: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
AW: People are going to show you exactly who they are- good or bad- and when they do, you should believe them. It holds true no matter where you apply it: to business, your personal life, to casual encounters, and to deeper relationships.
EK: Anyone who has taken a look at your Twitter feed knows you’re a huge KU fan. When did the love affair begin?
AW: I was 10 years old and convinced I was going to grow up to be a point guard for Roy Williams. (Nevermind the fact I was a girl destined to never break 5’5 when flat-footed.) I spent school nights staying up late, cheering for and shouting at Jacque, Ryan, Scot, and countless other KU legends, believing that was going to be me.
While playing for Roy (or Bill, who came on as head coach my freshman year at KU) wasn’t in the game plan, I’m totally fine with shout-coaching from the sidelines (or on Twitter, as it were).
Those are my boys; that’s my team.
EK: What’s the best thing about being a Jayhawk?
AW:The history and tradition, easy. It’s rich, and it’s deep, and it’s everywhere you look on campus + in Lawrence. Being steeped in all that as a college kid gives you this sense of pride you carry with you for the rest of your life. There is absolutely nothing like being a Jayhawk.
EK: What’s your favorite KU moment?
Winning the championship in 2008 and then piling in the car with my friends to Lawrence. We flocked to Mass like homing pigeons; it just felt like that’s where we needed to be. (A hundred thousand other people felt the same.) We were up until the wee hours of the morning, walking up and down Mass, high-fiving everyone in sight, shouting and cheering and celebrating the biggest win in 20 years. It was an amazing scene to be part of.
EK: And, last but certainly not least, what does badass mean to you?
AW: Going after your dream, having a voice + using it, and not taking shit from anyone in the process. I have plenty of room to learn + improve, but dammit if I won’t put you in your place if you doubt me or my ability.
That’s badass- being humble enough to understand you don’t know everything, but confident enough to know they can’t touch you if you put the work in.