Almost five years ago, it started as a creative side project and now it’s one of the most popular DIY blogs there is. Ashley Rose, 28, started Sugar & Cloth while she was working at a local seafood restaurant because she wanted to figure out what she really wanted to do and she wanted something creative to work towards in helping her do so. In the past five years, S&C has been named ‘Best DIY Blog’ by ‘Better Homes & Gardens,’ a ‘Top 12 Instagram Account to Follow’ by ‘Huffington Post,’ partnered with Anthropologie and Home Depot, been featured in ‘Teen Vogue,’ ‘Oprah Magazine,’ ‘Real Simple,’ ‘Huffington Post,’ and ‘Martha Stewart Living.’ Oh, and this is just a small sampling of where she’s been featured, who she has collaborated with, and accolades she’s received! However, S&C wasn’t an overnight success; Ashley worked (and continues to work) SO incredibly hard, all the time. She’s extremely passionate about what she does, and it shows through in each and every project she does and post she writes. I’m so excited to feature Ashley here today, so keep on reading to find out what inspires her, her biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of her career, thus far, what a day in her life is like, and lots more.
Sugar & Cloth has become a household name these days, and you’ve had so many incredible opportunities – what do you attribute all this success to?
Well I definitely don’t think we’re a household name just yet, but it makes my day to even be considered to be in that realm of success! Putting in the time, dedication, and sometimes sacrifice, to make the dream happen is definitely what I attribute it to.
What has been the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of your career, thus far?
Getting to style Amazon’s newest party site for their entertaining products. It’s crazy to think that out of everyone they could choose for that, they chose us!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a blog?
Be ready to hustle and shrug off the small stuff! There’s a definite misconception that blogging is a super laid bag gig, that pays a lot, and showers you with free stuff. It’s so far from that, that I actually laugh when people say things like that. Remember that nothing is ever free, and if you’re going to stand out enough to get paid to make a living from it, you’re going to have to put in the time and money to make it happen.
What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on? I’m sure it’s hard to pick just one, so you can pick a few!
I love quite a few of our DIY projects, and end up hoarding them for faaaaar too long afterwards, but our styled parties are always the most fun because we get to invite people over to enjoy them with. Our recent tropical garden party was a blast!
Walk us thru a day in your life! I imagine no two are the same.
To be honest, life is still super chaotic for us. We’ve definitely streamlined a lot of things from almost five years ago until now, but as a small business, we’re still a little all over the place and figuring things out as we go. Usually it starts with Jared splashing coffee on my face to wake me up (ha! I’m only sort of kidding..), and then I go through my inbox to make sure all of the most important things have been taken care of. From there we’ve either planned a shoot day to meet deadlines and keep new blog content in the works, or it’s more of an admin day where I spend time on the behind the scenes work. More often than not it’s a behind the scenes kind of day. We spend more time on that than the fun stuff!
You’re coming up on your 5 year ‘blogiversary’ – WOW. Can you even believe it? What’s been the most challenging part about running S&C all these years? Most rewarding?
The learning curve of running a small business is by far the most challenging. Between accounting, marketing, content creating, social media strategies, etc. you basically have to be a jack of all trades, plus a master of some! I like the challenge, but it can definitely feel like an uphill battle some days. The most rewarding by far is getting to read the immediate reaction from readers that love what we’re creating and sharing with them each day!
What inspires you?
Observing new things. I love snapping random, horrible photos of things that I see and love, whether that’s unexpected color combinations, or cool architecture or furnishings from places we’ve traveled. When you put new inspirations together, you can always make something fresh and new for people to read.
If you could get coffee and macarons (I know you love macarons!) with one person, living or not, who would it be and why? And what flavor macarons would you order?
Dorothy Draper! She was totally someone who broke the mold and stepped so far out of the box that she’s still recognizable even after her passing. And I’m a red velvet macaron girl all the way!
What motto/quote do you always try to live by?
Do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
What’s coming up for S&C? Can you share anything that’s in the pipeline?
A product line!!! We’re feeling all the feels over here!
Photography by Jared Smith
Read past interviews here.
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