Behind the Blog: Meet Ashley from Never Been So!
If you have just recently joined us since our relaunch into Lifestyle by Anna Elizabeth, you may not be familiar with our 'Behind the Blog' series. Every month, we like to introduce you to a new blogger to share bits and pieces of their backstory and answer a few, fun questions. Today, I am so excited to share my interview with a Baltimore blogger that I have personally met and connected with over the past year. Last Summer, I had the privilege of meeting a group of genuine, supportive, and inspiring ladies in the Baltimore blogging industry (I hope to have ALL of them on 'Behind the Blog' eventually).
Getting to know these creative girl-bosses and connecting over our everyday up's and down's has been instrumental in the growth of my blog and overall happiness in regards to this industry. I look forward to our monthly meet-up where we connect over cocktails and discuss everything from new fashion trends to our most embarrassing photos from middle school. When I was first introduced to Ashley, initially through Instagram, and got to know her better, I realized just how much we have in common already.
Ashley moved to Baltimore city almost 7 years ago after attending school in Towson. She launched her blog, Never Been So, in October of 2016, and says that it has played an enormous role in her life since. Currently, Ashley's full-time job is in the Procurement field with the US Coast Guard. Ashley is best known for her cool, city style, insane travel photos, and sharing her latest indulgence found in the city (who knew there were so many donuts!?)
Learn more about the babe behind the blog, Never Been So, below now!
1. What are a few words you live by? This is like opening a can of worms for me. I live for inspirational words and quotes, they get me through the days. “Never Give Up” has been playing a bigger role in my life lately. The blogosphere is a tough market and there are plenty of days where I feel like I can’t do it all, but reminding myself to not give up keeps me going.
2. Who or what inspired you to start your blog? I’ve always been a creative person, but somehow in college I got convinced that the best option for me was to enter Finance, which is about the exact opposite you can get from creative, because that was the only way I could secure a steady job. I’ve kept this mind set my entire professional career. Finally, last year I realized my creative mind wasn’t being fulfilled and I needed something to distract myself from the four hours a day I spent commuting to/from DC. So, I decided I needed an outlet for this creativity. I followed so many bloggers and constantly thought “I want to be like them” or “I love what they post” and finally decided I could start sharing my own posts, connecting with this community and using my platform to market for brands.
3. What has been your biggest challenge since launching Never Been So? That’s a tough one because there have been a lot of challenges. I think the biggest is overcoming judgment from other people. Being a blogger subjects you to a vulnerability like no other; pouring your heart and soul into a post or working on a caption for over an hour just to have it ripped apart at surface level is rough. There will always be people who bring negativity and there have been times where I’ve let one or two of those comments linger in my head far longer than they should. I’ve learned in those instances I need to step back and celebrate the positivity that surrounds myself and Never Been So.
4. Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter? Instagram all the way. I’m a big fan of snapchat too, but I tend to use that privately, although insta-stories are taking over. My opinion on insta-stories has taken a complete 180, at first I told myself I’d never use the feature and now I can’t get enough, watching and posting. There’s something to be said about seeing someone’s day to day that connects you at a deeper level.
5. What has been your favorite travel moment so far? Omg how do I pick just one? I’d have to say hiking to the top of Macchu Picchu in Peru. That was the most gruesome hike I’d ever done, it rained the entire time and halfway through the six hours, our guide told us that the weather was so bad, we probably wouldn’t even be able to see anything or get a good photo at the top. We had heavy packs, we were wearing ponchos, it was 85 degrees and 100% humidity. I wasn’t happy. We reached the top. The clouds gave way and the sun came out. It was breathtaking. We got the most awesome photos. And the feeling of accomplishment was through the roof.
6. What has been your biggest accomplishment since launching Never Been So? My biggest accomplishment was landing a collaboration with Brightside Boutique. I fell in love with this local shop the minute I came to Federal Hill in 2010. I’ve always thought the owner, Christie, was a total boss babe. Admiring someone for their work because it’s what you’d love to be doing someday and then finally being able to work with them is insanely rewarding.
7. What fashion trends are you looking forward to most this Spring? Embroidered denim. Florals. Stripes. Buckles. Mesh. Khaki. Rompers and jumpsuits are a few of my go-tos, I can’t wait to see this year’s styles.
8. What is your favorite item that you’ve ever bought? My travel steamer. It sounds lame, but that thing brings me so much joy. Packing used to be such a struggle because I’d search for clothing that wouldn’t wrinkle easily, because I wasn’t going to be pulling out an iron on vacation (I don’t even know how to use one!). And then a friend recommended a travel steamer and it’s a life saver! Now I pack whatever I want, run it through a quick steam and we’re good to go!
9. Finish this sentence: My readers would never guess that ______. I used to be an extremely picky eater. Literally I was the one who ordered chicken tenders EVERYWHERE I went. Now I’ll try just about anything once and I LOVE all types of food.
10. Where is your go-to place to eat in Baltimore? What do you order? This one is so hard. I have go-to places based on the way I’m feeling, the time of year or time of day (a lot goes into my food choices). If I had to choose just one, it would be Thames Street Oyster House – Raw Bar and Lobster Roll.
11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? As hard as it will be to leave the city, the time is coming closer as we’re heading toward building a family. And in 10 years we will probably be a few kids deep and full-on suburbanites. However, Will and I vowed to each other we will always explore new places together and never become stagnant. I hope I have more time to devote to this blog and I’d love to see it grow into something even bigger.
12. What is your favorite thing to write about on Never Been So? Two Things. Sales and travel. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I can’t help myself during a good sale and I LOVE sharing that with my readers. I scour the internet for the best deals so that they don’t have to and can still save a buck. And then there’s travel. Will and I put a lot of thought into the trips we take so that we can make the most of them. We normally don’t sit still at all when we travel. I love documenting our trips and sharing them, so people can reference instead of having to do all of the research themselves. We also love food too much to waste an eating opportunity at a bad restaurant because we didn’t research.
13. What is one thing on your bucket list? I would love to visit every continent. This summer I’ll be able to cross four of the seven off the list.
14. If you could interview anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What is the first question that you would ask them? Walt Disney. Growing up as an only child, I had family and friends, but I also had to entertain myself a lot, which resulted in having a huge imagination. I always felt that Disney movies were my escape into this other world that fostered my imagination even further. His characters became like family to me. When my parents were taking a break from playing with me and when friends had to go home, his characters were there. Still to this day, I love Disney movies (the classics, of course) and love that they are doing these re-makes. I’d ask him where he drew his inspiration and which movie and character that he created were his favorite.
15. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the blogging industry? Be confident. Reach out to brands. They don’t know you exist if you don’t reach out. Be consistent. I struggle with consistency, but I’m working at it! Engage with other users via digital pods or at events in your own city. Keep your own stats - write down your collaborations, giveaways, follower percentages etc. this makes it much easier when you want to create a media kit for your blog.
Did you enjoy this interview? Who do you want to see next on "Behind the Blog"? Let me know!
xo Anna Elizabeth