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Meet Trailblazer Ashley Schoenith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Schoenith.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ashley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started heirloomed 13 years ago with my Grandmother, sewing aprons around her kitchen table as a way to spend more time together. Since, we have grown from IceMilk Aprons (our original name) to heirloomed – from just selling a few hostess aprons to a full lifestyle branded with “goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy.” We sell aprons, tabletop linens, curated vintage goods, home decor + gift, baby, bedding + quilts as well as partner with small batch makers from across the south on some collaborations like ceramics, wood + gift.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m not sure it’s ever a smooth road but we try to make it look as smooth as possible, of course. I have only been doing this full time for about seven years, since the birth of my first son (I have three kids 4, 5, 7). I used to work in the ad agency business and found I could not juggle many agency work hours + this business + family so that was a good transition point for me. We’ve had a lot of really great wins, including some wonderful press in many outlets like Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart, Southern Living, etc. but have also learned some hard lessons in terms of production, being burned by customers (large and small) going out of business and leaving us with unpaid merchandise, etc. so we’ve learned and adapted as we have continued to grow. My advice would be to always keep learning and self-educating, sometimes this education is built into a more corporate job and people as entrepreneurs forget how important it is to continually set goals, educate themselves, network with others and set milestones. I think doing such things and focusing on your business will help you to continue to move the needle year over year as well as to stay inspired. Also, outsource smartly when you can.

Please tell us about heirloomed – what should we know?
What I’m most proud of is our mission to keep heirlooms around for another generation, that has always been at the heart of our brand. I believe our generation more than any other is nostalgic about our Grandparents generation because it was so vastly different in pace, technology, and so many other things than ours is today. I am a lifestyle designer and try to continue to be inspired by vintage details in product + design work, so I am continually sourcing vintage markets + antique stores to find nuggets of yesterday and make them current for today. I believe that helps set us apart, by looking back at history in design work instead of looking ahead at upcoming trends, I think it helps keep us distinct and keep our brand aesthetic very specific. We have also become known for our content + storytelling as that has been our #1 marketing channel, through our blog, social media, video, and other components. This helps us to continue to set the tone for our brand + products and stay top of mind to find those old souls + nostalgic folks without having to always push the sale.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I think there are so many opportunities for women in leadership right now and am all for collaboration over competition.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Heidi Harris

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