1. Give me some background information on yourself and your business.
I am a sex blogger and influencer, I run the website and social media pages for Sex With Ashley (SWA). SWA is a collection of personal sex related stories, advice and tips. I also recently launched a CBD sexual wellness company, Bedtanicals. Bedtanicals mission is to increase pleasure and lubrication for vulva owners.
2. What made you decide to become a entrepreneur? How did you get into your work?
The entrepreneurial life chose me. I am not one of those people who knew from birth they were meant to be a business owner, I sorta fell into it. I always had an interest in sexual health, my degree is in biology and health promotion. I knew early on that I wanted to be a sex educator. However in my area, finding work as a health educator was extremely difficult so I created my own lane. In 2016, I left my job as a middle school teacher to find a way to make my passion a reality. That was very hard year, but within that year I learned that working for someone else was not my thing. That year was the year I knew I was born to be an entrepreneur.
3. What were the best & hardest parts of starting your business, both personally and professionally?
Starting businesses are marathons not races, being patience and consistent during the tough times is the hardest part. When your business isn’t growing as fast as you would want it, its hard to keep going some days. But not giving up as benefits which is the best part. Watching something you built, bare fruit into this whole thing is the best feeling in the world. Personally, you are going to miss out on some events and celebrations and that sucks. Learning to create balance is also a hard part. You want to be there for everybody but sometimes you just cant. But good friends and family will understand and that always makes it better.
4. What did you learn about yourself and your support system while studying/training and starting your business?
I’ve learned that your friends and family might not always support you in the beginning so you have to believe in yourself. Family and friends tend to need time and proof that your “little” idea or business will work out first then they usually jump on the bandwagon soon after. So don’t let family and friends with limited view points distort the vision and goals you have for your life.
5. What is your niche? What defines and separates your brand and business from others?
My niche is sex and women. I think want makes my brand stand out is me, I’m relatable. I just don’t teach but I share my own personal stories too.
6. Describe the sex education culture & community in North Carolina.
North Carolina is very much the south. Sex is still taboo for most. It a lot of religious shame associated with sex still here. Sex is something you do but don’t talk about.
7. Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In five years, I see Bedtanicals as one of the leading CBD Sexual Wellness Brands. I see the Sex With Ashley brand as the go to sexual wellness blog for black women. I want to be this household name that women trust for sex advice.
8. What advice do you have for any entrepreneurs looking to start or revamp their business?
Don’t quit your day job until your dreams are able to support you. Also keep believing in yourself even when it seems like nothing is changing. Be patient. Be consistent. Learn to do what works best for you. You will find that everyone has advice on what you should be doing in your business but you have to be able to take the meat and throw away the rest.
9. Who do you look up to or admire in the sexual education and health community?
I look up to a lot of people in the sexual education field. A few of my faves are Dr Rachel Ross, Jessica O’Reily and Michele Hope.
Ashley is a "Sexfluencer" whose goal is to help women create more intimate, exciting, fulfilling sex life. She created her personal brand and blog, Sex With Ashley as a tool to help women feel comfortable discussing their sexual desires as well as release all the negative B.S. that holds them back from experiencing the best sex imaginable. Likewise her CBD Sexual Wellness Company, Bedtanicals is on a mission to provide luscious, organic CBD lubrication and increased pleasure to people with vulvas and vaginas.
Social Media: @bedtanicals and @sexwithashley
Ashley has a special gift to giveaway! The winner will receive goodies from her Bedtanicals product line!
To enter, follow @sexwithashley, @bedtanicals and @bestofbothworldsdoula on Instagram and leave comment on this blog post. Bonus entry: repost the blog/giveaway post in your IG stories and be sure to tag @bestofbothworldsdoula and @sexwithashley. Giveaway ends Friday, March 6th at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be announced within 48 hours.