Real Talk With Ashley Peeples, Owner of Beige
We’ve all dreamed of having our own clothing store full of clothes we love — Ashley Peeples turned her dream into a beautiful reality. We stopped by her gorgeous store to chat about how she maintains a work-life balance, what the first eight months of store-dom taught her, and where she plans to take Beige next.
Name: Ashley Peeples
Location: Little Rock, AR
Job Title: Owner
What it is: A high-end clothing boutique
What inspired you to get your start?
Well, I’ve always had an interest in fashion and knew that I wanted to start my own business. The opportunity arose [about a year ago] with a space opening and I decided it was time for downtown Little Rock to have a higher end boutique.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up at 5:30, have coffee, and read some blogs. Then I get the kids up and get them ready for school. And then I clean house. Now I’ve stuffed the gym into that — I don’t know how that’s going to turn out. And then I get to work, answer emails, get the store ready to open. I pick the kids up at 2:30, come back to work, go home and cook dinner. So a lot!
If you could have given yourself a piece of knowledge or advice when you started what would that be?
I probably would tell myself to relax a little more in the process and enjoy it. I have two small kids, and you know, trying to do a remodel of my own business, it got a little bit hectic of course. So yeah, I think that’s what I would have told myself.
Would you do anything differently?
Oh I don’t know. I don’t think so. I mean I’m really pleased with how things have gone and how things have turned out. I feel like I put a lot of planning into it and research.
How do you define success?
I define success by being able to give back and do things for the community, [get involved in] charities, and to support other local businesses.
What charities have you been involved in?
I’ve done the Festival of Fashion with Carti for three years now, and this was our first year being able to participate as Beige, so that’s something I’ve been passionate about. And we try to do a lot with Ronald McDonald House.
What’s been the hardest part of starting your own business?
The hardest part… I guess so far the hardest part has been balancing work and home life, because it’s very demanding owning a business. This is like a baby itself. I have to be here a lot, and then I’ve got a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, so that’s demanding as well.
Have you found any tips or trick that make it any easier?
I would say just not overwhelming yourself with thinking about everything on your to-do list and just getting in there and tackling it. I feel like if you start thinking about it too much, you get anxiety, and it’s harder to get in there and get it done.
What has been the most rewarding part of starting your own business?
The most rewarding part has been, oh gosh, just being able to sit in here and look at everything we’ve done. It’s just amazing that we’ve come this far in eight months.
How has social media helped shape your brand?
I think social media is hugely important. I mean for branding yourself as a business, people look on social media to see what your store’s about. A lot of the time they’ll research your social media account before they’ll even set foot in the store. So I think it’s important to have a consistent social media.
How do you make sure you stand out on social media?
I think [being consistent] is a huge way for people to make their brand stand out now, and it’s very important.
What are your hobbies? What do you do when you’re not working?
Well, I like shopping of course. Playing with the kids. We like to do a lot of outdoor activities. I enjoy golfing.
What’s next for you?
We’re about to add a men’s section with some of the designers that we already have, and we have our online shop, so I’m hopeful that will take off. And I’m open to additional locations if the opportunity arises.
Since you have two young children, do you plan to branch into the children’s fashion world?
I’ve thought about it before. Little Rock really does need some more children’s stores, but right now I think I have my hands full.
Last modified on October 12th, 2016