I really, really like Ashely Ford. And judging by the gleeful wide-eyed responses I got when I mentioned to friends that I was profiling her for this blog, most people feel the same way. Granted, I only met her for about an hour at the apartment she shares with her husband Kelly Stacy in Brooklyn, but her warm spirit and sharp mind kept me excited for days after, and explains her massive following. She’s a prolific writer and interviewer, and gives her readers a warm, welcoming and honest response to being a woman in the modern world. In the short time we met, we chatted about work and her upcoming projects, fashion and how she once thought that would be her career path, books (she’s cool enough not to shame me for my desire to read Danielle Steel), cooking and her love for Samin Nosrat, and she even gave me history of the artwork throughout her home. Read on to learn about Ashely’s journey and upcoming projects…
You work from your beautiful home that your husband works from too! How do you manage to be productive and separate work from your time to relax and recharge?
I don’t know how successful we are at that! It helps that we keep completely different work schedules, so I wake up early and write, and he stays up late to write after I’ve gone to bed. The middle of the day can be the real struggle. He’s my favorite person. It’s hard not to just want to hang out. We’re still always trying to figure out how to better manage our work from home life, and I’m still lobbying hard for an apartment with a second bedroom where I can close the door and immerse myself in my work.
I love reading your pieces about body image, confidence and issues women deal with on a daily basis. Does the writing process help you tackle these issues in your own life, or do you write more from an outside point of view?
Writing about my body and photographing my body helped me learn to love my body. Post-puberty my agitation with my body led to me kind of ignoring the fact of my body. I just tried not to think about my body at all. Even when I was studying fashion, I only wanted to design for other people with bodies unlike mine. I didn’t believe the size or shape of me was worthy of consideration in the making of something beautiful. I thought the sizes and shapes of my body were inherently unworthy. It’s been a great and surprising pleasure to learn how wrong I was, and how beautiful I am the way I am.
I hear you’re working on a book! Can you tell us a little about that and what other projects you currently have in the pipeline?
I am! It’s a memoir called Somebody’s Daughter, and it’s the hardest biggest thing I’ve ever done. I also host a show for BuzzFeed News called PROFILE which a lot of fun. And I’m always working on a few other things behind the scenes.
What advantages do you think being a woman can bring to a career in writing, podcasting and hosting? Do you have a community you depend on, or is it a more solo endeavor?
I don’t know that it’s because I’m a woman, but I am fascinated by people, and I love a deep non-judgemental conversation. I’ve been lucky to have a community of people who check in on me and who I keep up with personally and professionally, but I also spend a lot of time alone. It’s just how I am.
These days I’m loving...
Jumpsuits and overalls
Clinique’s Take The Day Off makeup remover for the days when I come home wearing TV makeup
“Me time” activity
Listening to a podcast and sketching on my ipad
Images by Julia Hembree, shot in the Brooklyn, NY