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Conversations with Ashley Caruso

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

Hi Ashley, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I started modeling when I was a kid, around middle school age. I did a few tween magazines, catalogue shoots, and a Claire’s campaign. My parents would always put that money away for me, which I hated at the time but it set me up for success down the road! I really enjoyed modeling and got super into the fashion community. I kept working as I got older, but living in Chicago was a bit of a roadblock. It’s a great beginner’s market, but the goal was to always get placed elsewhere. I spent some time in LA over the past few years and finally decided it was time to move! I moved to LA in June 2020- right in the middle of a pandemic. Of course, everything was on lockdown and bookings were nonexistent. I had to get a survival job, but serving at a restaurant was out of the question. I learned that medical cannabis dispensaries were considered essential businesses, so that gave me an idea.

I started working for a prominent LA dispensary and immediately fell in love. They taught me so much about cannabis- specifically the medical uses. I kept diving into the research and learned how cannabis can help people who menstruate or who have issues like endometriosis. I thought it would be interesting to share some of my favorite women-owned brands that make products for these reasons on TikTok. I posted a video, and it went viral overnight. I suddenly had 500k+ views and tens of thousands of new followers. Realizing I had just stumbled upon a new niche, I ran with it! Since then, I have been posting about cannabis education while working as a budtender and model. It’s a fun side project, and it keeps me accountable with my own cannabis research as well. You can find me on TikTok as https://www.tiktok.com/@weedwitch_?source=h5_m.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Surviving full time as a model is incredibly rare. I had this grandiose idea that I would be booked and busy every single day, and unfortunately that is still not the case for myself and many other models. But that’s what makes a great worker. The ability and necessity to hustle is what drives someone to always be at the top of their game.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
As a model, I mostly do commercial work and some runway! Some brands I’ve worked with are Express, Jason Wu, and Roberto Cavalli Swim. I also recently started diving into acting classes and managed to get myself some representation. I absolutely love TV, specifically new media, so my goal would be to get on a Netflix original show someday. On TikTok is where my true personality comes out. I’m totally myself, and I love educating people on cannabis and answering hard questions! It’s a field that is still so unknown to most of the world, so it feels great to get in at the ground floor.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Life is short and unpredictable, do whatever you want with your life. This pandemic really messed up a lot for myself and so many people. I lost clients and agents to the economic impact of Covid-19. I was forced into a “sabbatical” from work. But instead of wallowing in my own self-pity over a situation I could not control, I took it as an opportunity to do whatever I wanted! In 2020 alone: I moved to LA, started surfing again, adopted a rescue dog, studied acting, learned how to skateboard, styled and shot my own images, and created an online community. The world is yours, regardless of the ongoing situation.

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Paolo Artymiak @arty_digital Tanner James @tannerjames.co Sloan Waltz @sloanwaltz

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