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Conversations with the Inspiring Ashley Torres

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

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ashley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After graduating from USC, I started a job in Audit Services at Deloitte and passed my CPA. Soon after, I passed my CPA and realized I was not happy. Working at an accounting firm wasn’t fulfilling any of my creative desires, so I started my fashion blog which was originally names Pursuit of Shoes. After a few months into my blog, it became very clear to me that I needed to pursue something more creative. I ended up leaving Deloitte to go work for HauteLook and worked my way up to become a buyer. For me, buying was the perfect mix of creativity and analytics.

During this time, I was spending most of my nights and weekend focusing on creating content for the Pursuit of Shoes and building my personal brand. After buying for almost two years, I was approached by HauteLook’s Director of Marketing about taking over HauteLook’s social media. He was very aware of the things I was doing for my blog and felt that I could bring a lot of those skills to HauteLook’s social channels. At the time, it had never crossed my mind to work in social media (other than my blog), but I instantly knew it was the right step. From there, I created HauteLook’s Social Strategy along side the Nordstrom team (HauteLook was purchased by Nordstrom during my time at the company) and executed it for a little over a year. From there, I went to a trendy e-comm site REVOLVE and led their digital and social strategy.

As my responsibilities in my full-time job grew, so did my opportunities with Pursuit of Shoes: brand collaborations, sponsored deals, travel opportunities and more. Additionally, smaller e-commerce brands were reaching out to me asking if I could consult on their digital and social strategies. I started 2015 with one goal- to be able to do what I love from anywhere that has a Wi-Fi connection. Which is impossible when you have to go to an office five days a week. I knew it was time to embark on a new adventure. Enter my agency Pursuit Digital.

Pursuit Digital works with brands to build their digital presence, everything from social media marketing and content creation to SEM and email strategy. Our core competency is social media, however, we provide other offerings to help companies create a 360-degree marketing plan. I rely heavily on what I’ve learned from my previous work at REVOLVE and HauteLook.

In addition, once I started Pursuit Digital I also re-branded my blog to Everyday Pursuits which lends itself to more lifestyle content than strict fashion. It’s accurate to say, I have two full-time jobs but they’re each the brands that I have started and build from the ground up.

Every day, Pursuits boasts over 250K fans and followers and partnerships with brands like American Express, Clarins, Nordstrom, Coach, and Dove. While Pursuit Digital runs social media and provides digital consulting to over 8 brands including Nekter Juice Bar, The Stylist LA, Life in Jeneral, and The Private Room.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Advice:

1. Make educated decisions, not rash ones. Always write a pro and con list, and discuss any big career decisions with the important people in your life. Be open to their feedback.

2. Find a mentor. This is advice from Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’—definitely a book all women and men in the working world should read

3. No one cares about your career growth more than you—no one. This was something that was a bit hard to swallow, not that I’m old and wise now, but you really have to look out for yourself, always.

4. Always keep your ears open and absorb what’s going on around you, even if it’s not directly related to your current position.

5. For anyone looking to make a big move or change career trajectories is found that constant and get your foot in the door. Then make your move to the position you want. It may take a few years, but it will happen!

6. It’s never too late to find a job/career that you enjoy because you’ll most likely be working for the next 40 or more years of your life.

Obstacles/ Challenge

When I left Deloitte I took a huge pay cut and ended up working a second job on the weekends just to get by. Yes, I was exhausted, but exhaustion beats unhappiness any day. I learned at a pretty young age that sometimes you have to make sacrifices, and money definitely does not equal happiness.

My first Pursuit Digital part-time employee ended up trying to steal my business contacts, logo, and processes to try and start her own social media marketing business (while she was still working for me). She was a friend, to begin with, so that was really hard on me and it took me a long time to trust anyone after that.

Being self-employed, the hustle never stops. It can sometimes feel defeating one minute and absolutely gratifying the next.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Everyday Pursuits story. Tell us more about the business.
I think I touched a lot on the first answer but –

Everyday Pursuits: Fashion + Lifestyle website that aims to have REAL daily discussions and provide personal insights into fashion, beauty, travel, relationships, and entrepreneurship.

Pursuit Digital: develops digital marketing strategies and branded content for fashion, food, and lifestyle brands. We know what it takes to tell your brand’s story through innovative strategies, storytelling, high-quality imagery, and detailed analytics. Our offering consists of Digital Strategy, Branded Photo + Video Content, Community Management, Influencer Marketing, and Email Marketing.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
I think we have so much opportunity today than we’ve ever had before. People are listening. Our voices matter. Women are taking on bigger roles today and leading the way. I personally think it’s a very exciting time to be a female entrepreneur because there are more doors opening than shutting and that will only grow.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Felicia Lasala

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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