Today we’d like to introduce you to Asa Dugger.
Asa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a Content Creator, Entrepreneur, and On-Air Talent. I grew up in Mt. Holly, New Jersey in a single-grandparent home with my grandma where I started in front of the camera at 3-year old singing, dancing, and acting in church plays. Looking back at the home videos, I’ve always had a joyful presence in front of the camera but I didn’t actually discover how I could maximize the gift until my senior year of high school, and truthfully, I’m still learning every day.
During my senior year of high school, my fashion teacher asked me to host our fashion show and that’s where I awoke my passion to inform, inspire, and entertain. I later went to college for Communications and Media and after being involved in student leadership and study abroad programs, I landed on camera and behind the scenes with companies like BET, CNBC, Hello Beautiful, CBS This Morning, and more!
I eventually landed an opportunity with an amazing news network (working right beside Gayle King in NYC!) and realized I was happy and grateful for the opportunity but not actually happy with the opportunity for myself. It was great, just not for me. I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life to walk away from an amazing opportunity in New York City to refocus. I quit the role in NYC to go back home and work a retail job to refocus (crazy how sometimes in life, we have to go what we think is backward to get clarity on how to move forward)
A year later, I decided I’d take the leap of faith to move to Los Angeles and chase my purpose in Hollywood where I could inform, inspire and entertain on another level that could lead me to the big screen! As soon as I landed in Los Angeles, I hit the ground running through networking, volunteering, and promoting myself. A few months later, I landed a role as a Marketing and Programming Assistant at ViacomCBS and my personal brand blew up! Now we’re here and I’m learning and growing to maximize my gift in front of the camera, everyday to follow God’s plan for my life.
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?
Not at all. There’s definitely been a lot of struggles that I’m transparent about on Instagram and in real life. There’s power in vulnerability and I often share the hardships I had to face to get to where I am today. Everyone on Instagram wants to show the glo’ up, but never show the grind and pain it took to get to the glo’ up. I love sharing the good and bad of my journey because it shows the real me. Authenticity breeds value.
All that to say, I grew up in a single-grandparent household on government assistance where I society labeled me as just another statistic. My grandmother always taught me the power in prayer, power words, and having crazy faith despite our current circumstances. I learned how to speak life into myself at a young age that encouraged me throughout my struggles.
For me, I like to say I had “struggles of the first” I was the first to graduate college with honors, the first to overcome the statistics that I was told would hold me back, the first for everything. Being the first is great and we always give praise to “the first” but no one ever talks about the struggles of being the first. For most of us, we have to navigate life not having direction, not having support (financially, physically, and emotionally), and the struggles of knowing you want better for yourself but not knowing how to articulate the questions to ask to get to that better self.
It’s a constant guessing game of “if this doesn’t work, I need to pivot and find another way by all means” (while living and seeing others have the game plan written and given to them.) It’s hard because you could get tired, weary, and get caught up in the comparison of how ‘good’ other people have it, that you miss out on focusing on your calling.
Despite the challenges, I did my absolute best when I could, asked for help when needed, and kept pressing forward. I learned to get comfortable with uncomfortable so I started praying before worrying, I started speaking life before complaining and God’s favor continued to open doors for me. I give all glory to Him because I don’t look like what I’ve been through.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
‘I am Asa Dugger’ is my personal brand as a Content Creator and Public Figure that focuses on Christian Faith, Lifestyle, and Entrepreneurship. Through my Instagram, I use photos and captions to provide tangible resources for my audience to live by faith, live a healthy and purposeful lifestyle, and start that business/brand God placed inside of them.
When I’m not on Instagram, I may be on set or behind the scenes telling my story through the lens of another network or brand. I wear many hats and sometimes am booked to model, act, speak, produce, or write! I don’t usually limit myself to a specific title or niche because I believe God made me wonderfully complex to serve in any capacity He leads me in.
Essentials by Asa is a purpose-driven lifestyle company that provides brand strategies, printables, and faith-based apparel, journals, and more!
What were you like growing up?
Lol, I love this question. Let’s just say I was the sibling always bossing everyone around, laughing when getting in trouble and living life on the edge. I’ve always been known for my contagious laugh, goofy remarks and for being fearless. Personality-wise- I was definitely, outspoken, optimistic, and bold.
Growing up, I would write and produce creative plays for church. I would also come up with ways for my cousins and I to make money in our neighborhood. We would combine our money to buy candy and water ice machines to sell on my grandma’s back porch. Looking back, I def had an entrepreneurial spirit as a kid! I was interested in being a Pediatrician but that dream is longggg gone – I’m terrible at science lol. I’ll stick with the creative arts!