Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley “Golden” Brown of livelifegolden.com
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always been a multipotentialite and a girl of many dreams. As a child growing up in LA in a single parent home, there was so much that I wanted to share, so my journal (I refused to call it a diary) was my BEST FRIEND. I lived in a building with people from all walks of life, all races, all ages that poured so much culture into me. Everything I discovered was chronicled across 9 or 10 of these from middle school through high school, filled with a language that I made up in my head.
When I left LA to go to college in Florida, I went from majoring in magazine production to ultimately landing in public relations. I knew that I was good in highlighting the best things in anyone and anything. It was a skill that I honed through roles I held in the journalism program at my university, internships and in my secondary role in the USAFR as a public affairs intern.
Over the years that PR background paid off as I worked a great job right out of college but soon found myself jobless in a market deep into the recession. I began to ask myself, where did I go wrong? I did all the things I was supposed to do – good grades, great internships, graduated with honors – why am I jobless and quietly, homeless? I was staying in a room in my aunt’s house in Georgia and feeling worthless. Watching friends work cool jobs, travel, buy their first homes… I was completely down in the dumps.
I began to think about all the things that I was grateful for and I then considered my childhood and how my thoughts about my place in life may have been tied to childhood experiences. My feelings of inadequacy and the thought that I wasn’t qualified for certain jobs made me dig deeper. I searched the core of who I was and identified all the good, heart-warming things I could find. I realized my worth at this turning point.
I was a young, black woman who grew up in the music business as my moms sidekick on music videos and commercials, traveled across the country to an unfamiliar city to broaden my perspective in college, and joined the Air Force –my experience was unique, my life was valuable. I was not my current situation. There was more to do and see and feel. I was reminiscing and listening to one of my favorite albums by the beautiful Jill Scott, “Beautifully Human: Words and Sound Vol 2″… and the song “Golden” came on it resonated with me. I realized that I was worthy of all of the things that I wanted. I was free to choose. I didn’t have to be defined by my circumstance. I believed in the Golden Rule. I was Golden. The name was fitting for these and many other personal reasons (and I am originally from the Golden State — California). 🙂
After I realized that I had more to see and share, I took a step of faith to move out of Georgia and be unconventional. I moved to DC with no job and found a position through a temp agency. It was a brief assignment that turned into eight years of working at one of the biggest black television networks in the world. From that point on, I lived life knowing that my story was my own to create and along the way, my curiosity would find that little girl inside me that wrote down all of her experiences. My friends would come over and ask, “what song is that?”, “how did you get your hair to do that?,” “where did you get that good cheese from??” And I found so much fun and purpose in sharing all of that.
After years of happily sharing information with all my friends, I was asked over and over, “when are you gonna create a blog?” It never really occurred to me but once it hit me, it was such an ‘aha’ moment.
In 2017, I created livelifegolden.com – a lifestyle blog to document and share my experiences. The title serves as a command to me and also a command to others to live life like it matters, like It’s precious, like it’s valuable, experience it – don’t just exist. Since I started the blog, I went through a slew of changes – new job, new relationships and a move back to my hometown of Los Angeles. I put the blog on hiatus for a while as I was living life golden but will jumpstart again this year with new stories about everything from music, to food, to traveling and RE-discovering LA and will start to sell merch! But in the meantime, my IG page serves as a space to share experiences and constantly spread the mantra #livelifegolden.
Were 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?
It has not. I was unemployed for a while, living in an unfamiliar city. I was struggling to pay bills. I felt inferior. I felt like I was not worthy of the things I dreamed. But once I discovered my self-worth, everything changed. I found myself up late at night writing blog posts all night and all morning. I finally felt alive once I started livelifegolden.com.
What were you like growing up?
I was clumsy, I was inquisitive, I loved writing, I loved discovering music. I was and always have been a social introvert. I would sit in my room and listen to music and dream of the places I wanted to see in my life. I would write it all down in my journal and read it again and again. I was a nostalgic child.
I was editor-in-chief of my school newspaper during my senior year of high school for a time. I was on the yearbook staff also so I was always the girl with the camera, looking on at friends and capturing moments for them. I was in the black student union and sold my mom’s soul food to students to raise money for our club. I ran for junior class president. Ambitious but also happy with just watching and observing.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
livelifegolden.com is a blog that has the spirit of sharing at its core. The very reason that I created livelifegolden.com was to actually share the LIVE LIFE part and fiercely battle that complacency that being comfortable can bring. The title serves as a command to me (Ashley AKA GOLDEN BROWN, hey now!) and also a command to others to live life experiencing. We’re only on Earth for a short time in the grand scheme of things. Everything from music (best interludes anyone?) to food (must have eats in Toronto) to travel (did you know that in Catalonia, Spain getting sh*t for Christmas is a standard tradition, it represents fertilization) to growing a plant in the winter in NYC. I am so proud that I can live this brand. Literally. It was my mantra in life and always will be. The journey of life is really the joy of living so all of the moments that I experience and share help other people live golden too. It’s constant beautiful energy being exchanged and that’s how life should be lived. 🙂
- Website: livelifegolden.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/agoldenbrown