Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Sumner.
Ashley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m from the east coast, moved to NYC at 17 to pursue a career in musical theater. I attended NYU for drama and psychology and upon graduation, very “randomly” secured a job at a startup matchmaking company doing sales. AKA convincing men to pay for matchmaking services to meet the woman of their dreams. Through this process I met hundreds of men, really sat with them to get to know their needs. As they became clients it wasn’t my job to set them up, but it turned out I came up with some good ideas for matches for them… and now those couples are married. I ultimately launched my own, focused more on curating experiences for single men and women in Manhattan.
A year in, I wasn’t happy. I had older male partners that were taking advantage of me, and I was hungry to learn more about business and community development. So I stepped away and joined NeueHouse early days to do just that. Membership, community, programming, imagining what technology would be to help them scale. This job took me to LA for their expansion and when it was time to leave, I couldn’t. I’d fallen in love with LA. Soon after, I met my business partner Gianna Wurzl and that was the beginning of a “slow burn” relationship budding. She launched One Roof (Converting a home into coworking for female entrepreneurs) and through her experience and my own, we realized that Real Estate does not support the needs for business and community (not impactful, not scalable, not profitable).
Technology was the solution – inspiring other women to become community builders such as ourselves. Quilt was born in 2017 – a platform enabling women to open their homes to other women for coworking, small group conversations and education sessions.
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?
There’s no such thing as a smooth road, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Someone recently told me, there’s nothing like personal development like launching your own company, and oh do I agree! I’ve struggled with getting really sick, we didn’t pay ourselves for over a year, we’ve had investors say absolutely obscene things to us.
I’ve struggled with feelings of isolation – too frustrated to explain how hard and lonely entrepreneurship can be and understanding the sacrifices you make during your startup days. It’s a rollercoaster, but I love it. Not sure what that says about me but there you go. 🙂
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Quilt story. Tell us more about the business.
Quilt is a new way for women to connect, on and offline. We are a community platform for women to open up their homes to other women for coworking and education sessions.
Every detail of Quilt has been thought out. The women, the homes, our products, what the community stands for. Our level of inclusivity, while maintaining quality. We lead by example and inspire other women to do the same.
Our purpose is to unlock woman-made. We know what man-made looks like, and every day we wake up and ask ourselves what would the world look like with more woman-made in it? Woman-made CEOs, collaborations, ideas.
We’re proud that we’ve built a concept for the Everywoman. That the top 70% of women can access, afford, feel supported by. We’re starting with on and offline. Online isn’t an afterthought for us, but a holistic and engrained component of our offering. Women come online, to go offline, to come back online and the loop continues.
I’m a community developer. I’ve built a career off of thinking about ways to bring people together. To not only help them feel more connected and less lonely but to inspire them through meaningful conversations with others. I use content and my understanding of human behavior to curate environments for people to connect within.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck. I do believe in a combination of destiny. free will and privilege. I’ve always been very ambitious and very clear that I want to help people, in masses.
Every decision I’ve made along my journey was to acquire the right type of knowledge and surround myself with the people I can learn from to get there. That said, it was a privilege to move to NYC at such a young age, and be able to walk into the “right room” to meet those people and take advantage of those situations. Something I’m grateful for and not naive too.
On the “bad” side of things, I’ve struggled with being sick and a horrible injury 3 years ago. So horrible it made me change my life and move to LA – which is what started this whole journey, meeting Gianna, and launching Quilt. so… bad is actually quite good!
- Try out Quilt in NYC, LA and SF, first experience $9
- from there you can become a quarterly member for $79 or yearly for $199, and pay for additional experiences and coworking on top of that
- Website: www.wequilt.com
- Phone: 6466755545
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: wearequilt
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wearequilt/