PHOTOS BY DREW DAILEY IMAGES
Ashley Michaelsen is originally from the Rochester, Ny area growing up in Pultneyville bordering Lake Ontario. She finds herself now as the owner of AMPR in Hollywood, California where she developed a unique PR boutique agency specializing in marketing and social media strategies. Ashley Michaelsen is originally from the Rochester, NY area growing up in Pultneyville bordering Lake Ontario. She finds herself now as the owner of AMPR in Hollywood, California where she developed a unique PR boutique agency specializing in marketing and social media strategies. She feels that “Home is where the heart is, and I definitely carry my small-town roots wherever I go. My Dad sparked my entrepreneurial spirit, as he is a business owner. He always had different businesses and shifted when things didn’t go as planned, never giving up. At the age of 25, he built his first custom home. My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders and supporters but having a Dad who I could always call and run my business ideas by was most helpful. My Mom always handled my modeling career from my first commercial when I was 6-weeks-old to around age 20”.
Having awesome parents contributed to the woman she is today.
Ashley indicates growing up was tough and she struggled academically. This was discouraging when she was denied admission to the Fashion Institute in NYC. This was always her dream. She was never a quitter. On her second application, she gained admission.
She recalls, “The day I walked through the doors, I knew I belonged and this was my new community. I’ll never regret any challenges I’ve faced big or small, as it always gave me insight and strength. I face the normal challenges of being an entrepreneur at 31 years-old. The rollercoaster of the highs and lows. The busy months and the slow ones. I am still learning the ropes and understanding everything is simply a part of the process of life and achieving business. Half of my friends are married and about to have children, where the other half are only business-focused and building empires. I find myself in the middle wondering which path to choose and its confusing.” Ashley believes her career chose her. She grew up as a child model and actress and followed in her parent’s footsteps. As she matured, she felt she wanted something of her own and ventured on the other side of things going into fashion design. She created her own clothing line at the age of 20. Her clothes sold in boutiques on the east and west coast. She used modeling as a back up to provide financial means, when she saved to finance her line. In doing this, she found another interest, marketing. Ashley loved her life, the fashion shows, the campaigns, the look-books, launching the websites and managing her social media. She was living her dream life.
She decided to shift gears and she focused more on developing her skills in marketing and PR work. She entered a stage of life where she was engaging in side hustles; doing social media as a consultant, fashion styling, and still doing some modeling. This made her reflect on her life and she felt a little but like she was all over the place. By delegating tasks to a team, enabled her to do it all and then diversify her clientele. People she was modeling for also became marketing clients.
As a young woman ready to take on the world, Ashley loved Rochester but knew she had to broaden her wings and see what the fashion world was about. Rochester lacked much of a “fashion industry” so to be successful it was time to explore what the world had to offer. Ashley started off in NYC.
She shares by saying, “I am so excited to see all these fashion endeavors happening in Rochester and female entrepreneurs. It is so funny when you are younger, you can’t wait to get out of your hometown and move far away from your parents. It’s a part of growing up. Life is such a beautiful cycle, because now I can’t wait to come home and just watch a classic movie in my pajamas, bake cookies with my mom and see the rest of my family”.
As a woman entrepreneur, Ashley is excited by the endless opportunities at your fingertips if you really understand the entrepreneurial mindset. Everything you come across is an opportunity, but it is up to you to mold that into something you can benefit from. She spends her days thinking about how she can grow her business and how she can help others. There is no end to what you can achieve and knowing this creates the endless possibilities where we can prosper without limitation.
Ashley indicates there are challenges and says, “I don’t get a paycheck every Friday. I get paid depending on my performance and this makes it so you have no choice but to always put your best foot forward. You can’t rely on co-workers to help you coast. If they fail, so do I. The clients communicate with me, so if I don’t double check and keep an eye on everything that’s happening at the agency, it will always fall on me. That can be a lot of pressure at times, but for sure it keeps you motivated.