We’re inspired each day by the stories you share that show how you’re #AerieREAL. This week we’re sharing the story of 26 year-old Ashley Williams, a graduate of University of Southern California who has used her focus in broadcast and digital journalism to launch her own inspirational social network, RIZZARR. Read on below to learn more about Ashley and to follow her journey!
Meet Ashley Williams, our Follow Her Friday feature of the week!
Aerie: Hi, Ashley! Can you tell us a bit about RIZZARR?
Ashley: Rizzarr is based on the concept of the ripple effect… how one person can generate ripples of change in the world that can impact numerous people. RIZZARR is a news website that is combined with a social network and is targeted to Millennials. We have an editorial team but we also have a team that works on our product development and managing the social network element. Users can connect with, chat, and inspire their friends and other users from all around the world, but they can also post writing to their profile or submit it to the RIZZARR team to review, edit, and publish out to our main audience. I believe this is a new form of journalism that young people can take part in and really begin to take part in creating change that they wish to see and to disseminate changes or initiatives happening in their community.
Aerie: We love your entrepreneurial spirit. What is your ultimate dream job?
Ashley: I think my ultimate dream job is doing what I am doing now, which is to own and manage my own company as well as to use it to inspire, empower, and uplift young people around the world. I would love to travel to different countries too as we scale to help with the company’s development. My other ultimate dream job that I wanted was to host my own show for a major news company. I am very thankful to have been given this opportunity early in my career and to been able to see that come to pass.
Ashley loves to travel! Here she is in Egypt near the Sphinx. What a shot!
Ashley in Spain during her study abroad experience in college.
Aerie: Do you have a role model? If so who is he/ she and why does he/ she inspire you?
Ashley: I do. For me, my role models are Sara Blakely, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Chris Guillebeau, President Obama, and my parents. I really admire these individuals because they defied the odds and they stuck to their ultimate passions and dreams, despite all of the setbacks or situations they encountered. They never gave up on their dreams or what they believed in and they have led people to believe that anything is possible and that they too can put a dent in the universe. They just have to believe in themselves and never give up.
Ashley and her BFF Anna visiting the Getty Museum in college.
Aerie: What does being #AerieREAL mean to you?
Ashley: It means fully and authentically embracing who you are, who you want to be, and who you will become while never allowing naysayers, doubters, or haters get in the way. Living your life to the fullest with no regrets.
Aerie: Do you have a favorite quote or mantra? Do tell!
Ashley: I do! It’s by Steve Jobs: “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.’
And I just love the mantra of these:
“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Max Depree
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
Thanks for sharing the #AerieREAL love, Ashley!
Ashley loves mentoring young people. During her career, she often visits schools to talk about journalism and RIZZARR.
Aerie: We must ask – do you have a favorite Aerie bra fit?
Ashley: I like a couple of them. I like Jennifer Lightly Lined, Hannah in Strapless and in Multi-way, and Brooke! I think these all really help with elevating my body more and my curves. And honestly, they are just really comfortable and fit how I want to be presented.
Aerie: Last but, not least…do you have a secret skill or talent? Spill!
Ashley: I used to be really involved in acting and still believe it is one of my passions that I will tap into my later in my life. As a result, I can speak in multiple accents.
Thank you, Ashley! Want to stay in touch with Ashley? Be sure to follow her on Twitter and her network RIZZARR on Instagram!