by Jenna Kutcher
“What if one tiny act of kindness could change a life?” Today’s guest, the founder of Love Everywhere Ashley Reale, built her entire business on that question, and she launched it with just 90 minutes a day as a stay at home mom with two kids under 4 years old!
Ashley started to share love with strangers through hidden notes of encouragement, leaving them behind everywhere she went. In 2014, she launched a website, and with the help of a team of ambassadors and an enthusiastic social media community, over 21,000 notes have now been distributed globally from here in the United States to as far away as the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal and beyond! This thriving community she cultivated with her limited spare time helped transform her hobby into a business, and she now offers apparel and accessories with messages of kindness, and every item comes with the little notes that started it all, keeping the kindness going.
I loved Ashley’s story from the second I read her pitch in the Goal Digger email inbox, so I’m excited to learn more about her with you as we talk about building a business from a hobby and how 90 minutes can take your biggest dreams and turn them into a profitable endeavor.
Meet Ashley Reale
Ashley’s story begins from a dark time in her childhood. Kindness and love was not something present in her life. Her parents were in and out of jail for domestic violence, Ashley recalls calling the police on her own father, and caring for her brother when her parents weren’t able to give them the love and kindness you assume all children should get from their parents. Through her entire life, Ashley searched for true love and kindness and decided that she, herself, would put it out into the world.
And that’s how her business started. It’s called Love Everywhere and it exists to cultivate intentional acts of kindness and love so people can see it where they didn’t before. Her entire mission in life is to facilitate a community of golden-hearted people who want to share love.
The Start of Her Business
Ashley was working a 9 to 5 corporate job in fashion design when she committed to starting her business. She felt that the environment was a waste of her own purpose. Ashley started leaving encouraging notes to herself on her mirror at home to motivate her through the workday. She invited friends to join her in the process, leaving notes in the community for people to find, and as people reached out to her to share how the note made them feel, she realized she had something special in the works.
After 5000 cards (all provided for free!) Ashley knew she had to do something to support the financial side of this passion. Her husband encouraged her to design her first product, a felt pennant that read, “You are fine and good,” a phrase that helped her during her own dark times. She took pre-orders to see how it would sell… It was successful and helped them fund the next product. In the first year they launched seven products.
90 Minutes a Day
In the first phase of her business, she was still working her 9 to 5 job. The business was actually more of a hobby at first, and she worked on it on the weekends and after work. Once she had kids, and the business started to look more like a business with the products, she was also a full-time stay at home mom. She prioritized her tasks differently as a stay at home mom — she couldn’t tune out her kids (and of course she didn’t want to!) but she learned how to efficiently use the spare moments between diaper changes and feedings. Nap times and bedtimes were when the big hustle happened! But even when she was in mom-mode, her brain was always thinking about the business and working through ideas. When a thought popped into her head, maybe an idea for a new design, she made a note of it ASAP. So while she wasn’t working all day long, she had her notes and ideas written down so when she did have a full chunk of time to work when her kids went to bed, she could jump right in.
That was one key factors in making the most of her limited time and growing her business in 90 minutes a day: Eliminating the “warm up” period. We’re all familiar with it… You know, when you sit down at the computer and stare at the screen, just getting ready to work? That warm up phase is wasted time, so Ashley completely eliminated distractions so the second she sat down at the computer, she could get to work on the ideas she’d written down throughout the day. She turned off her phone and committed to focusing on the business.
Using Ambassadors to Build a Community
A large part of Ashley’s business is the dedicated and engaged community that helps spread the word and share the signature encouragement cards across the globe. When she was a nursing mom, she spent that time on Instagram and social media, engaging with followers, attracting new ones, and cultivating a community around her mission and products online. Love Everywhere now has ambassadors who are given free cards in exchange for photo content. As a mom, Ashley admits she “doesn’t get out much!” so having the ability to spread kindness and carry on the mission of Love Everywhere through her ambassadors has been a key way to also grow the business. With the ambassadors and their encouragement cards, Love Everywhere has been to the Taj Mahal, on massive mountains, the Eiffel Tower and beyond!
More from This Episode
The “failure” that had her sobbing on the bathroom floor, the new project for Enneagram fans that she’s super excited about, and the collaboration with Reebok that is literally doubling her dream… It’s all in this episode of The Goal Digger Podcast, so press play above to hear the full interview!
Want to learn more about Ashley Reale, Love Everywhere, and explore her products for yourself? Shop with code JENNA20 for 20% off at shareloveeverywhere.com.