Recently we got to chat with the lovely Rebecca Ashby who you might know from her funny stories, her great style, but mostly recently why she does what she does. And if you’re wondering where her Instagram name came from…read on, it’s perfect!
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in the area?
I was born and raised in a small town in Upstate NY and moved around many times before settling into Fairfield. July will be 2 years that we have lived here. This town is so amazing that strangely it feels like it has always been home.
Children / Age(s)
I have one son, Parker who just turned 8.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m an adoptive mama.
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
There is no such thing as a ‘pause’ button, and having an only child can make days that much more challenging.
Favorite local things to do in Fairfield?
The beach. My answer will always be the beach. The beach is my happy place, even in the winter. However, I love that there is just so much to do any season in Fairfield.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
I absolutely love the feeling of community and my community in particular in Stratfield – that everyone is like family. I love our school, I love that the crossing guards know the kids names and that associates at local stores know us by name. There is such a great vibe about living here that is just a feel good vibe. I love that there are so many things to do and experience with Parker.
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant? Date night?
Our family go-to restaurant is Local and for date nights we love The Chelsea, Molto and Sinclair. (it’s really hard to name just one, we are so lucky to have so many wonderful restaurants here).
What is your go-to activity for your family? For yourself?
The beach. (do ya feel me on this? I told you I love the beach) Whether we are with friends, solo as a family playing soccer or with our dog over the winter, there is something that just feels so good about the beach.
Funniest part that you’ve learned about parenthood?
Kids don’t have edit buttons! There are things Parker says that I’m not sure whether I should laugh, cry or cringe!
Name one thing you regret when learning the ropes of parenthood and what you learned from it?
I wish I had read more parenting books. I’m reading them now, but having read them from the beginning would have helped us to mold our son’s behavior a little better. Each child is so very different on one hand, and on other hand they are so much the same. It is truly extraordinary how early on babies and toddlers learn behaviors that if I could go back and adjust how we handled parenting at those times, we could have saved ourselves some stress (and extra glasses of wine on those stressful days) 🙂
Tell us about your job, when & why you started, and the reason behind it?
I have to say, I’m happy this interview is in text and not a video because every time i talk about it, it brings me to tears.
After 13 years in business, earlier this year I decided to retire my stationery business. I had the absolute best years, challenging years, successful years of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d traveled, designed for celebrities, had a storefront, had my product designs in hundreds of stores including Nordstrom and Paper Source and have met so many inspirational people along my journey.
I was starting to feel unfulfilled though. I love designing and designing products that everyone gets excited for, but something was missing. Something has been tugging at my heart since the day Parker was born. Actually, since the day we signed on with our adoption agency. I’ve always stored that feeling and tucked It away not really knowing what it meant or what to do with it. But my faith is strong and I just ‘let go, and let God’ and the most amazing thing has happened. I outgrew myself in a way I never thought possible.
I decided that it is was the time to give from my heart and with the unending support of my husband chose to start sharing my love of wellness and essential oils in order to donate a portion of my income to helpusadopt.org – a 501c not for profit based in NYC that gives adoptive families in waiting grants towards their very costly expenses. Having been through the process and wholeheartedly understanding and feeling the financial burden, I wanted to spend this portion of my life doing for others. Bring wellness to families so that in turn, I can help bring children to adoptive families in waiting.
My heart as been so full since making this decision. I just started this business in January so it’s very new and I absolutely love it! So much work goes into building the foundation of a business, but the fact that I can build at my own pace allowing me less stressed time and more focused time with my family and friends is golden and something that I appreciate and don’t take for granted.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and a family?
This is so, so hard because I went through it and one of the reasons I retired my business. Take time for yourself. It’s a must. I have a 10 minute rule for myself and would love to share. Do each of these each day or some of them each day. You will be amazed at how much better you feel. Take a 10 minute walk (sans phone), take a 10 minute bath, read an inspirational book for 10 minutes, leave the dishes, leave the laundry, have a dance party and snuggle your littles for an extra 10 minutes at night. I realized what I thought needed to be ‘perfect’ actually didn’t. My son once said to me…”mama, you know everything doesn’t need to be perfect.” and in that very moment I realized that I needed to start living a perfectly undone life and stop feeling guilty about things I had no control of, but MORE SO, things I did.
Who has most influenced you to be the mother that you are today?
My own mother! She taught me key points in life that have stuck with me:
honesty, integrity, a love of life and strong faith.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
You do you. Feel the feeling in your gut and go with it.