We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Day and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, how do you think about risk?
Honestly my whole business has been based off of risks just like any small startup business really. There is a lot you risk automatically when starting & running a business such as time, money, energy & sometimes your mental. For me, It was funding my business on my personal savings while working minimal wage retail jobs. Last year I quit my full-time corporate bank job in the middle of a pandemic. I was so unhappy and I knew I didn’t want to look back over my life asking myself “What if I had of tried this?” Risk-tasking has kicked my butt straight out of my comfort zone. When I see something new I want to try in my personal or business life I just go for it (of course after research & strong budgeting lol) I don’t even hesitate like I did in the very beginning.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
People tell me all the time how much they love my brand name “Graffiti Panda”. During the 10th grade on Christmas break my mom had a Christmas panda bear sitting on the couch. I happened to be doing nothing but watching tv bored until I heard a voice inside me say “Draw it”. So that’s what I did and it happened to turn out better than I ever expected it to. My mom then started ripping out newspaper comics and I began free handing sketches as a self-taught drawer. I enjoyed testing out graffiti sketch work and fashion sketches while watching my favorite show at the time Project Runaway.

I went to Meredith College and earned a fashion design degree. The day I moved back home with my mom from college I started typing up my business plan. I wasn’t exactly sure about what I was doing but I had a prayer and a vision and knew that was all I needed. I took a year to do nothing but research on how to start a business while saving money working minimal wage jobs. I officially launched my business on my birthday May 11th, 2017. My business has tremendously evolved since then I am so blessed to now be working full time! I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my business over the years and still do at times. It has only added to personal and professional growth when I look back on it. I am super proud to say that my business is in a few local stores around N.C. with my wholesale jewelry and my handmade bags that I design, sew, myself.

What helped me along the way is I am a big believer in Jesus so I stay prayed up & trust in HIM to direct me, I kept going no matter what my circumstances looked like whether I had sales or none at all. I pushed myself and brand out their with people and events even when I was super uncomfortable. Worked on my craft and made behind the scenes processes in my business better (shipping, packages, newsletters, etc). And I learned a lot about patience as God allowed things to fall into place overtime.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Me and my best friends are major foodies – we really love to eat! One of my friends is vegan so we would definitely go eat Pure Soul in Durham, N.C. or Pure Juicy Bar in Cary N.C. If theaters was open we catch a new movie in the recliner chairs at AMC theaters in Raleigh, N.C.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I started my business 4yrs ago from scratch & grew my brand with doing monthly popup events throughout N.C. where I reside. Not only has it been superbly successful in increasing brand awareness and building a customer base but it is now what I am known for! So I give shoutout to Dion Chavis, former radio personality of 97.5 for allowing me to do his Scratch & Sip popups which were my first EVER! A major special thanks to everyone who has ever allowed me to be a vendor at their events or sell within their store including Black Friday Market in Raleigh N..C. & Lizzie’s All Natural Products in Winston Salem, N.C.

I really just want to really thank everyone who has ever supported Graffiti Panda with a purchase, advice, through social media including family and friends. All of it kept me encouraged to keep going and I am FOREVER GRATEFUL!

Website: https://www.graffitipanda.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graffiti_panda/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/graffitipanda

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