We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Watkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process behind Naturale Goddace was to provide people like myself, challenged with eczema, skin sensitivities, and dry skin, a natural resource that’s luxurious but doesn’t break the bank. Many days or weekends off from work all I wanted to was binge-watch a favorite tv series, run a bath, and just cater to my skin but finding products on the shelves of Target or Ulta was practically impossible. You may be asking how, and the answer is coconut oil. Personally, I have a sensitivity in which I literally break out with red patches when it’s on my skin. So when creating this brand, it was also give people like myself the opportunity to pick up a brand they know without hesitation of ingredients.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Since 2017 I have been a Board Certified Athletic Trainer. Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician. For the past five years I’ve worked at community colleges providing primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Ever since high school I knew I wanted to work in healthcare but specifically with athletes. My journey wasn’t easy, in fact, I was denied from graduate school three times before being accepted and each year I did something to set myself apart. I almost switched careers completely to study as a pastry chef because of my love for baking!
From this obstacle, I learned that the things I want and know I’m supposed to have in life will take time and won’t always come when I want them to. The important thing is to continue the efforts and alterations where necessary. If something doesn’t work, instead of trying to force it, find a weak link, and change it.
My brand, like my career, is something I’m extremely passionate about. I enjoy educating about how the ingredients are of great benefit to the skin, helping people with their skin care challenges, and being a resource to those who may not have access to certain things of quality. I want people to know that I understand everyone’s skin is a story. Someone may have more challenges than another, but at the end of the day, we’re all apart of the same community, with often the same goal, to have healthy skin. Ultimately, I want to help and be apart of your skin’s story and journey. I aim to be more than a business but a woman who cares for and about her community.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ooohh!! First thing to tackle is movement! I’ll give her options between Pilates in culver city at The Body Process, walk/run up the sand dunes in El Segundo, walk up the Culver City stairs, or go for a run along the beach in Long Beach. For coffee or tea, we’ll go to Hilltop, Sip & Sonder, or Patria Coffee Roasters. We would eat at 39 degrees for sushi, Claire’s for brunch, and a place like Joey for dinner. My favorite place to hang out as of late is 1010 wine and events!! There’s great vibes, great wine, good food, and you can occasionally catch a game there too! It’s definitely a place to check out if you haven’t already.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a small net of people who I lean on and who support me or mentor me. First, is my mother. She literally comes to each and every pop-up shop I have, wearing her “work shirt” and she talks about my brand with pride. Second, is my boyfriend. I know I’ve exhausted his listening space so many times but he continues to provide me an analytic approach which is so grounding. Third, is his sister. It’s something about when creatives bounce things off one another and give transparent perspective, it’s unbelievable. Lastly, but definitely not least, is my best-friend. She has tested products, provides feedback on new ideas, and have given some of her own that are represented in my store. They all very much affect the community I serve.