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

Hi Ashton, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Working predominantly on the entertainment side of fashion for the past 20 years , the word ” balance” has seemed like a urban myth most times. As rewarding and challenging as this career path can be it is not one for the faint of heart. When I started my first company at 19 I was immediately tossed into the lions den of ” sleep , self care and personal life” came last. I can recall never wanting to say NO to a gig/ opportunity even if I knew it was goin to be detrimental to my mental health . There was this instilled drive / fear that if I said no, the next person who said yes would forever take my place. Which as a seasoned business owner now I can acknowledge that is not the case whatsoever. I used to think if in not working I am being lazy . However, this took many many years for me to process and accept that working smarter not harder was the only way I wasn’t going to crash and burn. taking no days off and working 18 hour days wasn’t inspiring me to do more, it was stripping my passion out of me so I knew I needed to make a shift. fast forward to present day and balance is the most important element in my life. I equate the idea taking time off as me booking myself out. I am just as important to prioritize, dedicate time and rest as all my jobs if not more. Balance means hiring more Hands to meet the deadlines without overnight stress. Balance means saying no . Balance means eating right . Balance means work hard, rest harder. Balance is acknowledging you are human and not machine. Balance is the thing that allows me to keep creating for the future I foresee.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started at a younge age not really knowing anything. I mean what does any 19 year old know about how to balance work like and personal let alone a spread sheet to file taxes. however, along the way have respected the process to know and appreciate that I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the most elite personalities on the planet as well as create a safe working space for those who want to achieve the same. I am and will always remain a humble being as I know what I am doing and the position I am in is a blessing. I suppose what I really want to convey is that is doesn’t matter who you work with. what you create, or how well received it may be, work with an honest heart and dont lose yourself in the process .

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.
Los Angeles is one of the most amazing cities. A melting pot of cultural diversity that is truly magnificent . I am very much a homebody so my tour guide would be very different than most Im sure. however the first thing I would do would go on a hike at the greek theatre. there is no better way to get a lay of the land see it from the top . There is an app called ” ReidWalk” that is a gorgeous musical score for the whole hike that is truly beautifully composed. On a clear day you can see from the ocean past city skylines to the mountains. Id want to show them the birds eye view before we did anything.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
first and foremost are my parents. I would be nowhere without their love and support from the very beginning. Humbled and appreciative every day knowing they not only did they believe in me as an artist but as a teenage business owner. Secondly I have to give big love to my staff for not only helping me achieve these career highlights but the dedication to the brand as a whole. Lastly my incredible clients who have allowed me to share my vision with the world on global platforms. its very emotional to write these praises all at once knowing one couldn’t exist without the others. forever grateful for the love and support from all three groups mentioned. you all continue to make me want to be a better designer and human.

Website: www.ashtonmichael.com

Instagram: @ashtonmichael

Twitter: @ashtonmichaella

Facebook: @ashtonmichael

Image Credits
andie mills myriam santos Daniel Rosenthal

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