We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Biasella and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
In the time since starting my business I think I’ve realized that when you are comfortable and content, and happy with where you are that’s great, but then you start to feel that discomfort. Like you might be stuck in this loop forever, which is scary, and despite being happy with where you are, it makes you feel like the grass may be greener elsewhere. Some people translate that to being ready for a change in career because its the job or business that is making them uncomfortable. But I think that’s really a sign that its time for growth. You love what you do but you’re ready for more, you’re ready to be challenged, because frankly you aren’t comfortable staying stagnant. All good things come with sacrifice and come with trials and tribulations, so if you want to continue to grow its inevitable. But when its truly time to give up and move on I think its a pain in your heart, an ache that cant be alleviated. You aren’t happy anymore, and showing up everyday becomes a burden and not a part of the dream. Now, you may be burnt out and just need some time, but I truly think deep down we know when its our business that is the trigger point of all of our unhappiness. And when it is, and the thought of being outside of it makes you happy with no hesitation, no what ifs, then that’s when you know its time. So how do you know really when its time to grow or go? Ultimately being honest with yourself will make all the difference.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For as far back as I can possibly remember I’ve been an artist. But most of my young life people told me it wasn’t a real job, and that i would always be broke and struggling. A “starving artist”. So as I grew up I gave up on becoming an artist in the traditional sense. Until one day I saw nail art in a magazine on the red carpet at a movie premier, and I realized it was the perfect path for me.
I got my license and after working in salons for years I was exactly where everyone always said I would be. I was struggling to get by, and I was being taken advantage of by salon owners like many of us in the beauty industry. I was reaching my breaking point, and I didn’t know where to go from there. I thought about moving on from nails but it broke my heart. I really loved my job, I just wasn’t in control of anything that would actually make me happy. My husband encouraged me to look into starting my own business and working out of a salon suite. I toured a few places and I was shocked at how high the expenses were for such a small room. But I decided I was going to do it no matter what. So I got a second job in the early hours of the morning and then I would go to the salon. My health was declining and my husband (boyfriend at the time) didn’t want to see me burn out so he invested in my business and told me he would hold down the fort so I could focus on nails. I marketed myself like crazy and so did he, along with my entire family. I worked late into the night and I took every client I could possibly fit. I started with 12 clients to my name, but the more I showed people what I could do with nail art the more quickly I gained clientele. And towards the end of my first year in business, I wanted to change my salon name to better fit my art and my style, and in talking to my husband we discussed different names until we came up with the perfect one. I sent it out to clients, friends, family to see what everyone thought. The consensus was clear, and Bad Ash Nails was born.
Fast forward, its been just over 5 years since I started my business and now I am fully booked and I am now an educator for a nail product company, Light Elegance. I travel to work at tradeshows and teach classes, and when I’m home I see my amazing clients. In the 5 years since opening my salon, I have become a wife and a mother, and my business has only continued to grow. I’ve hit so many bumps in the road and figuring out a work life balance is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But my nail art has really gotten me to where I am, it sets me apart and has helped me create a name for myself in the industry. I am absolutely living the dream I always had when I was younger. I get to paint and be creative and express myself every day. It’s never easy or comfortable, and I’m always putting in work to figure out what’s next. But I’m so grateful and so happy with my career, and I cant imagine my life any other way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite places to go is Social Hall in Tempe, that would absolutely be someplace I would take my friends at least once during a trip for some drinks and a game of pool! And to end a long night my favorite stop is El Jefe Tacos just off University, their Quesa Birria is always a fave. I also frequent many of the delicious stops in the food court at Hmart in mesa, which is always a great experience both for dining and shopping. Downtown gilbert is always a fun stop, and Sotol has the best views around, along with different and fun drinks to try! Then you have to stop at Topo’s for prickly pear ice cream! For a fun activity, Thunder Alley is always a good time at Fat Cats! And you cant go wrong with some brunch at Morning Squeeze in Old Town!
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 would love to dedicate my shoutout first and foremost to my amazing husband, Troy. He has given me the support and the confidence to get through the growing pains of starting a business. And to my family for helping me see that I am capable of so much more than I have ever given myself credit for.
But my career would not be where it is without some really important people, Two Light Elegance Educators…my friend June Sierra, who literally altered the trajectory of my career for the better. She encouraged me to follow my dreams and always talked me up. And to my mentor, and dear friend, Darcy Olin, who has helped me grow so much not only as a nail artist, but as an educator and as a person. And to everyone at Light Elegance HQ for believing in me and giving me such amazing opportunities to grow!
Other: Tik Tok: @BadAshBia