Meet Ashley LeMieux, a 26 year old local entrepreneur living in Phoenix. After teaching at an inner city high school as an internship, she knew she needed to do something for the at-risk youth that she grew to love so much. Ashley started a non profit organization, The Shine Scholarship Project, which raises money to send at risk youth to their first year of college. 8 months ago, she knew she needed to still do more, so she launched a for-profit business called Threads by The Shine Project. This business employs the kids to make fashionable and trendy bracelets so they can pay their way through college and learn important business skills to be successful in life. They have changed Ashley’s life in every way. Inspired yet? Thought so.
In fact, after meeting her for the first time, Phoenix Fashion Week was seriously inspired by this young blogger/entrepreneur and knew we had to be involved. One of Phoenix Fashion Week’s main pillars is Humanity, and we are excited to announce that we have partnered with Ashley and The Shine Scholarship Project to host her upcoming Beauty Bar Charity Event, along with various blogging and social media classes within her Seminar Series at The Fashion Hub!
I had the amazing opportunity to speak with Ashley via email to learn more about her style, blog and exciting ways you can see The Shine Project in action!
What is the main takeaway/message from a first-time visitor of your blog?
“My blog, myshineproject.com, is written to inspire people to go after their goals. I cover everything from inspirational stories to fashion to hair DIYs. I feel that it is so important that people build their confidence and know that they are amazing and have so much potential within them. If they can catch a little glimpse of their worth while visiting my blog, then I have done my job.”
How have your past experiences inspired you to give back your time to others and brought about your passion for supporting youth and speaking to your peers?
“I have always had a passion for helping other people. I truly believe that I was created for that purpose. At the age of 21 I went on an 18 month mission for my church. For a year and a half all I did was serve others, and I had never felt so happy in my whole life. When I got home I knew that I had to do something that would allow me to help others, because I am so passionate about it. Youth have a special place in my heart because they are looking for mentors, and I see how much goodness they can accomplish in their lives if they just have a little guidance.”
Who inspires you?
“My mom and sister are my biggest inspirations. They are the most giving people I know.”
With having accomplished so much at a young age, how do you think others your age or younger can make a difference in their own community?
“I think one of the biggest misconceptions about making a difference is that you have to go out and do this huge, big thing in order for it to matter. That’s so far from the truth. It’s doing the little things, every day, that bring about change. It’s going out of your way to be kind and creating joy in the hearts of those that you come in contact with that makes the biggest difference. As part of our non-profit, we take the youth we work with on service projects every month so they can see the positive contributions they can have on the community around them. It changes them.”
You hosted an almost pop-up shop of sorts at our MIM event, why did you feel this event was the perfect fit for your sister brand, THREADS?
“Threads fit perfectly with the MIM event because of the style and cause behind them. The attendees loved Threads, and we’re so excited to be able to reach them with our message.”
Describe your style.
“I dress really girlie. I wouldn’t say I have a set style, but I love mixing and matching patterns that make a statement.”
Three things you can’t live without?
“God, my family, and sushi ;)”
Currently in your purse?
“A bunch of receipts that I need to organize, my wallet, pink lipstick, business cards, bracelets, and plane tickets.”
Tell us about your upcoming Beauty Bar event, how will this directly benefit your youth scholarship program?
“Our 2013 charity benefit is taking place at The Fashion Hub on April 20th. It’s a girl’s night out where women will pay only $60 to come get their hair, nails, brows, and makeup done all in the name of charity! 100% of the proceeds will go to 2013 college scholarships. We’re so excited to host the event at Phoenix Fashion Week’s new hub, and it’s going to be such a fun night. We’re encouraging people to buy a ticket to donate to one of our students if they are unable to attend. More information and to purchase tickets can be found at http://www.shineproject.eventbrite.com.”
What’s next for you?
“We’re really taking Threads to the next level this year by traveling around the country to sell at different shows and spread our message. I also am teaching blogging classes at The Fashion Hub starting April 27th. The classes will help business owners and bloggers who want to grow their brand through blogging. Blogging and creating a social media community is the biggest reason we’ve been able to grow so quickly, and I’m excited about sharing what I know with other people. We only have a couple of spots left for the classes, so if you’re interested email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.”
*We love our readers! Comment below with why you feel you could benefit from Ashley’s upcoming seminar series and we will choose a random reader to WIN A SEAT IN ONE OF SHINE PROJECT’S CLASSES!
Article by Lauren Pfingstag for Phoenix Fashion Week
“The Resource For All Things Fashionable”