In the words of one of our very favorite friends (Laura): “First of all, this girl is talented. She is a self-motivated small business owner, the wife to a MLB pitcher, a talented florist, one of the best hand-letterers out there and the creative director for The NotWedding. She’s one of the most “real” people I’ve ever met – never holding anything back, but always acting in love. People who know her love her, and automatically have a huge respect for her even at their first encounter.”
And not to mention, her Instagram account is one of the most entertaining (and beautiful!) out there. We are thankful to have this girl on our team. Meet Ashley of Ashley Buzzy McHugh Design.
Describe yourself in five words or less.
really live + let stuff go
What did you want to be when you were little?
The first statement I made as a child regarding my future occupation was, “I’m going to be an artist.” I revised that many (hundred) times to be: architect, chef, mime (because I let an 8th grade aptitude test get me down), singer, actress, photographer, sculptor, weaver, florist, interior designer, graphic designer, printmaker, calligrapher. I’ve tried my hand at all of these things at least once. The only departure was my sophomore year of high school (and then resonated in my freshman year of college) where I thought I might throw all the art down the drain and become a physicist. I always loved chemistry and physics and imagined I would do well in a scientific/astronomy field. Still not off the table. Though, I have dreams of being a street-artist slash DJ, so I’ll probably pursue that fairly soon.
How do you balance it all (and well) with such a crazy, non-traditional schedule?
How do I balance my small business with my non-traditional baseball wife schedule? I don’t. I work all the time, except for when I’m sitting at a baseball game – or the past year when I’ve forced myself to take an hour a day for yoga. I am always working on at least a dozen things at once, I rely on my interns to get things done at the last minute and spend a fortune on overnight shipping because I simply can’t remember it all. I rack up about 40,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points a month, I do most of my calligraphy in hotel rooms, airplanes or coffee shops and I have never, not one day in my life looked “put together.” I’m working through a new diagnosis of hypothyroidism so I spend a good amount of time sleeping against my will or losing hair. I eat most of my meals at the Whole Foods cafe. But I tell you what: I mean it when I say I’m gonna get something done. It all gets done. I don’t want to sound like a bummer, but all of this is the honest truth and I just couldn’t bear to give anyone the illusion that working and being a baseball wife is a totally glamorous breeze. I have felt like I’m climbing uphill for the past eight years – but you can’t beat those views, you know?
Why The NotWedding?
Why do I continue to work for The NotWedding? Truthfully: family. It’s my work family. It’s a friendship family. Eight events ago, it created and still fosters a tight-knit family of creatives in Atlanta. It’s working on making communities in all the cities we go to. Being a visual, artistic person, I’d love for every NotWedding event to look amazing, set all the wedding industry trends and become a huge shining example of what good taste we have (baha). But that’s all for lesser glory. Trends pass, tastes change – but the trail of friendship and communities we have behind and before us is something I’ll be passionate to work on no matter what.
Where do you go for inspiration? And for refreshment?
I’ve thought about inspiration a lot lately. My goal is to always be inspired from the inside-out. In a culture where “looking for inspiration” means trolling Pinterest for an idea someone else already had, I always want to make sure what’s coming out of my mouth or hands is something I felt first in my gut. If you’re wrapped up in comparison and competition, it numbs you out of having a unique response to the life you, and only you, are living. For example: feeling especially sad as I board a plane and then gazing at the sea of clouds that appears once we reach 30K feet? That’s inspiration, because I’m blending a visual experience with an emotional one. Or having the best, most effusively happy day and laying on my back to stare at the way leaves create a lacy canopy between me and the sky. Those colors, textures, and that feeling: that’s inspiration. Art is a tangible response to the human experience. If you aren’t investing time in having a real human experience, then you are going to have a hard time getting inspired. Travel alone. Talk to strangers. Lose things and realize that you’ll survive without them. Make yourself vulnerable to this world and you will be inspired, I promise.