We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Ashley Richards. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Ashley below.
Alright, Ashley thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. What do you think Corporate America gets wrong in your industry? Any stories or anecdotes that illustrate why this matters?
One of Corporate America’s largest challenges that is also contributing to the “great resignation” is the lack of flexibility and accommodations for working mothers. When I had my daughter 7 years ago, I was faced with a difficult choice- do I want to stay home with my daughter, or go back into the office for my 8-5 job. It was frustrating, as my job was fully able to be remote (I was the marketing director at the time) and flexibility for hours or shifts was not an option. It was those traditional office hours, or I was not a good fit for the position anymore- so I resigned and started my own company. Businesses are leaving incredible talent on the table by not offering accommodations for families. Hard working, talented individuals who just want to make sure they can pick up and drop off their child at school, or make it home on time to take them to baseball practice. Since leaving my corporate job, I have hired over 30 working moms, and have given all of them the ability to work remote. They are happy, providing incredible product and resources for our clients, and still are able to prioritize their families.
Ashley, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Ashley is a dynamic and versatile marketing executive with 15 years of experience executing digital strategies to totally transform businesses. Her past clients include large Fortune 500 companies, fitness facilities, physical therapy offices, and large shopping centers. Ashley’s extensive experience– combined with her passion for marketing–allow her to bring her clients tremendous success in the online world.
In 2017, Ashley launched E Squared Marketing to provide creative digital solutions and heightened value to small to medium-sized businesses. Whatever your needs, Ashley provides a fresh perspective and creative yet pragmatic leadership to lead your business to success.
Ashley is a graduate of the University of Phoenix and when she’s not working, you can find this Arizona native enjoying hikes with her husband of 10 years, Brandon, and their two adorable children, Ellie and Eli.
Ashley’s path isn’t the typical linear story that we’re used to hearing about: high school, college then career. Instead, Ashley started first working professionally and then went on to complete her degree. Her story starts 15 years ago, where she was working in commercial real estate helping to market and lease spaces across the nation. When the market crashed and the recession hit in 2009 she lost her job. Quick to pivot and find her next move, she accepted a position at the University of Phoenix so she could attend college, tuition-free. Growing up with an alcoholic father and then losing her mom to cancer at age 13, Ashley didn’t have a support system or safety net. “I worked full time and put myself through school,” she says. “No one was there to hold me accountable or cheer me on.” Still, she was able to graduate with her business marketing degree with zero debt.
Seven years ago, Ashley had her first child. At the time, she was working as the marketing director for a chain of physical therapy offices. When her maternity leave was over, they wanted her back in the office full time, but she wasn’t ready to leave her infant daughter. “I felt like I had to make a choice between being a stay-at-home-mom or a working mom,” she says. “I felt strongly that I could do both.” So, she did. She quit her job and started doing consulting work at home while raising two kids (her son arrived 18 months later).
When things started getting busy with her consulting business, she started hiring friends to help her out. These friends were stay-at-home-moms with incredible work ethics and equally impressive careers, which they had put on hold to raise their children, and that’s when she knew she was onto something. “Here is this pot of gold, this untapped resource. These smart moms who need flexibility and are still able to create fantastic marketing content,” she says. As her business grew, Ashley continued hiring talented moms and this developed into E Squared Marketing, the boutique digital marketing agency that you see today.
Is there mission driving your creative journey?
My mission it to help as many businesses as possible with their digital marketing needs, while providing a business platform allowing working mothers the flexibility and professional opportunities they deserve.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
Staying honest, and confident, even if a client does not work out. Although it does not happen often, and a client decides to go a different direction, or take marketing in-house, we always ensure we successfully transfer everything back to the client and that they are set up for success. How you treat them at the end of a business agreement is even more important then how you treated them during. We often times get clients back, and referrals from past clients because of our model of customer service first, ALWAYS. Never burn a bridge over hurt feelings differences of opinion.
- Website: esquaredmarketing.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/esquaredmarketing/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ESquaredMarketingServices
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleyrichardsaz/
Hannah Lorsch Photography