We’re doing work we love, work that inspires us, and we’re also pursuing our passions and making them priorities. In our latest Working Girl series, I sat down for a little girl talk with my gorgeous sorority sister, dedicated wellness curator and founder of Pretty Girls Sweat Aeshia Devore Branch. Meet Aeshia....
+ HOW DO YOU THINK FITNESS CONTRIBUTES TO SOME OF THE WORLD’S BIGGER CONVERSATIONS AND WHAT ROLE IS YOUR WORK PLAYING IN THIS SHIFT IN THINKING?
Staying physically fit not only has a profound impact on your personal health but it affects those around you because you influence them to follow your lead. Studies show that exercise increases your self-esteem, improves memory, reduces the odds of heart disease and diabetes, and prevents depression. All of the above influences how happy you are and ultimately the level of success you reach in life. The message PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT radiates is that all women must put in work to reap these benefits and when we love ourselves enough to put our health first, we are capable to be leaders in our home, in the workforce and as global citizens. We gain the confidence to fight for the physical, emotional and mental health of future generations and derail the societal roadblocks and stressors preventing our healthy lifestyles. Check out this feature I did with Pop Sugar that explores this further:
+ IF YOU COULD WORKOUT WITH 3 PEOPLE WHO WOULD THEY BE, AND WHY?
Beyonce - by being in her positive presence, her dance moves may rub off on me
Kid Fury / Kevin Hart - They're hilarious!!! A good laugh will not only get me through a workout but it will also activate my stomach muscles :-)
Michelle Obama - not only is the former FLOTUS a HUGE inspiration, but her body is on point after having two kids. #GOALS
+ WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS A BRAND, PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT AND TEEN DIARIES GOING INTO THE FUTURE?
My goal is to expand our college programs to 250 schools by 2020, launch our annual fitness festival in September 2017, grow our apparel line to meet the fashionable and financial needs of our customers, provide fun and active jobs for teenagers, and so much more (I can’t reveal everything, but join our mailing list at prettygirlssweat.com and I’ll keep you posted along the way).
+ WHAT MISTAKES DID YOU MAKE WHEN STARTING YOUR BUSINESS?
And my quick answer would be: prioritizing my passion over business. Instead of hiring outside contractors, I should have invested in finding partners that could fill voids in areas that I’m not strong in. From web development to graphic design to business operations, I need those missing pieces so I can focus on creative, growth, marketing, and being a spokesperson for the brand.
+ HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE WOMEN WHO ARE MAKERS, CREATIVE/FASHION PROFESSIONALS OR PEOPLE IN GENERAL TO LEAVE IN AN IMPRINT IN THE DIGITAL WORLD JUST BY DOING WHAT THEY LOVE?
Be you! The moment you can authentically reveal who you are to the world and the instant you stop getting in your own way, you can leave an imprint in the digital world. Forget about the fact that you don’t have a fancy camera or you’re unsure of what to say, just start somewhere and improve along the way. The coolest thing is that you are sharing who you are and what you love so you make the rules. Go for it!
+ WHAT ARE 5 OF YOUR DAILY HABITS?
1. Drinking a glass of water with lemon when I wake up
2. Creating a daily to-do list
3. Answering emails — and endless task :-/
4. Reading with my daughters
5. Laughing with my husband
DO YOU HAVE ANY UNEXPECTED SOURCES OF CREATIVE INSPIRATION, IF SO WHAT ARE THEY?
While I was living in NYC, my favorite pastime was people watching. I enjoyed imagining their unknown stories and getting inspired by their style. Now that I live in Atlanta, my creative sparks come from my friends, Instagram and the many students I am blessed to mentor/coach.
+HOW DOES YOUR CURRENT WORK INFLUENCE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
I live, work and play in athletic wear and sometimes sleep in it - lol. I love looking cool and comfortable simultaneously so the athleisure trend resonated with me quickly. On the flip side, I attend a lot of private events, professional meetings, concerts, and parent-teacher meets so I can flip my style FAST! Confidence in key so it’s important that my outward appearance reflects how I feel on the inside or the environment I’m in.