We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Blake and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
Success can have many different meanings and can be experienced a variety of ways. My definition of success doesn’t really amount to how much money someone may have or the awards/accomplishments that have attained over a lifetime but by how you’re utilizing your gifts and talents to help people and how happy you are. Many times, people will acquire money and accolades and still not be satisfied and happy with their life. I believe I am successful in that I am using the gifts God gave me to provide a source where I can help people bring their visions to life and create memorable moments.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
• My story starts from a small age when my parents signed me up for dance classes at the age of three. Ever since I was a young child I loved to dance and create: from taking dance classes to putting costumes and outfits together to performing in front of friends and family. Creating and making people smile has always been a passion of mine. My love for creativity continued all throughout high school and matured into adulthood in college. I attended Georgia State University where I received two bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Marketing. At my time at Georgia State, I was heavily involved in campus mainly through the organization Dance Ensemble where I matured my skills for creative directing, styling, and choreography. I created and planned multiple dance showcases, events, video productions, and photo shoots. This time in my life is the beginning of my journey as a creative director. I believe that most graduates suffer from post grad depression because of the anxiety of trying to figure out what’s next. My depression came from my anxiety of choosing whether or not I was going to pursue my passion for creating or obtain a 9-5 job for stability. I thought I had to decide either one or the other. I decided to take a leap of faith and do both. I continued to create and produce my own content while navigating through corporate America. As time when on, I started getting some recognition for my work and was able to creative direct my first music video for the artist Kee The Performer’s first single, We Stepp’N Out Tonight. This gave me the push to launch my business ABCS, Ashley Blake Creative Services. ABCS provides creative direction, styling, choreography, set design, and event planning services. I hope this will be the place where creatives and small business can entrust me with bringing their visions to life.

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?
This is a funny question because my best friends live in the same area I live in. If it was my turn to plan a girls weekend. For day 1 , I start with brunch. Some of my favorite brunch spots are 10th & Piedmont, Breakfast at Barneys, or Milk & Honey. Then we would go to the High Museum, Trap Music Museum, or a local art pop up showcase. Then do some sort of activity where we can get drinks and have fun. Places like Top Golf, Andretti’s, or The Painted Pin. Then I would end the night out at dinner lounge like BQE restaurant & lounge. Day 2, we would walk the Atlanta beltline an enjoy the nice Atlanta whether and get drinks at anyone of the restaurants along the Atlanta Beltline, specifically the eastside trail and end it off day off with late a picnic in Piedmont park. Our last day to our girls weekend, I plan a spa day at Jeju Sauna & Spa and end the day off with margaritas and Mexican food. I love Mexican food so I try to find new places to eat.

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 like to give a special shoutout to my family and close friends. My sisters , parents, and close friends have been one of my major supporters. From giving business advice, encouraging me not give up, and helping me put projects together. They have always been by my side. I would also like to shoutout my DSA ( Dance Stars of Atlanta) family, they have been major supporters as well. They have always recognized my talents and played a huge factor in making my business official.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abcservices_/

Image Credits
Ashley McCray , Lea Nelson, Gianna Myrie-Jordan, Brittany Jones , Niciea Kamara

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