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

Hi Ashley, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve always loved art and what it expresses for the artist as well as the consumer. As a creative, you are inspired by someone or something and you turn that inspiration into something beautiful. As the consumer, you experience that work in the form it’s presented to you, but it might speak to you in a different way than it did to the artist or to anyone else. That’s the beauty of art and thats something I’ve always wanted to do for others. I wanted to bring something that I curated and that spoke to me into the lives of others who are also able to look at my piece of work and it resonate with them. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My background is in psychology and ABA and I currently work as an in-home ABA therapist on the weekends with an autistic child teaching him different skills and behavior techniques. I am about to start a new position in a hospital working with elderly patients, identifying delirium and using behavioral practices and techniques to reduce or completely reverse the disease. My background of working with individuals who are diagnosed with either a mental or developmental disorder as well as my background in advocacy, has shaped the way I interact with others and the trajectory of what I want my career to be. At 30, I am now more aware than ever that I need those two factors to be involved in any future plans I have career-wise. I have always enjoyed working in a space where I am able to help someone life a more fulfilling life by their definition, and I believe my art helps me to do that in my spare time as well. The art that I create, not only helps me to release stress/tension, but it’s also satisfying to see my creation at the end. If my art can brighten someone’s day whether they see it on my site or in their home, I get the same satisfaction. To help my clients feel more connected to my work, all of the items I offer can be customized to specifically work in whatever space you want them to live in.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and as much as I loved my city as a youth, I didn’t appreciate all that it had to offer until I went away for school. (Shoutout to the Illustrious Clark Atlanta University!) This was mainly because I left at 18 and before then, all we did was go to the city to hang out after school. As an adult who enjoys traveling and food as much as I do, my outlook has changed drastically. I love to be anywhere with a good view! If we can eat/drink and see some beautiful sites-which NYC has a lot to offer, then I’m there. Dumbo is a great area to get this experience! Some parts of Williamsburg as well as the Lower East side also afford you the same experiences at a low cost. I’m all about saving a dollar whenever possible. I love a cheap or even better- free outing with some friends or my boyfriend. Living and even just visiting NYC can be a burden on your bank account so I try to be as cost effective as possible. There are many beautiful parks throughout the city where you can sit/lay out and experience the melting pot that is New York City. I’ve been on bike rides through Central Park, I’ve had picnics with girlfriends and gone roller blading in Prospect Park. I’ve attended concerts at Wingate Park, as well as, watched movies and attended yoga in Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan. All for free!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I will always give credit to my support circle in regards to the creation and success of Cherished By Cocoa. Specifically, my friends- Ashley, and Akime, and boyfriend, Tobi. They knew that I wanted to start a business at the top of 2020, but I was not sure what that was going to look like. From the beginning they helped me narrow down ideas, names for my business, think of a business model and and all that comes with starting a business. I initially had a completely different business in mind, with a different name and logo created. They were there to constantly push my to find vendors, products, etc. My boyfriend even helped come up with the name, but then the pandemic came and changed everything. I no longer wanted to purchase any items from any vendor due to the health risks. Still, my circle continued to uplift and encourage me that in time, I will find the right business and everything will fall into place. Once I stumbled upon the idea of resin art, they were ready to continue with their support. They have pushed my art work on social media, to other businesses or platforms that can help me to extend my reach, purchased from my site, and most importantly, they have motivated me in the moments when I felt like things weren’t going to work out, or when my sales weren’t hitting the numbers I was expecting. This is all because of their love and support and I can’t thank them enough.

Website: www.CherishedByCocoa.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/_cocoa.b_

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