Ashley Rose of SUGAR + CLOTH
sugarandcloth.com | @sugarandcloth
A keen eye for art & design, Ashley Rose began Sugar + Cloth to share projects with friends and family back home. What started as a little blog in Houston blossomed into baking, crafting, DIYs, travel and style-inspired living for people all over the world.
How did Sugar + Cloth come about?
I originally started Sugar & Cloth just over three years ago while working as a waitress here in Houston. At first it was just a way of keeping in touch with friends and family back home, after a cross country move, and kept me creative in the middle of trying to decide on a career change from graphic design. I just wrote about recipes and DIY budget home decor projects to begin with, and it slowly blossomed over time.
Has your vision and/or concept changed and if so how?
Obviously Sugar & Cloth is much more structured now than it was initially when it was just for fun, but the core content of DIYs and recipes has still remained. I’ve also branched out from online-only to also hosting and teaching workshops here locally in our studio in East Downtown, and we’re aiming for a product line in the near future.
If you could give advice to a group of young girls who’d like to start a project online, what top three things would you suggest?
Never underestimate the power of hard work, always strive to be original and authentic, and never think more highly of yourself than you ought.
What are some unexpected things you’ve learned along the way that you would have found useful when starting this endeavor?
I went to school for design, not business, so there were lots of things about running a company that I did, and still am, learn the hard way. I don’t think anything can fully prepare you for the weight of it at times, but having a good foundational understanding of business and accounting is invaluable.
How has social media played a role in the big scheme of things?
Social media is everything. It really has become the gateway for getting our content in the hands of readers and future contacts, but even more than that, it’s the one thing that keeps me most involved and engaged with readers and followers. It’s really rewarding to be able to see how excited people are about what we’ve been working on or creating with just the click of a button!
Do you have any social media pet peeves?
YES! People who reshare content and images without crediting or taking credit as their own drives me nuts! Give credit where credit is due and it will all come back around in the end.
Let’s talk Houston. How do you give back to Houston? How does Houston give back to you?
This will be the first full year we’ll really be focusing largely on our Houston presence. We’re currently working toward hosting Houston creatives at our new studio space for various events as well as bringing trendy, cutting-edge workshops taught by some of Houston’s local favorites to the area. It’s been an interesting ride trying to transition from being solely online to a more local level, but it’s also been the most fun.
What does community mean to you and your brand?
It really is everything. I mean, I worked two jobs and created photo shoots from my living room until just six months ago, and because of the people who have encouraged me to take risks and have committed the time and energy they have into Sugar & Cloth when I didn’t have much to offer in return, it’s now grown and we’re able to lend a helping hand and offer opportunities in return.
Your favorite place in Houston and why – GO!
Is it fair to say Market Square and Downtown in general? I love all of the restaurants and cocktail bars popping up there like The Honeymoon and Moving Sidewalk, plus our studio is just above Tout Suite in EaDO which makes it just a quick drive down the road.
Share a quote that reflects your brand’s message:
What are you currently obsessed with? Be it a song, a restaurant, hair product, app, shoes – anything?!
I’m currently in love with all the things from Tom Dixon’s home decor line. So much gold!
Stay tuned for next week’s Q&A with Aimee Woodall of The Blacksheep Agency, follow @local_houston for updates.