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You Can Do It All: A Conversation with Ashley Alderson, Founder + CEO of The Boutique Hub

Have you ever heard the phrase “you can’t do it all?” … Well our very own CEO and Founder, Ashley Alderson, is defying the odds of that statement. Ashley is a wife, mother, sister, mentor, CEO, and founder, and she really does it all. I got a chance to chat with Ashley on some topics that fellow business owners and moms are dying to hear about, and her responses were inspiring and motivational, to say the least!

You can connect with Ashley on her personal Instagram @ajalderson tell her The Boutique Hub sent you! 👋 and you can hear from her every week on her podcast, Boutique Chat, where every week she shares actionable tips and takeaways for the retail industry along with some pretty awesome guests!

Alright, let’s get into our chat with Ashley …

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to starting The Boutique Hub? 

I think sometimes from the outside when you see a successful business, you expect that the journey to get there was somewhat of a linear process.  But often, and my story is no different, it was a series of trial and error over time that go us here.

The Hub started out of my own personal wants, growing up in a rual part of North Dakota, to discover the cute boutiques and shops I loved from around the country, together on one website.   When I invested our live savings to build that site, what I soon realized was that it didn’t work…..instead the business owners I was speaking to about being on this site for consumers to discover, really just needed overall business education more than this site.

My dad always said, it’s not just what you know, but who, so I began sharing my business and economic development background with this new growing group of retailers, and inviting everyone I knew who had different skills than me to also share with the group.   A year later, after coaching for free and pouring into the amazing community forming, we launched our first membership program and it blossomed from there.  

Lesson?  Find a problem someone has and solve it, and don’t be afraid to pivot along the way until you find what really works.  Business plans are just a starting point, but rarely are they the real plan that works.

Having three busy kiddos, what are your best tips for managing your company while also getting to spend time with family?  

Being busy is such a blessing!  But boy, is it hard some days.   Our family lives by our group Google Calendar, it’s layered with 3 kids going 3 directions and two very busy careers and travel schedules.   I’m so thankful we really leaned into setting work boundaries for ourselves long ago, so we rarely let our to do lists spill over into the evening because there simply isn’t time for it. If we aren’t at sports, we are spending time together and try to eat as many meals together as we can. 

    We also know that we live in seasons, and some are busier or more impactful than others, we talk to our kids about the seasons we are in so if it’s one full of travel, they know when the end is coming and the season will change.  Involving them in our business is helpful for them to see the big picture! 

What is one thing you wish you knew before starting The Boutique Hub? 

The loudest boo’s come from the cheapest seats.  

I used to have a more difficult time with negative energy or personal attacks.  I’ve learned that hurt people – hurt people, and it’s not worth taking personal. I have my own wounds too and my own self reflection and healing journey are so imporant to remain committed to. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

The question, ‘are you the bottleneck of your business?’  

I heard this question early on as the business started to grow, and it’s been a painful but critical and impactful journey to stop being the bottleneck!   This is where I developed the framework for others to move from being an entrepreneur to become a CEO whether you employ 0 or 1000.  

What is one lesson your kids have taught you? 

They’ve taught me to stop procrastinating and trying to fit one more in.   There is nothing more soul crushing than telling your kids “just one more minute, one more email, just wait..” and then once you finish they are asleep, disappointed or over it.   Do what you say you’re gonna do, faster. 

Favorite activities to do with the kids? 

We love the outdoors so much, so lots of our warm season activity includes horses and rodeo, golf, tennis, hiking, or going to the pool.   Everything else centers around basketball! 

Any busy family tips? Meal preps, scheduling hacks, chore lists, etc. 

Eric and I focusing on the $100/hr jobs in our lives and outsourcing the $10/hr ones has allowed us to dig down into what produces the most return whether it’s financial, long term or personal.  

So things like the lawn, cleaning or even some running errands and things we have part time help for.  I used to feel guilty for this, like I can DO this job.   But soon realized yes I can do the job, but it’s not wise for me to do it. My time is more impactful focused on income or ROI generating activity. 

Our kids also have chore lists each week that they initial when done, and depending on how many they get done, we will give them $5-$15 per week. They can use that money for concession stands or activities with friends. We love that it’s helping us get more done, but also teaching them how to earn and spend wisely! 

How do you prioritize time for yourself? 

Tiger Time – my 8-10am is held for no meetings so I can focus on the most important parts of my to do list and getting my day set up right. It’s so important to me because the other hours of the day are literally back to back meetings or appointments.  

Otherwise the small moments for me whether it’s jamming in the car, cooking dinner, lady’s golf a few Tuesday nights of the summer, or old lady basketball are my times to just do my thing!  No feeling guilty for taking the time you need to resent your brain and have some fun.

Do you have any tips for working with your spouse?

Whew – worth it, but it takes some effort to do it right for sure!  What has been helpful to us is really knowing our own roles and how they impact the overall company, then staying out of the other’s way.   Eric works on the backend of the business with managing team, contracts, HR, finances and investments.  I am all things front facing.

We also do our best to set boundaries for our kids, marriage and business as needed.   Example, Eric loves to talk business from the time he gets in the shower in the morning, I prefer to stat the day talking about the kids and family first and business after 7:30.   We have also had to be diligent about setting meeting times with one another to get things done vs fitting it in over dinner. 

What can we expect in season 6 of the Boutique Chat podcast? 
I have never been more excited for a season to launch than this one!  Look for new art, new intro’s, guests requested by the community and a new series called 5 Minute Fridays with quick actionable tips and takeaways that have helped me and helped thousands of our students over the years.  

I think I’m personally turning a corner almost being 40, in being much more open, real and quicker to get into the meat than ever before. I hate fluff, so getting to the deep questions is really what I am after and I hope it’s helpful to listeners!

You can connect with Ashley on her personal Instagram @ajalderson and hear from her every week on her podcast, Boutique Chat, where every week she shares actionable tips and takeaways for the retail industry along with some pretty awesome guests!

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