ll archives: Witty and Pretty's Ashley Hesseltine
Freelance writer, editor, blogger, comedienne and "TV gal" Ashley Hesseltine gives us the scoop on her life of mixing the witty with the pretty.
Current location: Atlanta
Where are you from? Smyrna, Delaware
Education: BS in marketing from Clemson University
Business & Formal Title: Founder/Editor of Witty + Pretty
What is Witty + Pretty? Witty + Pretty (W+P for short) is a website I started in April 2012 with the intention to be “where beauty meets funny.” I wanted to provide beauty tips, advice, reviews, etc. AND make girls laugh out loud because I couldn’t think of another site that did that. Since then, it has definitely morphed into a mishmash of topics, still with plenty of beauty (and some fashion), but a lot of pop culture, social media (ahem, selfies and Facebook engagement posts), personal stories, guy/dating advice, fitness and health, and more. And I have to say--it ain’t just for the ladies, as I have plenty of male readers...some of whom even admit it.
What did you do before? I’ve been working for myself in the freelance writing world since 2010. Prior to that, I was in PR, and before that, I was the nightlife editor for Jezebel (my first real job in Atlanta). I’m still the Atlanta editor of DailyCandy and have a few awesome copywriting clients.
What did you think you’d be doing now whenever you were 10? I can tell you exactly. I remember sitting in my fifth grade classroom; we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, and I said “fashion designer” with all the confidence in the world. I was probably wearing stirrup pants, a turtleneck, and a Blossom hat at the time.
Is Witty + Pretty your dream job? If not, what else is in the works? It’s a dream to work for myself, and I really love what Witty + Pretty has become. But I would love to do more television and need to be doing more standup comedy. When I can blend writing + TV + comedy every day (and get paid for it), that will be my dream job. I also have a vision of my friend Nikky Williams and I having some sort of comedic show. We are the perfect team.
Are you involved in any side hustles, ladypreneur collabs or baby projects? Tell us about them. Side hustle is a phrase I definitely need to use more often. I mean, I’m always up to something, but I feel like it’s all blended into building my brand/furthering my career in some way. I don’t want to give anything away that hasn’t happened just yet, so I just have to give the lame-ass answer of “stay tuned.”
What does your daily routine consist of? Never the same. Some days, I write/work all day and don’t leave the house; other days, I run around and don’t sit down to my computer until 5 p.m.
A day in the office of Ashley Hesseltine is like? Like I said, never the same, but yesterday for example: Woke up, drank Chuice for breakfast, worked for a couple hours at home, had a coffee meeting at Dancing Goats to talk about some tech-y stuff with Witty + Pretty which turned into a few hours of getting to know a fellow entrepreneurial spirit, took a class at the Orangetheory Fitness in Midtown, went to Whole Foods, came home, walked my dog, cooked dinner, had a few friends over for The Bachelor finale (and wine, duh), and when they left, hunkered down over a good 3+ hours of work, in bed at 3 a.m. (FML).
How do you balance work and life and is that actually even possible? Ahhh, who knows? Sometimes, I feel like I’m playing too much and not working enough (ie. the holidays, my birthday month), and other times, I feel like I’m a slave to my work and missing out on things. But I try to keep it balanced and know I have to meet deadlines, make a living, and just get shit done, even if I don’t sleep.
You have to do it and you hate it – what is your least favorite task to do at Witty + Pretty? There’s technical web stuff that is annoying/frustrating, but I don’t want to get into all that, mainly because it’s boring. Can I say taxes? Ugh, I guess I should file those soon.
What are your favorite business lady apps? Uber, Spotify, White Noise every night for sleeping, Instagram, Tinder (do those count?). Oh and Bank of America (I still find it crazy you can deposit checks via phone).
Top 5 favorite cities? Barcelona, Capri (Italy), Paris, NYC, Miami, Charleston, and my favorite place in the world is Dewey Beach, Delaware. Oops, that was more than five.
Red, White or Sparkling? Red in the winter, white in the summer, sparkling anytime.
Tell us the best place to eat in your city. Besides Cheesecake Factory? JK, that’s impossible to answer! The two best meals I’ve had recently are St. Cecilia and Osteria Mattone (Roswell). The delicious food I eat most often is Cafe Jonah and Juicy Jenny (the Maca smoothie is out of this world). I love Mexican (Nuevo Laredo, El Taco, No Mas Cantina) and breakfast/brunch (West Egg, Flying Biscuit, Sun In My Belly, Parish). And of course, Antico Pizza.
Words to live by: Work hard and be kind to people. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Moisturize daily.
In 5 years you’ll be: A big deal.
On being a woman entrepreneur: Woman entrepreneurs are just like man entrepreneurs. But with better hair.