Emerging Brand Ambassador Lauren Ashli
Alrighty communications majors, PR girls, and entertainment gurus! Let’s get acquainted with budding brand ambassador and socialite Lauren Ashli. Everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to reaching for the stars. Well, Lauren is literally aiming to do that one interview and brand at a time. She took some time out to give a little insight into her world as a brand ambassador, and what it’s like trying to emerge into the entertainment field.
Tell the readers your name, age, and where you’re from.
My name is Lauren Thomas, but I go by the “stage name” Lauren Ashli. I am 22 years old, and I am from Atlanta, Georgia.
Describe your background in communications.
It’s funny because I just recently began working in communication. Although I began camera work only about three-four years ago, I have always been involved in the performing arts or the entertainment industry. I’ve been dancing since the age of six, then when I got into my teenage years, I began getting into modeling and acting a little bit more. For a while I thought that I wanted to maybe pursue acting because I enjoyed being on camera so much, but the experience that I did get from that wasn’t fulfilling enough for me. I felt like one of my reasons for being on this planet was not only to be a performer, but to be a performer with a purpose. I wanted to be the voice of those who didn’t have one, and be an individual that other young women could look up to as being a positive role model in the entertainment industry. From there I decided to work towards getting more camera time and experience hosting events because I knew that that was what I wanted to eventually do professionally. My love for communication simply comes from the simple fact that through television and radio, it’s so easy to reach a large amount of people in such a short amount of time. Since beginning chasing this dream of mine, I have worked in radio stations, hosted events such as fashion shows and red carpets, conducted interviews for many fashion brands and music artists, and I have covered events for several media outlets.
Where did your interest in being a brand ambassador came from?
My interest in being a brand ambassador came from the want for me to help brands/products that I love and believe in to get exposure. I also became interested because I saw people on social media gain so much support from businesses because of how many followers they had supporting them. I thought a good partnership between an established business and myself could also be really good exposure for my platform and what I wanted to do.
How did you make your way in molding yourself for this career track?
Honestly, I believe it all started with taking dance classes. Through dance, I was able to learn what types of careers existed in entertainment. I was able to become comfortable with being in front of large crowds, and I learned how to entertain large crowds. Also because I was constantly being in the spotlight, I learned the importance of media etiquette and the proper way to brand myself; I always had people looking and watching me. Whether they were mentors, younger performers, my parents, agents, casting directors, or potential coworkers, I knew I always had to conduct myself in a way that was always professional and appropriate. Molding myself for this career wasn’t necessarily taught to me. It’s something that I adapted to because of my experiences, then I just continued to educate myself so I could continue growing into the young professional I am today. I still have so much more growing to do though.
What brands are you currently working with? How do you endorse them?
Right now I have the pleasure of working with several brands. I endorse them by giving them promotion via social media, or I have special projects in collaboration with them. Those wonderful brands/companies are:
- John Nalls Photography
- The Lady of Influence
- Nia Shades Collection
- True Glory Hair
- Urban Fashion Gods
What are some challenges you have faced as far as emerging into becoming a brand ambassador?
Challenges have probably been the biggest part of my journey. From not knowing where to start, to starting my social media over, to rebranding myself and not knowing who to connect with was so frustrating. I had challenges figuring out how to gain followers (which is important for brand ambassadors), and understanding that there is a certain etiquette for branding yourself on social media. Focusing on myself and not worrying about other people’s success was probably one of my hardest challenges out of them all. Because being a brand ambassador and broadcast journalist is circled around the media, television, and social media, it was really hard for me to not compare my journey to those who are chasing the same dream as I am – I’m still working on not letting challenges discourage me, but any journey is a learning process that we all have to experience. I’ve accepted that.
What advice would you give to women who have similar interests as you?
There’s no specific instructions that you have to follow in order to get to where you want to be. People have different paths and eventually end up in the same places. Do what works best for you by using your talents and gifts to push you forward. The gifts that God has given you is something that no one can ever take away from you so use that to your advantage!
What do you wish someone would have told you about the path you have chosen?
I wish someone who have told me how important it is to really, really make someone remember you. There’s so many people who want to work in the entertainment industry that you’ll be competing against. Making yourself stand out from others is probably one of the easiest ways to book a gig, or get hired for a job.
What’s next for you? What are your current goals, and what are you doing to work towards them?
Graduation for sure! I graduate in May 2017 so I am super excited about that. Some of my goals for post-graduation include furthering my experience hosting and interviewing, and finally launching a couple of projects I’ve been working on. Getting hired for a job at a television station or magazine company would be my next step. Along with talking on camera, I also love to write so writing for a company like Forbes, Complex, Rolling Out, or XXL, would be a dream come true. In the far future, I hope to own a couple of businesses such as my own talent agency, and my own television network (like how Oprah has OWN, and Ryan Seacrest owns E!) and be able to hire other young aspiring individuals such as myself. I believe that nothing is impossible, you just have to work hard. Achieving these goals is going to be up to me and my work ethic. Seeing people like Beyoncé and Oprah at the top of the game is so inspiring and motivating. Hopefully one day I can be sitting at the throne with them and all the other successful black women in the entertainment industry.
What makes you “Dangerous”?
Someone once told me that “there is nothing more dangerous than a headstrong woman who knows her mind.” That quote speaks volumes to me because I believe that I am a woman who is self-willed, and very aware of my own thinking. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been independent. I have always been okay with doing things on my own, being on my own, and sometimes even feeling alone if it was going to make me stronger in the end. But one thing that this aloneness has taught me was that I am 110% capable of accomplishing things without the help of others. Am I saying that I have not once ever asked for help? Of course not! But what I am saying is that I recognize my inner strength and I know it will take me far. I think my mindset surprises people. Yes, I am 5 ft. 2, and can be shy and quiet, but best believe I’m already thinking of ways to take myself to the next level. Psalm 46:5 says “God is within her, she will not fail.” I am a woman that knows I cannot fail simply because God is by my side. As I said before, a God-fearing woman is definitely dangerous. God can make the impossible, possible and to be a believer in He who can turn the impossible possible, is something to be “afraid” of. My passion and desire to inspire others is what fuels my energy to keep going. I think our generation needs more “Dangerous Women” leading and setting good examples; especially in the entertainment industry. The feminist in me believes that women already rule the world, but I promise you one day we actually will and we’ll get everyone else to believe so too.