In today’s Her Business Story here at A League of Her Own, we meet Ashley Drellishak the female founder behind Harness Magazine which was founded in 2016.
Ashley is this your first business?
No! I started an organic “quote” bag company two years ago. I made the decision to close the doors on the quote bag company and focus on Harness!
Tell us more about Harness Magazine
Harness Magazine is an online platform that allows real women from all over the world to share their creative passions. Think of us as the soapbox that women shout their most authentic self from.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
My great-grandpa, grandpa and Dad are all entrepreneurs. I guess you could say it’s kind of in my blood. I was taught to be really independent from a young age and my father made sure to always include me in business conversations growing up. I knew I wanted to be my own boss someday. I just wasn’t sure in what realm.
How long did it take for you to put your idea into action?
It took me a few weeks to really solidify the idea. I was nervous about starting something new while I already was in the process of running a side hustle. Once I decided on the name – it became very real for me.
Harness came into motion when I realized the women around me were having these very real experiences, but it wasn’t reflected in the media. I would constantly say – you should blog about that or you should write about that – I am sure many women are going through the same thing.
Most of the ladies I told didn’t have blogs and didn’t end up creating one. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to create and maintain a blog – so I think it was a roadblock to these women sharing their thoughts. So I thought there has to be a space where women can share what they are going through in an easy way and they don’t have to be expert writers! I couldn’t find a place anywhere – so I decided to create one.
What has been your scariest moment as an entrepreneur?
The future scares me because I know we have to keep evolving to stay relevant, but it’s a good kind of fear. The kind of fear that keeps you going.
What has been your proudest moment?
My proudest moment was recently! I was invited to be on a panel at a side hustle event. So many women came up to me after the panel curious about the magazine and really supportive of its mission. It made me feel like Harness is really as magical as I believe it to be.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?
You have to be humble enough to know when something isn’t working and shift. Don’t get stuck on one way of doing things so much so that you can’t see the big picture.
Business is like a relationship it has its ups and its downs – you need to learn how to pivot and shift so you can make those downs not so hard.
Which women inspire you?
SO many. Honestly, the women who inspire me the most, are the women who are unafraid to be themselves. In today’s society the media pushes us in one direction through content, ads, music, etc. – it’s hard to feel like you fit into the tiny box that was been built for us. The ladies who kick open the box, walk out, and say hey this is me like it or not – god I love those women.
And which men?
The men who are good fathers, good husbands, who stand up for what they believe in – who aren’t afraid to go against the grain.
What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you first started out?
You’re going to be tired. Very tired. But even in those moments of exhaustion – keep going – it’s so worth it.
What’s the best piece of business advice someone has ever given you?
You can do anything you want do – if you set your mind to it.