Photo | Tory Stender

Photo | Tory Stender

Hi! I’m Ashlee - I’m a business owner and mom to two beautiful boys (we recently “graduated” from having two kids under two - although something tells me that it doesn’t mean things are about to get easier). We’ve been living in the area for just over 4 years now and currently live just outside of Edmonton. You’ll usually find me dance partying with my kids, eating, working or cooking!

I’ve been an entrepreneur on and off since I was 15 years old. I started a photography business in high school, and went from getting my first paying gig at 15 ($100.00 for a 6 year old’s birthday party) to shooting weddings at 16. I spent all of my free time on weekends and during summer breaks doing photoshoots and editing photos. Eventually, I realized that photography on it’s own wasn’t the right path - and it took me some time, and some unrelated career paths, but I found my groove helping businesses by freeing up some of their time and getting them new customers and clients through my social media management business - Ashlee MacDouell Media.

Here are my thoughts...

  1. Running a business is hard work. Running a business while on maternity leave is HARD work. Running a business while taking care of 2-3 kids is HARD WORK. Getting up early even though you were up in the night with your baby is your worst enemy and your best friend. You need your sleep but that 45 minutes to an hour that I have to myself in the mornings is probably some of my most productive work time.

  2. If you have anxiety - don’t up your coffee intake to compensate for the above ^.
    I had to break up with caffeine recently. It was a sad day. I discovered it made me feel real crazy when coupled with lack of sleep and already existing anxious tendencies. Instead, I learned to give myself grace and allow myself to “sleep in” until the kids get up or head to bed early. I still have the occasional decaf coffee and herbal teas are my best friend.

  3. I LOVE food - so I’m jumping in here with a few ideas. Keep easy to grab snacks on hand, or batch make some homemade granola bars, muffins, etc. Also, slow cooker is your bestie. My favourites are: pre washed spinach, protein bars, apples, cheese, pepperoni sticks, pretzels, nuts & seeds, hummus, chopped veggies. I also make these breakfast cookies fairly often (I think I lived off of them for a month when my first son was born) They freeze well and it’s easy to substitute many ingredients in the recipe.

  4. Scheduling calls is really interesting when you’re a business owner and a mom. To clients/potential clients of mombosses… if you hear Paw Patrol and kids screaming in the background - we’re doing our best.

  5. Want to be a Mom Boss? DO IT. Take the plunge, go all in, stop spending so long trying to decide if it is right and take a risk. I think it’s harder on us moms because we have a family that depends on us and we have that added pressure beyond what other entrepreneurs feel to succeed. That self-doubt? That fear? That imposter syndrome? X1000 for mom bosses. But don’t let it get you! You’ve got this.

  6. My biggest advice for moms in general has to be GET OUT OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT THE KIDS. Just do it. They will survive. Even if they’re eating cookies and juice while you’re gone and you-don’t-usually-allow-it-cause-health or they wake up and you’re not there, it’s allllll good. You will be back soon and they will learn to enjoy the company of others. The sooner, the better! I recently started going out about once a month for a late dinner with friends and it is SO GOOD.

  7. Kitchen dance parties. By yourself, with the kids, whatever. We love Spotify - find a playlist you love, or make one - and get your groove on even if you’re awkward and can’t dance. Get out of that funk you’re in or have fun with your kids they will love it!

  8. Social Media Tips - If you’re a business owner and a mom - here are some tips for you when you start feeling like social media is too much of a time suck or you just don’t know what to post anymore: Spend 10 minutes or so looking into some social media planning apps that can help you pre-load some posts so you’re not scrambling when you realize you haven’t posted in two weeks - also, don’t be afraid to showcase who YOU are. When people are shopping local or supporting local or supporting women-owned, mom-owned etc. They do that because they care about the makers, let them see you! You are your brand. After all, you’re the one who started this business, right?

Photo | Tory Stender

Photo | Tory Stender