Ashley Sanders {Owner}

I’m Ashley, wife to Jeff, mom to Sophie Blaine and now a herd of Blue Lacy dogs including our first baby, Lace, and the creative soul who has gotten us all here. I am an Aggie, class of 2003, and a small-town, country girl at heart. In my business I plan, in my personal life I prefer to just fly. In October of 2011 Jeff and I embarked on the journey of what would become Ashley & Co. This consisted of a lot of renovations to the building that we saw with great potential, re-branding, restructuring and expanding an existing business, and the opportunity to fulfill a need in this industry locally. My event experience encompasses now almost twenty years and ranges from crowds as few as three to as large as 5,000. I love being involved first hand in all events, but I also welcome the challenge that comes with the management side of the business. I love reflecting on where we started, where we are, and where we’re going. 

From a planning and client perspective, make sure the ground work is laid and the details are covered. If you have a good base for an event, the other things will fall into place. By all involved sides sharing details of the event, it will help to eliminate surprises encompassing the event. 

We often reference the term “controlled chaos” in our office, which is somewhat how I treat most events. Remain in control and keep the chaos behind the scenes. Handle the little things so that the client can enjoy the moment. 

When it comes to executing events, I feel like my role and the role of the client is every different. From my perspective, it’s “go time”. I always like to stay one step ahead to make sure I am never caught off guard and am always expecting what will come next. While on an event, I want to be able to know what the clients are thinking before the words are said. From a client perspective, on an event day I want to see satisfaction. I want to see that they’ve arrived at that day well rested, anxiety free,  surrounded by friends or family members and are ready to celebrate in whatever form it may be.

I love what I do in so many aspects. This is my business, but far more than that, this is my heart and passion. I love our clients because they give us their trust, they come to us with some of the most important times of their lives and ask for help in creating the absolute best settings and moments. They become friends and part of our lives as we work together. I love our team because we are family. I have been blessed to find the best of the best to fit together in this puzzle to create the strongest event team possible. We laugh together, grow together, cry together, learn together and make each other stronger every single step of the way. 

When I begin the design process with anyone there are a few things that come into play. Designing an event is not that dissimilar to designing a space in a home. There are a few key elements that always need be kept in mind. What are your likes and dislikes? What is the budget? Are you symmetrical? What is the formality of the event? I feel that it is important to really spend the time with clients to get to know their personal style and make sure it is reflected in the event. 

Old world Spanish meets Mexico beaches would probably be the best combination of my personal space design style. I’m drawn to large statement pieces, mirrors, silver, rock, crystal, dark woods and anything that has interest. I am not a symmetrical person, but I am a person who creates patterns.

I have incredibly odd eating obsessions. When I eat skittles, they must be consumed in twos of the same color. If there are odd colors out, I can’t eat them! When I eat a hamburger, I pick all of the top layer of the bun off before eating it.

Exotic European mounts. One day I will hang the Gemsbok that is currently on my couch in my office. 

Sweet red wine, shoes and Bath and Body Works chapstick

My advice is somewhat two-fold.

1) Don’t be afraid to enlist help in whatever form is best for you. If this means a professional to take the reins and handle everything, that’s great. If this means your best friend to provide comical relief and take the pressure off of you, it works just as well. Just know there are a lot of moving pieces and help is a welcome thing.

2) Remember the big picture. Don’t let the little things get in the way of your enjoyment of the overall event, whether it be a fundraiser, tailgate, engagement or wedding. There may be small snags here and there, keep your sights on the goals of the event so that you have no regrets after.