Women Who Inspire: Ashley Limehouse
Ashley Limehouse in a Charleston native and community leader. She is the co-creator of BRWN GIRL TALK, Wellness Director of Artisan Global, and yin yoga teacher at Still Soul Studio. As an inspirational entrepreneur, we interviewed her on her business philosophy, driving force behind her passions, and how we can continue to support POC in our community and affect positive change.
Brwn Girl Talk was created with love, and through intentional work for brown skin girls who have roots in the south. Ashley and K. Marie created a space to explore the act of mindfulness through meditation, celebration, and therapeutic conversation. So that black women know that they are never alone. "We will continue to heal together. Through community, we find resilience. Our mission is to cultivate a space for spiritual expansiveness and wholeness, inspiring, accepting, and appreciating the healer in all of us. WE got this."
Artisan Global is a non-profit organization that develops creative industries in Uganda with local entrepreneurs and designs community workspaces for innovation and impact.
Yin is a quite, static, meditative, practice where we apply a traction stress to particular parts of the body to aid in the free flow of energy. Physically it helps to soften the body to improve flexibility, range of motion and more. Ashley tries to build her class to strengthen and balance the meridians of the body and support proper bodily functioning, teaching several variations of each posture so that it is accessible for all bodies. Ashley really loves the mental and emotional space that yin provides. Connect with Ashley on the Yin Yoga International site or join her for at Still Soul Studio at 579 King St. www.stillsoulstudio.com
Q&A with Ashley Limehouse
What has shaped your business(es) and their philosophy?
Community, community is the foundation of all business that I am apart of. BRWN GIRL TALK was created for the community, and sisterhood. AG is connections from communities in Charleston to Africa. It’s building together, neither would be the same without the love and support of our community.
How does BRWN GIRL TALK celebrate and pioneer for young girls?
We started BGT for black women to feel that they are apart of a sisterhood, that they are seen, heard, represented, and cared for. I hope that young girls see BGT and see themselves in us and in the incredible women that we highlight on our page. May they see that their lives are limitless, because we believe in them. Also showing women that look like them gives them hope.
What does Yin Yoga mean to you? What about teaching it? How has yoga helped you deal with your surroundings?
Yin Yoga is this beautiful practice to just be. I find myself so present when in my practice, it’s sort of like a meditation in movement you know. It gives me the practice to be more present off of the mat and in the world, in my community where it really matters.
How have you continually developed and help serve the growing creative industry in Uganda with Artisan Global?
As a whole our small team supports artisans in the ways that are most sustainable in each stage of the process. Just recently we launched a covid relief fund for the artisans and their families, because that’s what they needed most then. Things are always changing and I believe we adjust as needed to support them fully. They’re incredible people who deserve it all that may look like a new center, jobs or resources. While supporting artists in Uganda Is our mission, it’s also been my personal mission to support local artists in my community as well. We did a great job with combining and highlighting both communities at our most recent auction event at redux contemporary space.
You have your hands in so many organizations, while they all have a mission statement, what is yours?
“We Are Better Together” I have a collaborative nature. I feel like while I have an ability to create on my own, I know that i thrive when I have a solid community & team. I never want to be the smartest person in the room because I want be able to continue to grow and learn. Five brains are better than one. I am happy because I’m surrounded by incredible people. We are always better together & stronger together. Together we will get shit done! Haha
What's your driving force?
My driving force is “Liberation” freedom. The amazing political leader Fannie Lou Hamer once said; “ When I liberate myself, I liberate others. Freedom for all motivates me, freedom to express, freedom of speech, freedom of self."
What can we do as a community to lift up POC business owners and support the movement? How can we continually support?
I would like to say that there are so many systems built against us and dismantling them is critical for our advancement. Everyone would need to first ask the question; “What am I doing to address the systemic barriers that prevents people that may not look like me from, fully expressed lives. After really sitting with that, I think how you all have used your platform (no matter large or small) to highlight black business owners (who would normally be overlooked) is a great way. Continue to buy black, pay black women & men for their work, share our stories, but also want to remind people that we have to matter before we become a hashtag. This is a good start! Thank you.
What are you most hopeful for?
I am most hopeful that the conversations start at our own table. Hopeful that we pick up the things that don’t sit well with us and we do something about it. That we continue to show up, speak up and take action until we are ALL seen and treated as equal.