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Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of stories planned by Cache Valley freelance writer Cindy Knowles based on the idea that everyone has an interesting story to tell.

Ashley Wilson is a popular social media blogger and Instagram personality. Her social media sites are titled “At Home with Ashley.” Her blog sites are a combination of home décor tips and renovations, and she’s interested in how good design intersects with a happy home life.

She and her husband, Preston, their son, Don, and two dogs, Derek and Lucy, live right here in Logan.

Ashley was born and raised in Bountiful in a family with three sisters, herself being No. 2.

“I have always been an introvert and very quiet. I had bossy siblings that spoke in my behalf,” Ashley says, describing her childhood.

She says she was raised to always put family first, and she tries to instill those same values in her family today.

She was an avid reader at a young age. In third grade the one book that really inspired her and helped set her whole life’s direction was “Mandy,” written by actress Julie Andrews Edwards. It is the story of a 10-year-old girl living in an orphanage. She sneaks over the orphanage wall to discover a secret deserted cottage in the woods. Mandy works to make it her own special place, borrowing items along the way to make it her own little home.

Ashley was so enthralled with the Mandy story, she made her own cardboard cottage out of a box. Her teacher at school let her use wallpaper samples from a book that she had in the classroom. Ashley fully decorated her box cottage. She showed it to an older high school cousin who said, “Ashley should be an interior designer.”

Her parents were always very encouraging of her art abilities, putting her in art classes when she was younger. She was always very creative as a child and into her teens.

In 8th grade when her family moved to a new home, each of the girls were allowed to decorate their own bedrooms in any way and color that they liked. They all helped each other paint and get things set up. When it came time to do Ashley’s room, she had her own vision of how she wanted her bedroom to look. Pastel purple was her color of choice, and soon the other sisters were dismissed because she knew exactly how she wanted her room to look without them underfoot.

On her cousin’s suggestion to go into interior design, she enrolled at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) and got her associate’s degree. She knew her own personality and realized that going into unknown people’s homes would be very stressful. She had to figure out how to do what she loved without being in someone’s private residence. Ashley later married her Bountiful High School sweetheart, Preston Wilson. They have always been best friends and work very well together. He does all the installations of her designs.

She interviewed for a position at Down East Outfitters. She helped them open many of their 40 new stores around the Utah, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada. She was also hired to be in charge of all their visual merchandising in all the store locations. When she helped Down East Outfitters open their Logan store in 2018, she worked with many of the local Logan employees there and fell in love with the community as a whole. Less car traffic was also a benefit.

Because of her business as a blogger and online personality, she and her husband could choose to live wherever they wanted, so they chose Logan as their permanent home base. Ashley spends about 50 hours a week posting, creating her own projects and prepping for postings. Her husband spends about 30 hours working with her now, making her ideas happen.

They are quite the team working together. He manages the home, building projects and installations. He also does the laundry, grocery shopping and most of the cooking. He is very supportive in their lifestyle. Because they are homebodies, they don’t eat out much. They enjoy being at home as a family in their own creative surroundings.

Since she styles her home with many pastel colors, pastel rainbows and pastel color themes, one question she gets asked regularly is, “How does your husband feel about all the pink in your home?” She responds that pink in their home is a neutral, and he is just fine with pink. They even have a pink refrigerator.

Ashley loves Easter, which fits in with her pastel aesthetic. She enjoys Christmas also. One of the family’s favorite ways to spend a day is walking to the Cache Valley Gardner’s Market, visiting an antique store or going to the park.

Their son, Don, has a great eye when antique shopping. When it came to decorating his own room, he picked out his own decorations and has his own ideas just like his mom when she was his age. Ashley facilitates his play by using those ideas to help him decorate his own space. Right now he is very into dinosaurs.

Ashley has a few ways to get inspired with ideas and considers creativity a muscle. “The more you do, the better you do,” she contends.

She has what she calls “idea babies.” They begin when a necessity is created, and then she adds something different to it. For example, her husband built a wooden pergola for shade and barbecues in the backyard. But, it didn’t quite shade enough through the wood slats. So she created pastel rainbow sails to go across the top in between each slat giving them complete shade and also color to add to the backyard. She sewed all the sails and then hand dyed each of the eight colors of the rainbow. Preston installed the sails by added industrial snaps. Now it doesn’t blow off and is easy to take down for winter.

For those who are curious, there are four basic ways Ashley makes a living with a social media site: 1.) Companies will pay you to have ads on your site. 2.) Sponsors such as Home Depot that Ashley works with hire her to style a room and post. 3.) She shares links such as Wayfare where she might have purchased a rug & then she gets a commission. 4.) There are affiliates like Benjamin Moore Paints. Once she has worked with them and they like her, they keep reaching out. She will then pitch another idea and a price. If they agree, it’s a done deal.

Ashley wants her sponsor pitches it to feel natural to her readers, so the products are used in a natural way when she is creating. She does it carefully to make it comfortable so that it isn’t just obviously thrown in her followers’ faces.

Ashley recently started posting on TikTok, which has algorithms that guide the readers to sites that fit what they are interested in. This is good for her followers and for Ashley to reach those who like the kind of things she posts.

Ashley has been inspired by Martha Stewart, Kate Middleton (who she feels is so real and sincere), and JoAnna Gaines. She has been to the Gaines Silos in Waco, Texas. It is her adult Disneyland. She says that she is also inspired by her husband, Preston.

On the couple’s bucket list is buying a little cabin in the Heber, Utah, area or possibly in Charleston, South Carolina. They also would love to spend a summer in Europe.

The Wilsons’ best friends moved away. The wife was a volleyball coach and she got a job out of state in Florida. The two couples missed seeing each other, so they decided to save up to rent a home in the area for one winter. They loved Florida so much they saved up a bit longer and bought a second home there. With their son, Don, being so young, it was easy to pull up roots and go to a warmer climate for the winter. It gave Ashley a whole other place to create and decorate for her social media sites.

Don prefers Logan because his friends are here, but he still likes to go to Florida. And of course their dogs go wherever they go.

On a recent week Ashley was designing and decorating her in-law’s guest room an hour away in Bountiful. They trust her judgment implicitly and are letting her do whatever she thinks would be best for their home. Preston and Ashley worked together to make this happen for his parents. Turns out it was Preston’s old bedroom originally. It was easy to follow along on her blog site and Instagram to see the process.

When it comes to designing and decorating for your own home Ashley has words of advice: “Don’t be afraid to start and try. Even if you don’t get it right, keep trying. That’s all part of the process.”

Please be aware that Cache Valley Publishing does not endorse, and is not responsible for alleged employment offers in the comments.

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