Meet A Mom: Featuring Jennifer Ashley, Katy Mama & Artist/Illustrator
We first met Jennifer at one of our Mom Meet ups in Katy and as we try to do with all the mamas we meet, we connected with her afterwards on social media. We quickly discovered that she was one talented lady and quickly got lost in her beautiful Instagram feed.
Jennifer Ashley is a Houston area based artist and illustrator known for designing friendly, fun and fruitful works. Commissioning projects of all types including bespoke nursery illustrations, custom wedding invitations, brand logos, personal crests, and more! She has illustrated for Bravo TV’s Patricia Altschul, Dixie Design, The Glam Pad, and the Beaufort Bonnet company.
Jennifer has done live painting at Louis Vuitton and miscellaneous events, but currently focusing on watercolors for children and baby rooms. These paintings are some of our faves and make us want to have another baby just so we can design a nursery around them! (if our hubby’s are reading this, we’re just kidding, honey!)
One of Jennifer’s favorite things to do is the custom pieces and projects. She considers every opportunity a learning experience and works closely with each client to deliver the right personal touch and makes it exactly what they envisioned. Jennifer calls Katy home where she’s raising her sweet daughter and two pups, Rigby and Tuck.
We got to chat with this crazy talented mama and talk all things mom life, her favorite things about Katy, and of course her budding business. We even scored a special KMN discount for y’all if you want to purchase one of her beautiful watercolor paintings, available online for purchase! Scroll to the end and be sure to use by end of April!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
I am from Rockville Maryland, about 25 minutes from Washington, DC. I moved to Katy, TX with my Husband in 2014.
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have a daughter and her name is Katherine. She is almost 10 months old!
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Katy?
Its such a beautiful place to raise kids and we have so many kid friendly activities. It still has a small town America feeling.
Greatest gift about about being a mom?
Being able to see my daughter grow and become her own person. Laughter has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s the little things!
Least favorite mom job? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath time, etc.)
Kate is now in a phase where she won’t stay in place for more than one second, so changing her diaper is like wrestling an alligator! I am also teaching her the word “no” which recently has been making her cry, so of course I don’t love that.
Favorite book to read with your little one?
Any books that are interactive! Touch and feel books, peek a boo books, books with a mirror.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
That I love the sound of thunder.
What’s you favorite local things to do in Katy for fun with the kids?
We love Little Land Play Gym! They offer reading times that is included with the price of entry!
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant in the area?
We love Anthonie’s Market Grill music nights on the patio.
What is your go-to activity for just yourself for pampering or for fun, anything ‘mama’ time!?
When I get time to go off by myself I love to get pedicures with friends, watch The Bachelor, and go shopping. There is nothing like going down the aisles of HomeGoods and Target at a snails pace.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
I pack disposable puppy pads in my diaper bag for on the go diaper changing.
Tell us about your business- Jennifer Ashley Designs! What do you specialize in and what was the inspiration behind starting it?
I do custom watercolor illustration for businesses, events, weddings, and birthday invitations. I also have a nursery and children’s print collection that I have been releasing the past few months with more to come.
I decided to start my business after I did the artwork for my own wedding save the dates, wedding menu, and welcome bags. I truly felt that I could offer the same custom details to others getting married.
When did you first know you wanted to be an artist and had talent?
I had a sketchbook from elementary school where I would draw from my adventures with friends, fashion, movies, and my home. My mom still has the sketchbook today and it tells so much about me as a person. I studied a little bit of everything from architecture to logo and product design in college. I have always been a creative type whether it was designing my own bedroom or picking out clothes. Years after college, I painted some safari animals for my best friends nursery and a wedding crest for my own wedding. I realized that I had always been needing to have this creative outlet. The pieces just fell into place and I decided to start my own business.
What did you do before starting your business?
I worked in computer software sales for 6 years as an Account Manager and Business Developer. I learned so much about business in those years. I really needed them to start my own business. Just the little things like learning how to manage finances and write an email has been so significant.
What are your plans for the future of Jennifer Ashley Designs?
We’ve got plans in the work to make it easier and more affordable for people to get pieces of our art in their home. Most recently I have started offering prints of some of my most popular works for purchase on my website.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable and dreaded MOM GUILT?
I still have to work on this myself, if anyone has any suggestions let me know!
How important is it for you to have a passion outside of being a mother?
Running my business with a new baby has been challenging, but I take it one day at a time. It keeps me balanced!
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
I try to learn from Mom’s I have come across all through my life, including those I know now. Lastly, my husband has influenced me by simply reminding me that I am the best Mom.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
“Tomorrows a new day”
Name one thing you hope your kids look back and remember about their childhood and you as their mama?
I hope they know that I will always been there for them.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Be patient, it will all work out.
What does having a mom tribe mean to you?
I love this question because I feel like I really am in a mom tribe. Everyone you speak to that has kids can relate to you in some way. I don’t run into much judgement. Women are so strong and we aren’t afraid to jump in and help.
Prints are FOR SALE in her website shop! Link below:
Use Code KATYMOMS for 15% OFF at checkout until 04/30/2019
For more information on Jennifer & to follow along with what she’s up to, make sure to follow her on Instagram and check out her website!