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ginny branch stellingwhat's in your toolbox

what’s in your toolbox: ashley meaders

by Ginny


Ashley Meaders makes stuff. Really happy, clever stuff. Stuff you would want to have in your home, for a party or at your wedding. Ashley is an event designer, Smile Booth designer, Flashdance member, Once Wed collaborator, Design*Sponge contributor and a crafter extraordinaire. And she’s as lovable as the work she creates. I’m so, so excited to introduce Ashley. Get ready to feel . . . well, HAPPY!

Design*Sponge: What is in your toolbox? This can be anything from your favorite products/brands of electric drill, paper, glues and adhesives, paint, primers, digital cameras, etc. It can also be your favorite vintage/found/thrifted objects. What are the tools you can’t live without?

Ashley Meaders: First and foremost is my computer. I definitely can’t live without Illustrator or my email. Then there’s fabric . . . lots and lots of fabric and of course, my Singer scissors to cut all that fabric. I also have a weakness for threads that are shiny and pink.

Design*Sponge: Fill in the blank, “When I am in my studio, I feel _____________.”

CLICK HERE for the rest of Ashley’s interview after the jump!

Design*Sponge: What are on the top shelves of your inspiration library right now? This can be anything from blogs, books, magazines, vintage catalogs/manuals, etc.

Ashley Meaders: I’m the worst about remembering names of blogs and trying to keep up with all of them. I’ve got about 400+ in my reader that I look at whenever I’m in need of a little inspiration. There are just so many good ones out there!

Design*Sponge: How do you keep yourself organized? Time management is often one of the biggest obstacles for creative minds. Do you have an agenda book and do you make “to-do lists?”

I am a firm believer in Post-its. I used to have them all over everything, but it soon became unmanageable and very easy to lose. So, I started using the Stickies program on my computer to my advantage. You get the same satisfaction!

Design*Sponge: If you could have one superhero (or magical) power, what would it be and why?

Ashley Meaders: I would like to be able to fly! Not only would it be extremely cool, but I’m afraid of heights, which isn’t too good when I need to get up on a ladder. If I could fly, then I would never have to worry about falling.



Photo above by Kyle Hale

Design*Sponge: How do you combat creative blocks? What tools do you use to keep your creativity flowing?

Ashley Meaders: It might sound a little strange, but I love walking around Target . . . I always get so inspired there! Something about seeing rows and rows of everyday objects really pushes me to think outside the box.

Design*Sponge: In addition to being an event designer, designer and crafter-extraordinaire, to name a few, what would you like to conquer next?

Ashley Meaders: Haha . . . I guess anything that is thrown at me. I don’t really have a plan, which might be a negative thing at times, but I like to keep my options open . . . any suggestions??

Design*Sponge: Where do you like to shop for inspiration? This can be anything from bookstores, museums, certain parts of New York, flea markets, stores, etc.

Ashley Meaders: I spend a lot of time in Gail K shopping and looking at all the pretty fabrics. I also like to go to Highland Row Antiques and Kudzu.

Design*Sponge: If you could peek inside the studio/toolbox of any designer/artist/craftsman, whose would it be and why?

Ashley Meaders: I would love to peek inside Emma Cassi’s toolbox and see what kinds of goodies she has in there. I’m working on a project right now with lace and beading, and she’s been so inspiring.

Design*Sponge: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received, and what advice would you offer to young artists/stylists/designers?

Ashley Meaders: My mom always told me to be myself, so I’ve tried my best and it has gotten me pretty far. My advice would be the old, wise saying, “It’s impossible to please everyone, so do what makes you happy!”

Design*Sponge: If you could make a master mix-tape of music that is inspiring you at the moment, what would it include?

Ashley Meaders: I never have time to find new music on my own, so I always let Michael over at The Flashdance make my playlists. He comes up with new ones every month that you can download and listen to for free.

Photo credits: Matt and Amber Our Labor of Love

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