We are so excited to share our first-ever Accessories Brand Spotlight with designer Ashleigh Stone, Founder of Poolside, the incredibly chic handbag company with the most fabulous straw bags and totes around. Ashleigh was so kind to let us borrow a few of our favorite pieces to style with in our last shoot and we are still dreaming of them. Below we catch up with her on all things fashion, business and life!
CS: When was the brand founded and what was the catalyst in starting?
AS: The brand was founded in Summer 2016. I've always loved classic French market baskets, and I thought it would be very successful to allow people to customize them with a nickname or an inside joke. We started the brand by offering a few culturally relevant phrases, as well as the option to customize. The brand was approached by Moda Operandi via Instagram, and we grew our brand from there. I’ve always been inspired by vintage fashion and classic pieces with a twist, and our first cheeky market baskets were just that! Now, we offer a plethora of different basket bag styles, but they are most often inspired by a favorite silhouette or a vintage piece that I saw in a TV show, movie or on Pinterest.
CS: What is your dream for the brand in the next 5 years?
AS: My goal for the next five years is to expand the brand into a real vacation lifestyle brand, including new verticals such as ready to wear, beauty, travel accessories, jewelry and more.
CS: Do you have a favorite collection or piece to date?
AS: I love our disco ball bag, which is one of our top selling styles of all time! I also love the classic embroidered market baskets. I never get tired of them! I just constantly want new phrases on my bags. I wear a different bag every day!
CS: What's your favorite thing in your closet right now?
AS: My favorite POOLSIDE item in my closet is our “Madison” wicker conch shell bag, which we are actually sold out of. In general, my favorite things in my closet are my summer sundresses! I can’t pick just one!
CS: What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
AS: Probably to not be afraid.
CS: Is there one unforgettable defining time in your career that changed you?
AS: Leaving my career in finance was extremely formative for me. It forced me to think about life differently, and to try new things. It allowed me to connect with my passions and to ultimately pursue my dreams.
CS: Who is your style icon?
AS: This is always a hard question for me! I don’t know if I have any ONE person that I look up to from a style standpoint. My mood board can be found here.
CS: If you weren’t a designer/business owner, what would you be doing?
AS: I would be a CEO or CMO at a start-up that I’m passionate about.
CS: If you could be from any other decade (or era), which would it be?
AS: Hmmmmm probably the 1940s, followed by the 60s/70s. The 1940s for the formal glamour. The 60s/70s for the mini skirts and grooviness.
CS: If you could have any three classic icons over for dinner – who would they be?
AS: This is so difficult! Grace Kelly, Jackie O and Lapo Elkann.
CS: Best gift you’ve ever received?
AS: When my husband tells me that I’m a good mother. No physical or non-physical gift or item has ever meant more to me!
CS: What does the word “Classic” mean to you?
AS: Something that never goes out of style, and that can complete any look or experience. A special item that you find yourself returning to time and time again. That certain "je ne sais quoi."
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate:
Coffee or Tea:
Favorite Classic Movie:
Sabrina & To Catch A Thief
My baby daughter, a tape measure, and sunglasses
BLANK is the new BLANK:
Staycation is the new vacation
Color you couldn’t live without:
Black (I’m a New Yorker) -- it’s just so functional
Your favorite accessory:
Bags - Any one of the bags from my collection
Jewelry - Brinker & Eliza for fun and Marlo Laz for fine
Shoes - Birkenstocks (have worn them every day for the past 4 months)
Your favorite wardrobe piece:
Classic and interesting white button downs!
Last trip you were on:
Australia for Christmas last year.
Last book you read:
Thank You For Voting by Erin Geiger Smith
Bluestone Lane for brekkie and ISODI for dinner
Hotel you’re dreaming of:
Palazzo Avino, Palm Heights SBC or Cuixmala
Fashion will always:
A way to express yourself
Change your life
If you were a color it would be:
I’m too indecisive to answer!
If you were a texture it would be:
Probably soft fleece material - cozy and comfy!
I’m a firm believer in:
Everything happens for a reason.
I’m deeply grateful for:
My health and my family.
The world needs more:
If you had to pick one Classic Six piece, what would it be?
Donna button down shirt