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Upside Down with Ashley Mady

Yes, you read that right. Ashley practices yoga on a silk swing, even upside down. She also has a 20 foot tall chalkboard wall in her living room. I love that her company Brandberry, which she founded in 2009, employs her dog Faith as Chief Barketing Officer. As busy as she is, she has carved out time in her life to also be President of Women in Toys for the past two years and has led the charge with incredible expansion! Read on…

Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?

I’ve been mastering play and creativity since I was kid, but little did I know there was the perfect industry out there for me. While in design school at the University of Florida, I realized I was not like all the other students. My work felt very different -- I used color, playful fonts and wanted to evoke a feeling of happiness in everything I created. My senior year, I had a lighting bulb moment that I was meant to work in toys, so I set out on a mission to land my dream job while staying in South Florida. I’m the kind of person who looks for loopholes, so when a local toy company didn’t return my emails and phone calls, I decided to hand deliver my resume and square shaped pop up business card. They called me back within the hour and before I graduated my mission was accomplished. When I started Brandberry in 2009, I decided to bring back the lucky square pop up business card. I figured if it could land me a job it could definitely help build my clientele and it’s proven to be a great conversation starter too.

What does your typical day look like?

There is nothing typical about my day, each is so unique, and that’s what I love most about what I do. I could start my week off facilitating a brainstorm, the following day I could be creative directing a photoshoot or jumping on a plane to close a deal. Somedays I am wearing a business hat, others I am in full blown creative mode...and certain days I am busy running WIT (Women In Toys, Licensing & Entertainment), a global non-profit. I like the variety of it all, it keeps life fun, challenging and interesting.

What inspires you?

Exciting adventures, art, fashion, food and interesting people/conversations. I find inspiration everywhere and am always trend hunting, window shopping and trying to figure out what makes people tick. I find I am most inspired when in motion - walking, exercising, socializing, etc. Really anything that moves me away from my computer and out into the world.

Do you have any kiddos?

No kids yet, but if you entered my house you’d think otherwise. We have a 20 foot tall chalkboard wall in our living room and toys everywhere. It’s our “creative suite” and where a lot of the brainstorming magic at Brandberry happens. Our friends, family and staff spend a lot of time at our house working, playing and aiding in the creative process.

Do you have any pets?

I have a dog named Faith, also known as Brandberry’s Chief Barketing Officer. Whenever I’m actually in Florida and working from my home office, you can usually find her sitting behind my back in my chair. Not so good for the posture, but she is so irresistibly cute.

What are your hobbies?

Dance, choreography and fitness. More recently I started doing Aerial Yoga. In my first class while swinging in the aerial yoga silk swing the teacher said today you are going to challenge yourself, laugh and hang upside down. I was instantly sold.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

Becoming president of WIT. When I got involved with the organization back in 2010, I had no idea it was going to play such a big part in my life. In 2014, the idea of becoming president was presented to me and I decided it was my chance to give back to this amazing organization that had already given so much to me. Serving in this role has been an absolute honor.

What’s next?

Big things! I’ve been very quiet about some exciting projects and partnerships in works. 2017 is going to be a game changer and I am ready to make some bold moves. Stay tuned!

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