Rising Through Resilience: Ashley Blain of ZenLuxCo On The Five Things You Can Do To Become More Resilient During Turbulent Times
An Interview With Savio P. Clemente
Believing in your power- Believing in your power means you believe in your ability to face any adversity and setback and come out stronger on the other side. The first step in being resilient is believing in your power to face any obstacle, and tackling it head on.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ashley Blain.
Ashley Blain is the founder and CEO of ZenLuxCo, a New York based women’s wellness and self-care business. She also runs a blog along with her business that promotes all things wellness, mental health, self-care, and woman empowerment. Through the sales of her business, she has also managed to help young women and girls who are less fortunate, to live out their full potential.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to a middle class family. After working in corporate for a few years after college, I realized I was doing work that I was not passionate about. Always being into skincare and self-care, I knew I wanted to eventually be in this industry and make my mark. I started my business ZenLuxCo which felt like a magical feat to do, because it has always been a lifelong goal of mine to become an entrepreneur.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Of course! I have so many but I think one that stands out is when I was in the beginning stages of starting my business, I wasn’t quite sure exactly which products I initially wanted to sell. I talked to an important mentor of mine and they mentioned that the best businesses solve a need of what is missing in the market. They told me to switch roles and put myself in the customer’s shoes. To think about what I would spend my money on, and what is missing in my life that I would purchase. This is when I came to the realization that the best businesses solve a need, and provide products and services that the consumer wants. If I strictly choose to sell what I wanted to sell for my business, and not what the consumer in the market wants, my business might not have the success it has today.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I think what makes my company stand out is I not only sell items to my customers, but I also promote wellness and self-love. Along with promoting our items and self-care kits on our socials to our audience, I also post wellness and self-improvement content. I did a segment on my company’s Instagram page called ‘How to Practice Love Languages on Yourself’. In this segment, I described each love language and provided easy practical ways to practice each of the five love languages on yourself. After posting this content that spanned over 2 weeks, I received so many messages from my followers telling me how helpful the content was and how it made them see things differently when it comes to the relationship with themselves. Creating this content helped me realize that content that not only provides sales but also provides value is what separates your brand from others.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Oh yes! I would have to say my dad helped me tremendously in my entrepreneurial pursuit with starting my business. He himself is a business owner, so he knows firsthand how it is to build a company from the bottom up. Seeing him do it, caused me to build the courage to make the first initial moves in making my own business moves.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
I would define resilience as the ability to bounce back from whatever life throws at you. Life for each of us throws a ton of unexpected curve balls, and being able to face these curve balls and tackle them is resilience. Resilience is having the ability to roll with the punches life throws at you, and being able to come out stronger on the other side. Some characteristics I would pair with resilience are strong, confident, and motivated. You need to be strong to be able to roll with the punches and come out on the other side. Confidence is also a trait in resilient people because you have to be confident in your ability to bounce back when dealing with adversity. Last but not least, being motivated that you will come out on the other side is another trait of resilient people.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
Courage in many ways is very similar to resilience. Courage is having the mental capability to know you will overcome any adversity thrown your way. Having courage means you know the journey or task will not be easy, but still are confident in your ability to finish out strong. Similarly, resilience is having the ability to adapt to any adversity or setback. Having resilience means you bounce back from any curveballs life throws at you, and knowing you will finish out stronger on the other side. Courage and resilience are different in more ways than one however. Courage is having the confidence and mental strength that you will bounce back from adversity, while resilience is the actual ability OF bouncing back from adversity. Having courage is the prerequisite of being resilient. Once you have the initial courage, resilience comes thereafter.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
When I think of resilience, a person that comes to mind is Oprah Winfrey. Her entire life story is truly one of resilience. Despite the major setbacks that occurred in her life, she still rose to be one of the most successful business women in history. She is the true epitome of resilience because she could have let the setbacks in her life cause her to remain stagnant and down, but she rose above them and succeeded in the end.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? Of course! I started my business during the pandemic in 2020, which was a time where businesses were shutting down left and right, and the economy was turned upside down. There were opinions that starting a business during that particular time wouldn’t be smart because of the economic state and mass business closures. However, I still proceeded to start my business and prove that if you want to succeed badly enough, nothing will stop you despite any circumstances.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
I’m a strong believer that you should use your experiences, particularly the bad ones as ways to gain knowledge and wisdom in life. One of my first jobs out of college, I was put in the unfortunate situation of doing the job duties of an individual who had left the company for an extended period of time. The extra workload on top of my own workload, caused me to work overtime for most days of the week and this negatively affected my mental health and life. After some time went on, I realized that I was doing work that I wasn’t passionate about at all. It made me realize that if I was going to work hard, it would be work that I love doing, and in a field I am passionate about.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
Before becoming an entrepreneur, I worked several jobs that were both in my field of study and not. Understanding the notion that growth happens outside of your comfort zone helped build my resilience over the years. Putting yourself in situations and settings outside of your comfort zone is a sure way to build resiliency because it gives you the ability to adapt and grow as a person. Being an entrepreneur, it is imperative to have resilience because you have to be able to adapt to change and bounce back from adversity.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
1. Believing in your power- Believing in your power means you believe in your ability to face any adversity and setback and come out stronger on the other side. The first step in being resilient is believing in your power to face any obstacle, and tackling it head on.
2. Having a strong mindset- By having a strong mindset, you must first have the mental strength to handle any setback and adversity. Once you mentally prepare yourself, you can then quickly recover and become more resilient. Your ability to bounce back becomes stronger.
3. Step out of your comfort zone. Stepping out of your comfort zone causes you to grow in areas you might be weak in. It strengthens your resilience because it causes you to adapt to change and grow in areas you might be initially hesitant to grow in.
4. Having confidence — Confidence includes not being intimidated or afraid of any adversity that comes in life. Having confidence to encounter difficulties causes you to become more resilient.
5. Celebrate small wins- When you celebrate your small wins, it makes it easier to bounce back from setbacks that occur. Celebrating each goal that is accomplished provides a confidence boost that can be put to use when you have setbacks in accomplishing other goals.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would inspire others to realize that self-love is a super power. When we love ourselves, we tend to make healthy choices for the betterment of ourselves. Accepting yourself fully with all your flaws and imperfections, makes you become less judgemental toward yourself.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)
I would love to have lunch with Michelle Obama. She is such a great leader, and I know she would provide great tips to anyone with open ears willing to learn. She is a woman that represents grace, style and confidence, and is such a positive role model for all women.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Business website: www.zenluxco.com
Business Instagram: www.instagram.com/zenluxco
Personal Instagram: www.instagram.com/heyyashleyyb
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
No, thank you!