My Origin Story: Ashlee Lawson
Generation Titans' "My Origin Story" is part of ongoing series to feature talented, innovative, and dope entrepreneurs of color (EOC). We are providing a platform where founders and creatives can tell their stories in their own voice and in their own unique way. These stories are not highlight reels, although they do highlight success. Also, these stories are not focused on only the hardships, obstacles, and racial inequality that entrepreneurs of color face, although they do squarely address these challenges. Today, Generation Titans catches up with Ashlee Lawson to hear more about her origin story and her journey as an entrepreneur.
Stories like Ashlee's are American stories that push the culture forward, spark conversation and connections in the startup ecosystem, and also inspire a younger generation of entrepreneurs. These stories and the founders are a counter narrative. Through "My Origin Story," Generation Titans is proving that the pipeline of EOCs exists--despite the media's prevailing deficit narrative about entrepreneurs of color.
WHO IS ASHLEE LAWSON?
bridge builder. people connector. barrier breaker. event producer. digital communicator. runner.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I originally hail from from Ann Arbor, Michigan (Ha! Go Blue!). I currently reside in Washington, DC where I’ve been running all the miles since 2013.
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT SOCIAL MEDIA WON'T TELL US ABOUT YOU?
Social media won’t tell you that I’m quite the introvert. As much as I love spending time with and around people, I love time to myself, equally, if not more than being social.
I believe this stems from the fact that I pour everything that I have into the people and projects I love and serve that it’s become really important for me to take time for myself to recharge. You can’t pour into others with an empty cup.
WHAT IS RUNGRL AND HOW HAS YOUR JOURNEY AS A FOUNDER SHAPED WHAT YOU'RE DOING AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
RUNGRL is the first-of-its-kind new media platform that provided information, inspiration and celebration for the Black woman runner. We are creating a space where Black woman across the full distance running spectrum can share their voices and stories, challenges and triumphs...authentically. A space where all levels of runners, from first time 5k’ers to ultra marathoners can see and feel themselves represented and celebrated in the sport.
As a second-time Co-Founder (see @willrinformimosas), and lifelong helper of of other people looking to build brands...one of the biggest lessons I have learned is that as much as things change, the more they stay the same. Everything I have ever done to this point has been in service of others, and RUNGRL and anything that comes next will be no different,
WHAT HAS DRIVEN YOU TO DO WHAT YOU'RE DOING NOW?
My desire to create the spaces and experiences that I wish existed has driven me to do the work I am doing now. My number one piece of advice to others is to find that thing, that passion and use it to create the change you wish to see in your world.
For me, it’s running. Running is much more than the miles. Running gives me a reason to create experiences, communities and impact that reaches far beyond myself.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Go to business school.
Do the work required (whether personal, professional, emotional or spiritual) so that you’re prepared to receive your blessings. Those blessings won’t come a second before you’re ready! In other words, stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.
WHAT BOOK(S) ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
By currently reading, you must mean books I’ve purchased but haven’t had a chance to dig into yet. :)
Talk Like TED - Carmine Gallo
American Street - Imi Zoboi
The Power of Habit- Charles Duhigg
As SOON as RUNGRL takes off, I’m very much looking forward to knocking these out!
WHAT ALBUMS OR SONGS DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE ON HEAVY ROTATION?
Whew! That Cardi Just dropped and has been on repeat ever since! I’m also really enjoying the new Chloe x Halle (The Kids are Alright) and Tom Misch (Geography) #Balance
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU ON THE INTERNETS?
I can be found on the internet streets at all things Ashlee Simone and RUNGRL