Entrepreneurship Talk With 'Sunday Forever' Founder Ashli Stockton
Here at Aristos Lifestyle, we are all about living a balanced and well-rounded life. We know it’s not a straight path to get there, but we’re willing to put in the work. Part of our quest for a mindful life is looking out into the world and taking note of how others are doing it - that's when we found Ashli Stockton.
We have to admit, we have been obsessed with Ashli from Sunday Forever for a very long time (er have you met her? She's amazing), so when we were thinking up who we’d like to do a “women in business” feature on, she was an instant first.
Sunday Forever was born out of a love for good vibes all week long and making the luxurious feeling of those cozy, lovely Sunday’s, last. Ashli has curated a beautiful brand that offers crystals, candles, kimonos and more, with the intention of bringing ‘good vibes only’ into every home. We got the chance to pick her beautiful brain on all things candles, crystals and the road that led her to Sunday Forever.
Can you tell us the key things you learned working in the corporate world? What did it teach you, and what part did you dislike?
“Because I worked in so many areas of the business from merchandising to marketing and creative, working in the corporate world taught me how to think about business in not only a strategic, but creative way. I basically got paid to get an MBA! In terms of what I didn’t like, the politics, the levels, the long timelines to get things done and mostly not having complete control of my environment and my future.”
As a first time entrepreneur, how did you know where to start with your business plan, budgeting, + the type of team you wanted to build?
“Full disclosure, I never made a business plan (still don’t have one), I gave myself $25k to start and literally pulled that number out of thin air, and in terms of the team - first and foremost I need to work with people that I like, trust and want to be around. It’s important that we all work hard, but have fun in the process.”
How did your research suppliers for sourcing product and materials?
“Google, Google and Google some more. You have to be prepared to do the work and spend a TON of time here. You’ll hit a lot of dead ends, send a ton of emails and eventually, you’ll connect with the right contacts that can help get you exactly what you need (after lots of trial and error!)”
Was it challenging to narrow down your preferred scents + products? Did you pick these based on market research or just put out what you believed in, + have faith that others will be drawn to it?
“In my past life, I did tons of market research but when I started Sunday Forever I did ZERO. I created things that I personally wanted and couldn’t find on the market.”
“Perfume: I’ve traveled the world and have never been able to find the perfect coconut-scented, fine fragrance. Everything was too sweet, too fruity, or not chic...so I set out to create my own. I worked with master perfumer Jean-Claude Delville, of Society of Scent to create the perfect coconuts perfume.”
“Candles: I’m never not burning a candle but I’m also very sensitive to scent - I get headaches easily. So, I set out to create a line of luxury, lightly-scented candles. The design is also intentionally minimal and classic so they can fit into just about any home aesthetic.”
What’s your advice for creating an awesome team + a healthy work environment?
“Tons of communication and constant feedback, both ways - not only from me to them but from them to me. They see how hard I work, how pure my intentions are and how much I care for each and every one of them. They also see the positive impact we have on our customers and the community. All of this adds up to what I feel is a pretty healthy working environment.”
How do you balance + manage growth and what are your tips on scaling a business organically? Do you often feel overwhelmed with the speed of it all?
“Truly I take it all one step at a time, I’ve learned to say no more and protect my time and prioritize. I do feel overwhelmed sometimes, but then I remind myself that I’m in control, we can grow as fast or slow as I choose.”
how do you manage to stay zen while you’re busy helping other people capture theirs?
“I’ve gotten better at this over the last six months. I’m listening to my body and mind more - if I need an extra hour of sleep, I take it. If I don’t have the energy to do something that I had planned, I cancel it. Again, saying no and not feeling guilty, as well as setting boundaries has been crucial.”
We really want to ask this, so here goes - what is next for Sunday Forever? Can you tell us?
“I started the company from my dining table and then made the leap to a tiny office space and we’ve quickly outgrown where we are, so we’re moving to a much larger space which will allow us to grow and create more experiences for our community. When you visit Sunday Forever it’s like stepping into my brain and my soul - it’s a sacred place but it’s filled with love and positivity. We’re excited to be able to host more hangouts, happy hours and custom making events. It’s going to be AMAZING.”