Ashleigh Bowling

Photo from @busybee.inthecity on Instagram

Today’s Shero Spotlight is Ashleigh Bowling, CHAARG Chapter Leadership Consultant, GRL PWR ambassador & founder of Busy Bee In The City! I met Ashleigh when we were both working as CHAARG blogis and have always been inspired by her passion for holistic health and body positivity. Since Ashleigh launched Busy Bee, I have loved watching how she uses her platform to advocate for topics she is so passionate about. I’m so excited to have her on the blog today!

What was your inspiration behind Busy Bee?
I did a lot of blogging for other people, like Her Campus and CHAARG, and I really like to write, but I also didn’t have that much time — that’s where the name Busy Bee comes from. But, I really liked writing for other publications and once I graduated I realized I wanted to keep building my portfolio and take on that extra responsibility of self-publishing and managing a blog.

What is the mission of your blog?
I think one of the things that I really like writing about are topics that people kind of already know. So, I like doing more research into it and making it more into layman’s terms; especially in the field of health and wellness and nutrition. When I was in college, I had an eating disorder and I had a lot of struggles with the media and other blogs and everything I was seeing about what health is and how you should live a healthy life. Eventually, that turned into my orthorexia, which is an obsession with healthy living. So really, I want to use my blog to live without restrictions and because living a healthy life is important to me, but more so the reasons of why — I want to live long and I want to be able to do the things that I want to do like running and things like that.

Photo from @busybee.inthecity on Instagram

What advice would you give to girls who may be struggling with an eating disorder or orthorexia?
I think really what’s helped me is I know a lot of my obsession came from anxiety and wanting to not only please other people, but please myself. I was so goal-oriented and I was like, once X happens then I’ll get X. So, I started really thinking about why I want those goals. So, like if I thought I want to be happy, I would dive into that and ask why am I happy right now? What are other ways that I can be happy? I really stopped making it so much about health and instead thought about why I want to live a healthy life. 

How have your positions with CHAARG and GRL PWR influenced your passion for health and body positivity?
I feel like being in CHAARG and GRL PWR has kind of given me that community of being able to say what I’m feeling to a smaller audience, which gives me the confidence to know I can have these thoughts, my thoughts are valid, and then it enables me to be able to share on a wider spread. 

What obstacles have you faced when trying to run a blog and how have you overcome them?
I think one thing that I’m even struggling with now is posting to the blog site. Whenever you’re first starting out, even me as I’m trying to grow, it’s hard to grow your audience and I think that you have to pick a specific platform to do that. So usually for me, it’s Instagram, but I’m also looking into trying to use Pinterest to grow my platform. I’m really trying to find a platform where I can make a voice and the content doesn’t seem just like self-promoting. But really, I’m just trying to find platforms that I can give my all into and not just spread myself too thin by posting on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest. 

Photo from @busybee.inthecity on Instagram

What are your long-term goal for Busy Bee?
I don’t think that I would ever want to be full-time with it. But, I would want it to be meshing into my work. I think that I would want to work for a company, or even working for myself, and have my blog be like a client. But, I don’t think that I would ever want this to be my only thing just because I do love marketing things and I like my job as a digital marketer because I write blogs and emails, like I do for myself but for other people, so it keeps it interesting. Plus, if I get burnt out from creating my own content, then I can go to client content and it’s a slightly different industry and completely different topics. 

What advice would you give to other aspiring bloggers?
If you’re just starting out, I would try to work with different publications and kind of become a blogger in that way just to get some credibility and also give you a feel for the editing process. I think my two years being a CHAARG blogi really showed me how to create your own voice and how you can create something that is readable to the masses but it sounds like it’s coming from you. There are so many internships or even just looking at your favorite websites; for example, Passion Planner has a “write for us” section and you can write a one off thing. I think that’s probably the best way to start out just so that you can get more experience in it and you can find your voice by writing for others.

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As a senior studying magazine journalism at Ohio University and a passionate feminist, I created Freely Femme as a way to use my love for storytelling to highlight some of the most inspirational women in my personal life and beyond.

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