Written by Susie Franklin Roeser
Photos by Christina Best Photography
Wife, Mom of three, Crafter, Foodie, and Social Media Consultant. These are just a few of the many “hats” worn by local Blogger Ashley Newell. Ashley and her family have lived in Elk Grove for 13+ years. In that time, she has gotten to know the community and herself on a deeper level. When Ashley was studying Journalism in college, neither she nor anyone else would have guessed what a dramatic change that industry would experience due to advances in technology. Of course, the skills Ashley used to become an accomplished writer for magazines still serve her well in Blogging, but with the decline of the magazine industry, she had to change her medium and her mind-set to find a new source of income.
Social Media was a whole new frontier for Ashley. She began with some of the basics—Facebook for social activities and Pinterest for sharing her crafting projects (which had been the focus of her previous writing). She began her Blog to feature both crafting and lifestyle stories and ideas. Next, she delved into the world of Instagram by creating “Eating Elk Grove” where she was able to combine her love of food and sharing great finds in her community with others… all while becoming more familiar with the Instagram platform. This was truly a learning process for Ashley. Through experimentation and persistence, she learned how to “build a brand,” grow an audience, create a community and add sample work to her growing portfolio.
My hope is for people to be happy where they are, and with who they are, even if they are working towards something else.
Ashley’s foray into Instagram through “Eating Elk Grove” not only gave her the opportunity to learn a new social media platform while exploring Elk Grove’s dining scene, she also made a self-discovery. At first, she tried to keep her work (trying out restaurants and posting about them on Instagram) separate from the rest of her life. Before long, she realized this “just wasn’t her”. Now, Ashley finds ways to bring the people and the topics she is passionate about together in her Blogging. This approach gives a sincerity to her Blog allowing readers to feel as if they know Ashley personally because her personality comes shining through.
How, when and why did you become a Blogger?
I started about 11 years ago as a Craft Blogger because it gave me a platform to share what I had made.
What are your favorite subjects to Blog about?
I love highlighting local businesses and telling their stories!
Are you an Extrovert or an Introvert?
Extrovert - This is helpful in my blogging, because I’m not afraid to ask to get the picture, story or quote I want for my Blog.
Has the Social Media Community been
a supportive influence in your life?
Absolutely! It has allowed me to meet people from all around the world in different walks of life.
What do family & friends think of your Blogging?
Most probably think of it as a silly hobby. What they probably don’t realize is this is literally how I pay for my children to have braces and dance classes.
What do you hope your blog
communicates to the public?
My hope is for people to be happy where they are, and with who they are, even if they are working towards something else. At one point not long ago, I thought I had to leave the Sacramento area and change everything about myself to be considered “a successful adult”. It took me a long time to realize that happiness is needed to be found right where I am, locationally, physically, and mentally. If you really look around - your town can surprise you with all its hidden gems. And if you REALLY look at yourself, you can surprise yourself too.
You are likely to meet Ashley out and about in
Elk Grove, but you can also find her at:
Christina Best Photography
Swiss Cheese Cake:
The Mix Baking Co. Elk Grove
Wine: Rippey Family Vineyards
Photos by Christina Best Photography
Susie Franklin Roeser is the owner & full time employee of Gifts From The Heart Of Elk Grove. Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mom x2, Carpool Minivan driver, 4-H Leader and lover of all things creative.
This story first appeared in Ardent
for Life Summer 2019 issue.