Share about your business and how did you start it?
Hello, I’m Ashli Dodd and I’m the owner/maker/ creator of Modern Clay, a handmade earring business. Becoming a maker is very unique to me. I originally went to school with the intention of becoming a dentist. I have actually completed all pre-requisite work short of actually taking the DAT (dental admission test) to go to dental school! However, I had my beautiful son, Ari, in my second to last year of College. Although I finished my degree and pre-requisite work, my grades suffered and my priorities changed drastically. I really enjoyed being a mom. It was the best thing ever and I put SO much effort into being a good one. After an emotional meeting with my counselor, it was decided I should take some time to get right with my priorities and revisit dental school later on-“Dental school will always be there but the opportunity to be there and grow your family won’t”- wise words.
Fast forward a year and Modern Clay is born. Being a stay at home mom is an incredible job that I value so much but I wanted something for myself. Something fun to call my own. I always joke about how Modern Clay is the creative self-expression I never knew I needed, but it’s true. I watched a few videos and I was ALL IN. I did not hold back. Before I knew it I was making earrings like a madwoman and creating a business with SO much vision. I have never done anything like this before and I have had the best time ever since.
Were you ever discouraged from pursuing your career after being a mom either from your close family or friends? How did you overcome this?
Honestly, I have been extremely blessed with the best family and friends. They have been nothing but encouraging and helpful through this entire process. My mom helps SO much with my son but the social and emotional encouragement from the rest of my family has been overwhelming. My friends have helped so much through wholesale orders, markets, on social media etc… I cannot say I have been discouraged but I will say it is not easy pursuing a career as a mom.
What’s your biggest struggle being an entrepreneur + mom?
TIME MANAGEMENT. This is the area I struggle with very most. It is hard to stick with a set schedule when working around the schedule of your ever changing toddler. There are days when he is so fine playing on his own or will sit down to complete a project. But, there are so many days where he really just needs to get outside and run around at the park or needs my one on one attention. During the more needy times I only have nap time to complete tasks which can vary too.
Has being a mom helped you in pursuing your career in any way?
I wouldn’t have this career if I wasn’t a mom!
Any encouragement for moms who want to pursue their career?
All I can say with my little experience is that there is no time like the present. You don’t need a ton of “startup” money or lavish resources to pursue a side hustle. Start small and build upon your ideas. If you stick to it and really love it, you’ll be so surprised at where you’ll go. And if you already have a killer career, find your own balance and everything will work out. Love your career then head home and love on your babies. Then, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can!
Being a mom
What's the most rewarding part of being a mom?
So cliché, but watching them grow. There is nothing more rewarding than watching my baby grow into an awesome human being that I helped shape.
What's the hardest part of being a mom?
EVERYTHING. Emotionally the most exhausting experience ever. I think the hardest part is when your kid gets hurt or when they do (or say) something that you wouldn’t approve of or if you feel like you didn’t give them enough attention which makes you feel like a failure. I mean, the list goes on. Overall, I think the hardest part is not having a choice to care or not. Like, no matter what you will inherently always care SO much about them and their well-being at all times and that can be exhausting.
How have you been able to pursue goals/dreams/passion outside of motherhood?
The help and encouragement of my family and friends as well as my ability to realize when I needed something more. Recognizing that it wasn’t selfish to need something more for myself.