Before there was a trend on TikTok to romanticize your life, Ashley Hosmer was already in the act of curating beautiful spaces within her home, relishing in the refined scents of luxury candles, and enjoying a decadent pastry at her favorite local bakery. The warmth she creates within her physical and digital space, with just enough spice that neither environment feels overly curated or cloyingly sweet, makes her one of my favorite people to follow on the internet. Known for her detailed candle reviews complete with a Google Spreadsheet and 5 point grading system, she is unabashedly bougie when it comes to her candle selection and does not hold back her opinion. If the Bath & Bodyworks YouTube candle hauls from 10 years ago scarred you, her candle chats are the healing balm.
I was drawn to her account through a giveaway she was hosting. She was transparent that she desired follower growth but was firm in the type of follower she wanted to attract. Being forthright about who she is so no one would get short-changed in the social media transaction. It’s her vulnerability with a dash of sass, along with her honest reviews and earnest support of companies and products she loves, that makes her one of my go-tos when on the fence about a purchase. I consider if Ashley has tried it? What’s her hot-take? Can she help me not waste my money? I’m a maximalist loves to romanticize my life, appreciating the little things and know the power of drinking from a beautiful glass or snuggling in a soft blanket. Ashley is extra, and her extraness makes her uniquely qualified to be an expert in luxuriating in life.
*Ashley sent this interview back to me in May, shortly after she started her journey as a full-time influencer. I am 5 months behind on publishing this interview in a timely manner for reasons that would bore you, so let’s just jump into her thoughtful responses.
Name: Ashley Hosmer
Sun/Rising/Moon Placement: Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Leo, Ascent in Aquarius
Favorite Color: This is so hard! Lately cobalt blue but mustard always.
Childhood Hero: Lucille Ball. I grew up watching I Love Lucy with my grandma and Lucille Ball was what I aspired to be, kind and funny.
You’re incredibly honest and transparent with your reviews and seem to be pretty discerning around anything from homewares to bakery spots. It’s why I know people can trust your taste and voice. Who are voices that you completely trust?
@marielle.elizabeth is my personal style icon, following her has done wonders for my own self-esteem, and chatting with her has been a huge comfort. She is so honest and true to herself.
@thecasaverde has the most vibrant energy, she is so kind and has this ability to make you smile even when that’s the last thing you want to do.
@dommdotcom, @wanderingmyhome and @midmodathome are so honest and authentically themselves.
I follow so many amazing people and feel so lucky to have built connections with them.
What are three trends that you love, and three trends that you hate?
I feel like I am in such a bubble, I only see the things that really resonate with me and enforce what I like/believe so I actually feel like I am out of the trend loop. I’m seeing a lot of grid patterns which I love, a lot of vibrant colors and more maximalism styles. I love things, I love color, I love filling my home with things that make me happy. I don’t think those are trends really but I see a lot of it on social and love it. The things I don’t love are the constant DIYing, it seems exhausting and I am not handy like that so that just isn’t my thing and I don’t really want to upcycle everything I see. But more power to you if that’s your thing. I find when I attempt a DIY, I usually spend more money on the materials and am less happy with the results haha.
How long have you been raising plant babies? How many plant babies do you have? And do you have a favorite?
My love of plants really started in our last apartment about four or so years ago. Once I started, there was no stopping me. Right now I am loving my hoyas, my tricolor is flowering for the second time and it is so rewarding. Last time I counted it was over 70.
If you could download any skill into your brain, what would it be?
The ability to let things go. I would love to care less about certain things and be able to move on from hurtful messages instead of playing them over and over in my mind.
Have you picked up any hobbies during the pandemic that you will continue into your post-vaccinated life? Are there any pre-pandemic habits or hobbies that no longer interest you?
I got into puzzles and that won’t go away. I find it so rewarding. Pre-pandemic I had a lot of road rage, I live in LA so it kind of comes with the territory but I have mellowed out so much not having to commute and I am really hoping that zen stays with me.
What is a quality in Matty that you wish came more naturally to you? (Would be cool if Matty answered this but for you)
His kitchen skills. He can watch a single YouTube video and make that dish but he will modify it to our taste preferences and then be able to replicate it on his own after. It’s amazing. Cooking does not come naturally to me at all and that innate ability to make a dish your own just baffles me.
Matty said, “being able to see the messes you see”. I can see the hairs in the sink after he’d trimmed his beard and the coffee grounds on the counter, he somehow can’t see these things. I too wish he had this ability haha.
Recently, you shared how your opinion on Influencers is beginning to shift. Having worked with influencers and now being in a space where you’ve grown your own visibility, can you share what the evolution has been like and what new ideas you have around the space?
I used to get really annoyed by influencers, thinking they were fake and constantly pushing products, and sure this may be true for some but what I have realized from my own audience growing, is just how taxing this is. You are opening up your life to thousands of people and they all have access to you – to your comments and private messages, and they don’t hold back. I have made so many amazing connections but I have also been on the receiving end of so many hurtful messages.
I was trying so hard to be the kind of influencer I didn’t see much of on Instagram. To share the real moments and reply to every single message I received, to really build connections with people. I didn’t understand why an influencer would go on stories and ask a question and then NOT reply to the message. Now I realize, it’s because it’s overwhelming and mentally taxing. I receive hundreds of messages daily, depending on the topic I post about. I, in passing, mentioned natural deodorant one day and received over 200 suggestions on brands to try. It’s a lot. A lot to take in. And once you build a connection, you have so many more touch points with a person, which I truly love, but multiply that by a hundred and it’s overwhelming. Then you grow your audience and it just keeps going.
And I don’t want that to change, I don’t want to not connect with people. I just need to be ok with taking longer to reply and setting boundaries. I share a lot of my personal life which opens up a lot of criticism, I do not need to reply to those messages. I have in the past and nothing good has come from it. So setting boundaries is important and now I understand why those large influencers sometimes don’t reply. It’s honestly just not possible or healthy to reply to every single message.
Have you always been savvy in interior styling, or have you picked up tips and tricks along the way? Any design decisions that you immediately regretted or have since learned from?
I think my love of interiors and styling came from my step mom. Any time I went on vacation with my dad, I would come home to our home completely rearranged. It became a joke like how will the rooms be different when we get home? It was thrilling and somehow always looked better. I think that’s where it started. Then after moving in with Matty, my husband, and creating spaces that serve us and reflect us, it has been something I’ve really grown to love and it comes naturally to me.
The only regrets I’ve had have come from rushing to design a space to finish. You’re never really finished and when you do that, you end up owning items that you like but don’t love. I want our home to be filled with things we love. So in our current home, I have really taken my time decorating.
What does the perfect day in Los Angeles look like for you, and please include some songs on the soundtrack?
For me, a perfect anywhere involves great food, great company, and my ideal weather – sweater weather. Cool enough for a light sweater but not too cold and definitely not hot haha. Mid 60s is heaven to me.
So a perfect LA day would be waking up early, heading to my favorite bakery, Just What I Kneaded, grabbing a mix of sweet and savory items and splitting them in the park with my husband. Then heading to some cute boutiques like Prelude & Dawn and Individual Medley, maybe finding a new candle or ceramic. Picking up sandwiches from Wax Paper for lunch. Hitting up a local market like Wine & Egg shop. Going home and watching a movie together or having friends over for dinner.
We actually have a lot of days like that but they’re my favorite. Supporting small businesses, shopping local, and eating amazing food. That’s my perfect day in any city.
And food songs, anything upbeat. I love Haim, Borns, Bleachers, any song that’s fun to belt out.
Almost four years ago this month* you published Goals, Motivation & Manifesting My Future on your blog, and now 2021 – it looks like a few things are being crossed off the list (even if unintentional like being laid off) but as you and I have talked about in the DM – this moment feels like the universe is pushing you into new territory. What are some things you’re looking to manifest and work towards next?
Wow, I had no recollection of writing that blog post and had to take a minute to go read it. It really shows how fast time goes by. I wrote about being unhappy at work almost four years ago and here I was thinking this feeling developed in 2020.
Ok, shock aside haha, I am really looking forward to seeing how things evolve for me. Will I settle into life as an influencer? Will I be able to pay my bills doing this? Or will I look for part time work in a shop or go back to a ful- time corporate job?
In my ideal scenario, I will continue to grow my following, continue to make meaningful connections with people, learn to handle the criticism, and find revenue streams that make this a possible career for me. I would love to be hired for lifestyle photography by brands, be paid for partnerships, and continue to share things I love with my community.
*this month = MAY ( I was really slow to get this live)