At its core, kinship is about connection and forming relationships. But what happens when you find yourself lacking that kinship?
For military wife Ashley Bailey, it meant going on a journey—mentally, physically, and emotionally to cultivate community. We first met Ashley when she answered a modeling call for our Spring shoot. (We know—we can’t stop fangirling over her gorgeous eyebrows either!) While reading her bio, we realized there was much more to her that met the eye. In fact, we found that not only was she stunning, but her story was equally as beautiful. She is a wellness coach on a mission to bring women together to create a positive community.
“Coaching others really helped me find a sense of purpose and an identity outside of my husband's career. Having something that was mine and mine alone that I could nurture and expand from was huge—not only for my physical health but my mental health. And that was something that I was able to pass on to the women that I was mentoring as well.”
When she was newly married and just entering into military life, she found herself feeling isolated and without community. This is what fueled her desire to go out and create that for herself. “My ultimate mission is to cultivate community. I didn't want anybody to feel what I felt in those beginning stages. I felt completely alone. I am so thankful for the sisterhood that I'm seeing come out now.”
So how did she do it? We’re super glad you asked.
It started by taking a risk—or really, many risks. She stepped out in uncertainty to fight for her own wellness and health, documenting the journey for those to see on Facebook. As she gained more following, she stepped out yet again into the unknowns and started coaching other women. It takes vulnerability and lots of sharing. She learned along the way that, like many things in life, solutions are not always one size fits all. She was taking risks all while working within the unknowns that come with having a spouse in the military. And she was learning how to thrive. She admits that it’s not always rainbows and butterflies but she knows it makes all the difference when you have someone walking in it alongside you. She says, “when you're in that thick of it, you don't want to take risks. You want to go to what's comfortable and just hide. I think taking those big risks and putting yourself out there—putting out your failures and your successes, showing that it's not linear, it's ups and downs. You're going to have really good days, and you're going to have really bad days and you learn from both.” She saw the value of community and now gets to share in that with women like her.
Ashley is the epitome of a strong, empowered woman. We are thrilled to celebrate her and the community she has built that not only impacts her own life, but changes the lives of many others. She saw a gap that needed filled and took it upon herself to say, “I can do it.”