Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Terrell.
Hi Ashley, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’m an entertainment journalist, blogger, and podcaster. Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was a kid with a big imagination who loved to read, play and watch television. I wrote stories and the older I’ve gotten it has made me appreciate the world of words that I can create from my heart to reach the heart of my reader.
I wrote for my high school and college newspapers, interned for The Saginaw News and The Flint Journal, and pivoted to freelance writing with my work being featured in Essence, Vibe, HuffPost, Ebony, Black Girl Nerds, and many more. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing celebrities and community figures before pivoting to the podcast space in 2020. I am the host of Sweetened with Ash Lemonade and The Ash Lemonade Podcast (available on streaming platforms).
Now, I’m in a space where I want to bring my love of storytelling to a new arena: television.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
This journey has not been easy. I’ve had to prove myself and overcome situations I didn’t think I would. It takes a while to learn that you can’t try to live up to others’ expectations but your own and God’s of course. A hard truth that I learned about myself – and I’m still working to overcome – is that sometimes I get in my own way. I didn’t think that I was worthy (imposter syndrome) sometimes and it robs you of so much. The biggest lesson is to not second guess myself or the spaces God put me in because I was placed there for a reason. Even if I don’t even understand it.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
In 2019, I revamped my website Ash Lemonade, which covers pop culture and entertainment consisting of commentary and reviews. Since 2015, I worked as a freelance writer because I wanted to write stories that I didn’t see and interview people that I found interesting. It has led to some incredible opportunities to write for publications I read over the years. I got to interview Lynn Whitfield, Bianca Lawson, Jimmy Jam, Peabo Bryson, the cast of Queen Sugar, Keith David, Amber Nash, Amanda Seales, and many more!
What sets me apart? Once I set my mind to something I go for it. Even when I’m faced with “Nos” I keep going. I also am someone who is all about intention and integrity. When I’ve reached out to celebrities and their teams for a chance to speak with them, they can tell that my intentions are genuine. There are no agendas and in the journalism industry and media overall there can be so much of that energy. I made a promise to myself to always do what feels right and what is right, even if that distances me or will make me an outcast. So far, it has never steered me wrong.
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Being genuine and having good intentions is integral, especially with approaching someone you look up to. LinkedIn is a great networking space to start or if you meet them in person, introduce yourself, and share how their journey has inspired yours. See if they’d be interested in moving forward with having a conversation about mentoring/being a source of guidance. Always keep it professional!
When I reached out to two entertainment journalists that I looked up to with an invitation to come on my show (which they agreed to), they noted how they appreciated how I addressed them in my invitation. I introduced myself, what I did, how their journeys and careers inspired mine, and my interest in making a connection.
- Website: http://www.ashleygterrell.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/sweetenedwithashlemonade
- Twitter: Twitter.com/HeyAshLemonade
- Other: http://www.ashlemonade.com/