Ashley Peeples, founder and creative director of Beige, has built a minimalist, monotone dreamland. Over the past six years, Peeples developed the Beige brand with laserlike focus, which she describes now as more of a lifestyle. With sustainability and ethical manufacturing at the forefront of the store’s mission, Beige has carved out a niche for carrying timeless women’s fashions that focus on quality over quantity.
Known for its neutral color palette, minimalist furnishings and intoxicating scents, the Heights boutique has garnered a loyal following both locally and beyond. The brand also recently released the first edition of "Beige Magazine," a pandemic-friendly reimagining of its popular bi-annual fashion show, and is currently working on the next issue due in spring.
With new endeavors and launches, plus two young kids at home, one can only imagine how many items are on Peeples' daily to-do list. And as Beige continues to evolve, with fans watching in anticipation to see what’s next, we caught up with Peeples to find out she manages it all, while never spilling coffee on her solid cream outfit.
Beige is known for its neutral aesthetic, which is very calming and peaceful. What was your intention when designing the space?
My goal was to provide our guests with an inviting and uncomplicated environment. Having less distractions and clutter allows you to focus and make more intentional purchases.
Everything in the store is also of a similar neutral-based palette. How was the store's concept created and how do you continue to stay true to that initial vision?
I spent a lot of time visualizing what I wanted the store to look and feel like before I actually executed the business plan. The color beige kept popping up in my mind, and it made sense to use that color not only as the name but also for the palette of the space.
The concept is really a lifestyle, one that is clean and soothing. I live my life this way at home as well as at work, so staying true to that concept has not been a challenge.
You are a small business owner in the midst of a pandemic, mom of two, a wife and have countless other roles. How do you prioritize taking care of your mental and physical health?
In my 20s and early 30s, I pushed myself to the max. I then realized it wasn’t sustainable to live like that. The past few years, I have made it a priority to take care of myself so I have the energy to give to others.
The stress of 2020 definitely took its toll on everyone. The constant worrying about the longevity of operating my business through a pandemic, as well as the health of my family and staff, left me emotionally depleted at times. When life starts feeling out of control, I focus on the things I can control like taking care of my body, feeding my family healthy, immune boosting meals and providing a safe environment for the Beige family.
When life starts to feel frantic or overwhelming, where or how do you find calmness?
Taking the time for a pilates class, doing a puzzle, reading and decluttering my home are my go-to’s for stress relief. These are things that keep me focused and stop my mind from wandering. It also seems that I always start a creative project at work during those times. I try to use my nervous energy for something positive.
Do you have a morning ritual or a way you like to start your day?
I wake up a little earlier than the rest of my family to have a decaf coffee and go over my schedule for the day. After I get the kids ready for school, I make a superfood smoothie and try to get in a pilates class before heading off to Beige. I’m a very routined person by nature, so my routine rarely changes.
"Self-care" has become such a buzz word, but what do you think it means to truly take of yourself?
Self-care for me is taking care of my body. I believe it is so important to be in tune with your body and to know what you need both physically and emotionally. I have a regular skin care routine, try to work out three times a week and stay on top of my mental health.
When I was younger I misconceived self-care as being selfish and I would feel guilty for taking time for myself. I’m a much happier and healthier woman now that I understand how reckless it is to give away 100% of my energy all the time.
Understanding all the pressures of being a female, what lessons do you hope to pass to your daughter regarding how she cares for herself?
I want her to know the expectation for a woman to “do it all” is unrealistic. Being a powerful and successful woman does not mean you have to constantly overextend yourself. It is very easy to lose your sense of self when you put that kind of pressure on yourself.
Can you share any 2021 goals you are working on that pertain to an aspect of your overall health?
I want to be more intentional with my actions and decisions and to be present in the moment. I am working to get better at setting boundaries and to spend less time on social media. For my physical health, I am striving to do a five-minute plank every day and to eat more plant-based meals.