Ansley Vasconcellos: Founder of Braided Bliss
Hey Ansley! First off, you’re a vibrant and fresh, creative soul. Tell us a little about yourself and the journey you’ve been on so far.
Thank you so much for the kind words!
I grew up in Kennesaw, GA and graduated from the University of Georgia in July 2013. In college, I was working toward a career in social media marketing, and after working for Headbands of Hope in my senior year I discovered the direction I wanted to take. I loved that I could encourage, empower, and impact lives that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
After college, I moved to California for a job. My whole family had been living out there by then and it’s always been one of my favorite places so I was more than excited! The job ended up being a negative environment and didn’t fulfil my passion so I decided to quit after six months. Shortly after, Braided Bliss was born.
Yes! This year you founded Braided Bliss, a fashion blog featuring causes and organizations; which we absolutely love. What inspired you to create such a ‘do-good’ space?
I’ve always been very passionate about helping people. All of my past experiences with volunteering and hearing people’s stories have fuelled that fire even more. I wanted to combine that passion with social media marketing in order to support these amazing causes while also spreading the word about them.
Why do you think it’s important for people to be aware and support causes and organizations, especially those from fashion and lifestyle brands?
Because every person is important. I believe everyone should be loved and cared for. These companies give you an opportunity to impact lives far beyond the ones you see in your day-to-day life.
I love fashion pieces because it allows a brand’s message to be spread even more. One of my favorite things is when people ask where I got my shirt/accessory from because then I’m able to help spread that company’s story. The more people that are aware, the more people will join, and the world will slowly begin to change.
Something that stands out and is contagious about you is your ‘spread bliss’ message. What does it mean and how can we go about ‘spreading bliss’ in our everyday living too?
Spreading bliss is about harnessing the strength of the smallest act of kindness and knowing that it can make a large impact. It’s about knowing your beauty inside and out, your kindness and your inner light. Once you’ve ignited this light within you, it can encourage others to do the same and you’re able to help those that need their lives to shine a little brighter.
Any type of kind act has the ability to spread bliss! It can be giving someone a compliment, encouraging others to go after their dreams, being a shoulder to lean on, or even just listening to someone and being in the moment. It’s truly the simple things in life that can make the biggest difference.
For those interested in starting a blog, what advice or tips would you share?
First, I would say to always go with your passion. Your vibe, voice, and overall personality will be able to really shine through. Simply put, people like talking to people. What I mean by that is people enjoy authenticity. You can tell if someone has put their heart and soul into something just by reading one sentence on their page. But even more simply put: why blog about anything else besides what makes you jazzed and want to break dance?
Secondly, don’t spread yourself thin on social media. I always tell clients and friends to let go of the mindset that they need to be on every platform. Choose the social channels that will mesh well with your personality and will accentuate your brand’s presence.
Lastly, don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is unique and by definition that means you’re never going to travel the same path as someone else. You bring something new and fresh to the table! The world is meant to be brilliantly colorful and diverse. Go out, be yourself, and don’t look anywhere but straight ahead because that’s the only direction you need to be moving.
If you could sit down with any feminine heart over a cup of coffee and conversation, who would it be and why?
Wow, there’s a lot of women in this world that I would be honored to talk to! Every one of us is a walking timeline of history with so many stories and I wish I could hear them all. I would have loved to speak with Maya Angelou or chat with brave women like Malala or Lizzie Valasquez. The one thing I cherish more than anything though is chatting with someone who’s a positive soul and uplifting spirit. I welcome any conversation with any woman who wants to discuss passions and where laughter, puns, and kindness are endless. For me, it’s not so much a question of whom as much as it is the soul that lives within.
– images provided by Ansley Vasconcellos