My Name is Ashley Crews and I’m originally from New York City. I was born in Manhattan but moved back and forth between Harlem and the Bronx until I turned 11 years old; when my family and I finally settled in East Harlem. So, I tend to tell people that I was raised in both boroughs. Growing up was much of a challenge for me as I came from a family that struggled. I am a part of a blended family as my mom had 4 kids and my dad had 9. For those who don’t know much about living and growing up in New York City, let me be the first to let you know how expensive it became for my family to live there. One minute, we welcomed the idea of us living in a spacious apartment and the next minute we were getting evicted. My parents split up early in my childhood. While my father stayed in the Bronx, my mother took me and my 3 siblings and moved to Harlem. My mother set herself on a journey to raising 4 kids in a not so small, not so big, 3 bedroom apartment in Harlem. She, at the time, had section 8 and was collecting public assistance, so, we only received the luxury of living there because of the New York City Housing Authority promising to pay half of the rent. Raising 4 children on the weekdays, since on weekends we stayed with my father, is no joke. Throughout my childhood, it’s very much apparent that I moved A LOT! Which, sometimes, resulted in very unstable living environments. However, some of the moving came from me being separated from my family and having to live in multiple foster homes over the course of a few years, for short periods of time.
I often found myself envying people who had one place to call home, in which, they’ve lived from birth without a single relocation. But after a while, it became my life and I grew numb to it. I was afraid to make too many friends because I knew I wouldn’t be in one place for long and I hated getting attached to something just to have it taken away. In this period in my life, I realized that this was a reality that I had to learn to live with. I knew that when I got older I was going to do whatever it took not to put myself or my family in that situation. I was going to provide! So as a child I learned how to do hair. I was 9 years old to be exact and had a mobile styling business by the time I was 13 years old. The little money I made from styling hair helped me and my family with the little things we needed. And from then on, I knew I would never settle for less. When I got to middle school I became fascinated with health and the human body. I knew I would attend college to study something in the health field. Well, I graduated from college with a BS in Health and Physical Education and then I received my Masters in Human Service Counseling Health and Wellness. Throughout my time of studying I stopped styling hair, in fact, I never saw myself doing hair ever again. This was because I was too scared that hair wouldn’t give me enough money to live the life I wanted without demanding so much of me, and boy was I wrong.
After I graduated from college, I came back home to my mom for a fresh start. A couple of months later after I landed my job, I was in a car accident and was on disability for 10 months. I lost my job because I couldn’t work and did not get a chance to pass probation. Shortly after that, I became homeless once again! I was furious! I thought I was coming back home to stability but I wrong, once again. I had to stay with a friend until I was able to work again and provide for myself. This time I really had a wakeup call. Every time I thought I was excelling something knocked me down. I had to find a job and fast. I applied to jobs in Maryland and that was my next place to move. I was there for about 4 years and that’s how my sister, Carmel, and I became closer. Once I landed my government job in Maryland, after receiving my master’s degree, I knew I needed an additional income source doing something I loved but it was hard to think of an idea that wouldn’t end with me having to work two jobs (something I did while I studied my masters *snap, snap*). Then a colleague of mine gave me the idea and I created my mobile hair care and wellness business in 2014, HairVentionz.
My business is my baby, my love! It allows me to help others. Something I enjoy doing so much. Styling hair and teaching wellness is my passion. And watching the confidence in my clients grow after styling their hair is one of the things I find truly rewarding. Since starting HairVentionZ in 2014 I’ve acquired the necessary skills and credentials needed to perfect my craft and provide exceptional haircare services. I created HairVentionZ, initially, to style little girls hair as a convenience to their mothers. As the business grew so did the mission. My mission is to inspire girls, women, and men to embrace their natural hair and understand the connection nutrition has on hair growth and healthy living within the natural hair community. I obtained my certification in natural hair styling and natural hair consulting. I am very excited that I have written my first E-book “Growing Natural: A Guide To Healthy Hair and a Healthier You” launched last year on my 29th birthday which is based on my two passions, hair and health and how they work together. The book is an easy read beginning with my own natural hair journey and how every aspect of health can have a negative effect on hair growth if not properly addressed or understood.
I plan to launch my own natural hair care line catered to naturalistas who mainly wear protective styles and want a simple way to cleanse, care, and keep their hair healthy and growing. This line will also cater to individuals who suffer from unhealthy scalp conditions, helping to reduce slow growth, dry flaky scalp, and hair loss. Women, as well as, men will be able to benefit from the natural ingredients used in my product line. I don’t regret anything that I experienced in my life because I felt like it was needed to drive my success. I believe God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle, but prepares you for what he has to offer you in life. Not many people can thrive coming from an environment like mine. And I would not have been able to do it without the support given to me. My mother and my younger sister have always been my biggest supporters. And they remind me to keep pushing and following through. I am forever grateful for all of my accomplishments and the amazing people I met along the way.
“Believe and all things are possible” Mark 9:23