Ashlee Margolis and her team at The A List are responsible for some of the most glamorous parties in LA and New York, including high profile celebrity and brand partnerships.
Read on to hear how this soon-to-be mom of three does it all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Melissa: How and when did you decide to take the leap and open your own firm?
Ashlee: About 16 years ago, I was working at a PR firm called Harrison and Shriftman when I left to pursue a talk show career. A girlfriend of mine went to Coach at the same time and wanted me to see the Coach bags she was working with. I started to give Coach bags to actress friends and started bringing celebrities into the Coach store. It soon became disruptive for the store managers and my friend suggested they get me my own showroom. I said OK! So, Coach became a client of mine… then Express. It all happened unintentionally and organically.
Melissa: How do you keep your work life and your personal relationships separate?
Ashlee: I’m really protective of the talent and actresses that we work with. I have a lot of friends who I grew up with that are actresses and they’ve been really supportive of my business.
I’m always very upfront and transparent with what I need from them and with what they need from me. I make sure that there are no surprises and am always authentic and overly clear on any project I’m doing with them.
Melissa: How do you find brands to be featured with The A List? Do you pursue them or do they come to you?
Ashlee: I want to start pursuing brands, but at the moment it’s word of mouth, they come to us.
Melissa: What industries are you wanting to break into next?
Ashlee: We had an airline approach us a few years ago to put one of their seats in our showroom and I said no. It’s something I regret – it would have been huge!
I’d love to break more into tech and the automotive industry. Currently, we’re pursuing more of a lifestyle focus. I think representing hotels would be wonderful and we’d love to have an airline or a liquor brand.
Melissa: How do you think influencers have changed the way things have been done in the past?
Ashlee: A lot of our brands are telling us that they’re seeing a lot of sales and ROI from these influencers tagging their brands.
We just had Pretty Little Liars actress, Shay Mitchell in here and she has millions and millions of followers on Instagram. When she tags a brand, it’s huge. It translates right away into sales.
Everyone is shopping online now, the industry has changed. Influencers have helped brands make the most out of their online presence. We’ve had to evolve with it and make influencers a main focus.
Melissa: What is your favorite event The A-List has been involved in?
Ashlee: The Essence Black Women in Hollywood Oscar Event has always been an amazing event for us! We’ve been going to it for years. We also do the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic every year in New York and LA, which is one of my favorite events. Everyone wants to be there, so we typically have to turn people away. It’s such a great event!
I want to start pursuing brands, but at the moment it’s word of mouth, they come to us.
Melissa: You are always surrounded by such glamour. How would you describe your personal style in the midst of that? Do you have a business style too?
Ashlee: My style is a bit boho. I would call it “hippy hip hop”. I love to be comfortable, especially now that I’m pregnant. I wear my Nico Nico jumpsuit all day Saturday and Sunday. I wear my Under Armor sneakers all weekend long as well. They are beyond comfortable.
During the week, I wear a lot of colorful dresses with flats.
Melissa: What is the self-care ritual for a busy woman such as yourself?
Ashlee: I do yoga twice a week with True Blake. I do bi-weekly lymphatic treatments. It helps circulate the blood in your system and get rid of toxins. Also, I eat some-what of Ayurvedic diet, I eat a lot of warm foods.
I start every day with warm water and lemon. But my Patrón Tequila is always cold and on the rocks with lemon and lime, yum!
Melissa: If we were to raid your closet, what kind of accessory would we find the most of?
I always sleep in Cosabelle tank tops.
Melissa: What is one accessory you never leave the house without wearing?
Ashlee: I wear an Anita Ko bracelet, my wedding band, and a pinky ring every day.
Melissa: When you are attending or hosting a party, what are the essentials in your handbag for the evening?
Ashlee: I have to have my By Terry lip-gloss, my Doll essential oils (I try not to use perfume because of toxins). And of course, my phone.
I won’t lie, I lose everything. So, if I leave the house, I just bring my credit card, my phone, and my lip-gloss.
Melissa: How do you balance work and home life, especially with a third baby on the way?
Ashlee: It’s hard! On the weekend I want to work out and see my friends and have me-time. I just figure it out. You always feel like you could be seeing your kids more, or working more, or taking more time for yourself – it’s just day-by-day, getting through it. But no matter what, I make sure I’m home to put my kids to bed.