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Hi friends! Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Ashly Ryan, an inspiring female entrepreneur and world traveler who has created her own clothing brand. I have enjoyed following along with Ashly’s travel adventures as well as seeing how she has grown her company SPLICE clothing by helping others pack light through stylish and versatile reversible clothing.
I liked my Dubai reversible snap-up shirt from her collection so much that I got it in two different colors – it’s so comfortable and perfect for all kinds of travel or just wearing at home. I also really like how you can easily mix and match all the pieces in her collection and how each one is named after a city that will fuel your wanderlust.
Whether you’re wanting to add versatility to your own travel wardrobe or want to find a unique gift that any traveler in your life is sure to love, SPLICE has some great promotions coming up this month, so be sure to check these out! If you’re not sure what size or style to get for someone, gift cards are also available!
- November 17-22: Capsules will be an EXTRA 30% OFF
- November 27: All reversible clothing 40% OFF for Black Friday
- November 28-29: All purchases get a FREE packing cube set
- November 30: Running it back with all reversible clothing 40% OFF for Cyber Monday
Aside from these promotions, you can use discount code PLANKING15 for 15% off all reversible clothing & the Tube travel pillow at SPLICE clothing.
Ashly is also offering FREE gift wrapping and FREE Virtual Shopping Appointments where you can Zoom with her for 30 minutes and ask questions about fit, colors, size, styling, etc. and she will show you the collection via video chat.
Ok, let’s jump into the interview with Ashly and learn more about her and the origins of SPLICE!
Can you share a little about your background and education?
I was born in Chicago but my whole family moved to Las Vegas, NV when I was 3 years old and I’ve been here ever since! Growing up, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. When I was about 14, I got really interested in sewing and taught myself by watching sewing lessons on TV and renting library books. I learned how to create clothing by designing my own prom dresses in high school. I originally wanted to get my business degree, then go to fashion school, but I never made it to fashion school. I attended UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship with a minor in Finance.
I know you’re an avid traveler and have seen a LOT of countries in a short time. Can you share a little about how you made that happen after quitting your job?
So before we left, I created a ‘rough itinerary’ of where we wanted to go. We know we wanted to be gone around 9-10 months so we planned with that timeline in mind. I think we originally had over 40 countries on our list, but once we looked into the financial aspect of that a bit more, we scrapped basically all the European countries on the list so we could focus on South America, Africa, and Asia.
To get to all these countries in a short time we were constantly having to do research ahead of time as we went. We had to plan for visas, avoiding undesirable weather, expensive holiday travel times, and just all around plan the timeline so we could see everything we wanted to see (impossible, but we tried 🙂 ). We also traveled on a budget as much as possible, and planned how much we could afford to spend in each country before we went there so we had some parameters.
Have you always embraced traveling and packing light or did something cause you to change your style and travel more minimally?
No, definitely not! I didn’t travel much as a kid so once I became an adult and started traveling on my own, I thought it was just part of traveling that you have to annoyingly drag around heavy luggage. I always checked a huge bag and brought as much as I could to fit within the baggage allowance weight because I always wanted to be prepared. And that is how I felt when I left on my RTW (Round the World) trip too – but compounded times 10 because I knew I was going to be gone for so long and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to readily find things I might need in these countries I’ve never been to.
That trip is definitely what taught me how much easier it is to travel light. And because I had an interest in clothing design and I brought tons of clothing, that is the problem I wanted to tackle to help myself and other travelers be able to pack lighter and adventure easier. At the end of the day, I’d rather spend more of my time experiencing the new place I’m in, not packing & getting dressed for it. And I definitely don’t want the trip to start or end with a frustrating baggage experience.
Can you tell us a little about how SPLICE clothing came about and how long it took from first having the idea until launching your company?
The idea for SPLICE clothing first came about around 2015, but the idea was a little different than what you see now. I pitched my original idea for SPLICE clothing in a pitch competition, but no one really understood it (they must not have been travelers). So I put it on the backburner, worked for another year or so at my corporate job, then quit to travel the world for 10 months.
The trip was meant to not only see the world, but to also reset, and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. So after the issue of overpacking became so abundantly clear while I was traveling, I realized that I wanted to pursue the idea for SPLICE clothing again when I returned home. So between first having the idea and launching the company was around 3.5 years. And then I worked on the company for over a year before I launched the actual products.
What has been the most challenging part of starting your own company? Are there any challenges that are unique to being a female entrepreneur?
The most challenging part has been getting over insecurities. When you do it on your own without another founder or someone there to really have a stake in the business to bounce ideas off of, etc., you tend to second guess yourself. It has made so many decisions span longer than they needed to. And it was hard to get over the “embarrassment” of being a beginner, but you have to start somewhere!
I think as a female entrepreneur, you aren’t taken as seriously. You really feel the need to prove yourself because most major industries are still run by men – even fashion! You have to learn to go into any conversation with confidence and with a “fake it til you make it” attitude.
What’s been the most surprising or rewarding thing in the process of starting a business?
The most rewarding part of starting my business has been hearing from people how much they love the products. It’s like vindication that all the hard work has been worth it and it makes me so happy to know that I’m helping someone travel easier, feel confident, and create memories that will last a lifetime instead of stressing over baggage.
The most surprising thing has definitely been “finding my tribe.” I love the people I get to work with, collaborate with, and my customers who support me and are happy to recommend SPLICE clothing and shout out my business. Being a business owner can feel very lonely at times, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised to be able to connect with so many amazing people. And the fact that we understand each other’s challenges and champion each other’s successes in business and in travel is like icing on the cake.
What advice do you have for those wanting to start their own business?
Know your ‘WHY.’ Why are you starting your business? Why do you want to be a business owner? These answers are what is going to keep you going when times get tough.
What’s been the best selling SPLICE capsule or article of clothing thus far?
If you had to choose a favorite place you have visited, either in the US or worldwide, what would it be and why?
It’s such a hard question, but i would say my favorite place ever has been South Africa. I always dreamed of going on a safari when I was a kid but it always seemed so far out of reach. The first day I entered Kruger National Park on safari, I cried because I was so overwhelmed and grateful that I was able to have that experience. And it wasn’t just the animals on safari, CapeTown was an incredible city with so much to do and see. And then we roadtripped from CapeTown to Johannesburg. We went to the southernmost point in Africa, sat on the cliffs and watched dolphins jump through the waves, and we even saw the Milky Way for the first time there.
What’s your best tip to help others fit more travel into their lives?
I would say the best way to fit more travel into your life would be to be flexible! Being flexible enough to travel during the off season, not being picky about airlines, and being able to adapt quickly when things don’t go as planned (a.k.a. COVID).
Let us know where we can find your reversible travel clothing and how to find you on social media!
Head over to https://spliceclothing.com/ to shop reversible travel clothing, capsules, and gear and accessories to help you pack light & adventure easy. Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.
Emily again! One final thing I wanted to share about SPLICE – I love that every capsule purchase comes with a packing cube set included! If you have not used packing cubes yet, I highly recommend them to keep your luggage organized and to maximize your space when you travel. They’re also really helpful to keep dirty laundry separate from clean clothes – I use them on every trip!
Thanks for reading! I hope you will spread the word about SPLICE to all your friends and fellow travelers!