Friday, March 9, 2012

Dallas Dweller: Ashley Burghardt

If you are like me, every month you flip through the pages of PaperCity, Modern Luxury, F!D Luxe, GrandLuxe and the like, scouring the social pages to see who was deemed worthy of photo recognition.  There's a handful of regulars who seem to do no wrong when it comes to picking the right outfit or arm candy for editorial selection. And then there are those photos that you see and think, "Who IS that person?" Whether they strike your fancy for their fabulous frock or outrageous hair or interesting style.  Dallas Dweller seeks to introduce you to the fabulous faces you've always wondered about but haven't had the occasion to meet in person. This week, let me introduce you to a fellow red-head who's rocking the world of handbags:

Ashley Burghardt

I met Burghardt a few weeks ago at the Gossip Bar when I was attending an event for the Fresh Faces of Fashion (have you purchased a raffle ticket to win a Mercedes yet?!).  She was there with her PR pal, Alison Volk and as we chatted over cocktails, I couldn't help but notice the cute clutches she and Ali were both carrying (their evil plan to get media attention totally worked). Ashley showed me how the clutch had two separate pockets and was created to hold an iPad.  

As a girly-girl who hates big, bulky briefcase bags and a marketer who works in social media and needs to have online access at all times - I was SOLD!  When I found out that Burghardt had also recently appeared on the new Lifetime show, 24 Hour Catwalk (and won!) I knew she was someone I had to get to know better. 

Q:  Tell me about your company, ASHARD RICHLEY.

A:  Ashard Richley is two years old and we are growing every day. My designs are focused on three words, FASHION, FORM, & FUNCTION. I design fashion forward bags in unique forms that have amazingly functional details like built in wallets, iPad pockets, and key leashes. I recently competed on Lifetime's new series 24 Hour Catwalk and won the show.  I've been an MTV Made coach and was recently on Good Morning Texas.

Q:  Tell me a bit about how you ended up on 24 Hour Catwalk. What was the experience like? And then... you WON!? What happens now!?

A:  I was in New York and did an interview to be on this new show. A few weeks later I'm flying back up to NYC to compete against three other designers! It was a crazy experience. No sleep, super short timelines, and lots of pressure. I passed the first elimination phase when I designed a sexy date dress in just two hours! After moving on I had to manage a team of 3 sewers and make an entire collection in just 24 hours. It was nuts but I pulled it off and won. It was an amazing feeling to know I beat 3 talented designers!

Burghardt on episode 6 of 24 Hour Catwalk

Q:  Did you grow up in Dallas? If so, where did you go to school?  If not, where did you grow up and how did you land here?

A:  I grew up in Houston and moved to New York after school. I was designing at Coach when I was offered a head designer position here in Dallas. I moved down and ended up meeting my amazing husband. We got engaged and started ASHARD RICHLEY in the same month!  Richard and I were set up on a blind date by a college roommate of mine that worked with him. I wasn't really interested in the beginning and I put him in the "friend zone". Well, he wasn't having that! He was very persistent and after about 5 months I finally caved. We were engaged 3 months later and have almost been married for 2 years. The thing is, that no one thought we were crazy. Everyone around us saw it except for me! Funny how that works. We have a little dog named Teddy and he has the biggest personality out of any dog I've ever seen. He's definitely my baby! 

 Ashley & Richard Burghardt
Q:  Name your 3 favorite places to shop for clothes in Dallas.

A:  Krimson & Klover, Hemline, and Accents.

Q:  What are your favorite Dallas eateries?

A:  Victor Tangos is one of my favorite places. It's also meaningful because that's where Richard took me on our blind date!   Mr. Shabu Shabu…it's up North and so delicious. Hole in the wall Asian hot pot place. Oak is our newest favorite. The food is to die for!  I also think Katy Trail Ice House is great. I love sitting outside and watching people running and working out while I'm drinking a crown and sprite! I'm a whiskey kind of girl.

Q:  Are there any local charities you support?

A:  Ronald McDonald House and Kidd's Kids. How could you not want to help sick children. They deserve all the help and support they can get and they light up your day with their smiles.

Q:  Tell me one funny, interesting or quirky thing about you that most people don't know.

A:  I have this strange dream of wanting to be in a rap video. Not kidding. Kind of strange. I think it's I love to dance!

PS: I am giving away a RILEY clutch to one lucky reader! You have until 5PM on Friday, March 9 (that's TODAY!) to enter to win. Click here for details!