beyourself boutique is an incredible place where women of all sizes and ages can come and shop together. Owners Kim Vasey and Jennie O’Dell have put together a beautiful store based highly on promoting a positive self-image for the women of Omaha. Not only is it affordable, but it is unique and always up-to-date on the newest fashion trends! Ashley (A.J.) Ward is a Store Manager for beyourself boutique.

How did you get started in the business? – I came along 6 years ago after a friend of mine suggested that I apply. Two years later I became one of the store managers and have loved every minute of it!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – Probably maturing in a leadership role. I am still young and have a lot to learn, but in the early stages of my management, I had to learn quickly how to be authoritative and take charge. I would consider myself to be a stellar store manager now, but getting there was definitely a challenge.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – My most important professional achievement is how much I have grown in my position. One of my favorite things about my job is all of the styling I get to do. Jennie O’Dell and I just put together eight looks for the SOHA fashion show last month and that was probably what I have been most proud of with my job thus far.

Tell me a little about your family. – I have the best parents in the world, Mark and Chris. My dad is an extremely hard worker with a soft side, which is the product of being surrounded by females most of his life. My mom is the most loving, supportive, ambitious woman I know. My sister/best friend, Justine, is a senior at UNL. She is hilarious (she gets that from me) and always knows just what to say to help me through anything. My boyfriend of four years, Blake, is the last but not least piece to my puzzle. He is my other half and he better not think he’s going anywhere! He’s stuck with me!

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – The biggest turning point in my life was probably when I kicked myself into gear after taking a 6 month break between my 2nd and 3rd year of college. Once I got back into it, I finally knew the direction I wanted to go and that made it so much easier to get to the finish line, and I’m so glad I did!

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – If I’m not at the gym, I’m hanging out with my favorite boys in the world…my dogs Bentley and Yogi. My world would not be complete without those two.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – Don’t ever try and be someone you’re not, stay true to what you are and own it!

If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? – Inspiring

Which talent would you most like to have? – I wish I could dance!

What is your favorite local restaurant? – Leavenworth Café and Block 16

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – I’m at beyourself four days a week, usually Wednesday-Saturday and would love to book some personal shopping experiences at the store! Call (402) 933-9584 and ask for A.J. or check out our Facebook page and/or our website