#Kaaiwoman - edition Ashley van Heiningen
Meet Ashley, an ambitious twentysomething from Amsterdam. Entrepreneur, communication strategist, and Beyoncé superfan. With her master’s in social sciences in hand, she started a job in customer service. Though, she had always dreamed of starting her own business.
In 2020, she finally decided to take the plunge and start her own business as a communication strategist. Now she helps women take the next steps in their own business through a strong communication strategy.
A bit more about Ashley
My name is Ashley van Heiningen. I am 28 years old, and I live in Amsterdam. In 2020, I started my own business as a communication strategist. Since then, I have been helping my clients to communicate strongly, both verbally and non-verbally. Together, we work to become confident communicators.
Discover more about Ashley on her Instagram Account.
How did you come up with the idea of becoming a communication strategist? Was that new to you or did you already have experience with it?
When I was still in college, I noticed that I enjoyed writing essays and had a talent for it.
After my master's in social sciences, I worked in customer service for a while. Communication was a big part of that, but not as much as it is now.
Eventually, I decided it was time to do something with my natural talent for communicating and start my business.
Now I can proudly share that, after growing my business for the last couple of years, I'm working on a rebranding. Starting February 12, I'll be operating under the new name AERA.
Can you walk me through the process you go through with your clients? How would a first meeting start, for example?
From my experience as a coach, I always start by digging into what my client’s vision is, without giving my opinion on it. That's my starting point - figuring out where my client wants to go.
Once we know that, we create a plan together. We discuss the steps needed to reach their goals, and I'm there to help them every step of the way.
What do you help your clients with? Is it mostly communication through social media or do you do other things as well?
In terms of non-verbal communication, I do indeed help them mainly with communication on social media, but not only that. I actually help with all communication from the moment someone comes across your company online to the moment someone has signed the offer and paid the invoice.
When my clients want to focus on verbal communication, I especially help them feel powerful. Because when you feel powerful, you stand differently, you talk differently and you're more likely to be taken seriously.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
So, my day actually starts the night before. Before I go to bed, I write down what my intention is for the next day, why it matters, and what my game plan is.
As soon as I wake up, I put on my coat and head outside for some fresh air and exercise.
Morning walks with music are my thing. It's the perfect way to take some time for myself while enjoying my favorite albums, with Beyoncé's "Renaissance" holding the top spot.
I get back home around 7:10 a.m. and get ready to grab coffee at the place around the corner. While sipping my morning coffee, I tackle a few emails or messages. Once that's taken care of, I head to the office and then the workday really begins. Then I do meetings, coaching sessions with clients, or work on other assignments.
And what do you like to do in your free time?
For a long time, I focused mainly on my work and had little time to do fun things. But now I'm starting to find more and more of a balance between work and spare time.
One thing I really love is hanging out with friends. In the summer, you'll often find me soaking up the sun on terraces and going to food festivals – I actually prefer those over music festivals.
With my sister, I like going to concerts. Last year, for instance, we went to see Sissa, Beyoncé and Maroon 5.
Musicals are a shared love in the family. My father, my sister, and I all enjoy a night at the theatre.
I think you can pretty much sum up the things I like under 'music and food'.
Could you maybe recommend some nice places to eat in Amsterdam?
If you feel like having a drink on a cozy terrace: Café Van Zuylen
- Calf & Bloom
- Sterk Staaltje
- De Laatste Kruimel
For dinner: Louie Louie, they have lots of vegan options but also lots of fish and meat.
If you want to go out in Amsterdam: the Duke of Tokyo
My favorite co-working spot: Workmode
Ashley is wearing a Helix in moss green. Its modern aesthetic perfectly matches her youthful and ambitious vibe. As a music lover, she appreciates the front pocket specifically designed to hold AirPods. This way, she can enjoy Beyoncé's music wherever she goes.
Thanks to the convenient layout and separate laptop compartment inside, she can easily find all her daily essentials and tuck away her laptop safely.
The full-length metal zip enclosure and water-resistant leather ensure that the bag can withstand the Dutch rainy weather.
In addition to moss green and merlot, the Helix is also available in more neutral colors such as nomad camel and black. Discover all the colors of the Helix style.