Ashley Aikele and Elyse Beard, Co-Founders of Bravery Magazine
Elyse: I’m partial to lemonade, so give me a big glass of that with extra ice and sit me down with Anne Frank. I’ve been so inspired by her ever since I was a little girl. I’d love to talk about writing in diaries - Anne was a big influence in my own journal-writing. I probably have 7 filled journals from when I was growing up because of her. I’d also love to learn about her family, her dreams and her life pre-war and persecution. I would have loved to see the type of woman she could have grown up to be.
Ashley: My grandma. I love learning about all the brave, strong women who have accomplished so many things but there is nothing that empowers me more than learning about the brave blood I come from. I'd love to ask her about how she raised 7 kids, how she got through losing her husband unexpectedly when she was in her 40's, her parents who migrated from Italy and more.
Elyse: Taking a leap and launching Bravery Mag is preeeeetty up there on my Scariest-Things-Ever list, but besides that, I’d say that auditioning for a lead part in a community musical about killed me. Through the years, I’ve learned that the scariest things usually end up being my favorite things.
Ashley: Jumped out of an airplane. Twice!
Elyse: I have a pretty awesome scar right on my throat from when I had spinal surgery about 5 years ago. I used to be self-conscious about it, but now that it’s faded, I just remember that time being super funny-- I had to wear a huge neck brace for a few months while my neck healed, so instead of being embarrassed about it, I glued a bunch of jewels all over it and bedazzled the monstrous thing. It was a glitzy eyesore, but a conversation starter for sure. The biggest truth I learned from this experience is perfectly summed up in an Amy Poehler quote: “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do”.
Ashley: I've got a gnarly scar on my knee from taking out the trash. It had a piece of broken glass sticking out that I didn't know about. Cool scar, not a super cool story.
Elyse: Literally the only thing that is coming to mind is The Office theme song. I’m still solidly in my 20’s and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rewatched the entire show and how much I quote it and apply it in my daily life. I have a handful of Office quotes just spilling out of my brain, begging to be written right this second, but I’m holding them back. You’re welcome.
Ashley: Chasing Pavements by Adele. I’ve been a huge Adele fan for nearly my whole 20’s. While this song is super popular, it’s fitting… I think I spent my 20’s chasing a lot of different dreams.
what would you be?
Elyse: Halloween is my favorite holiday! I always force my family to do group costumes. So far, my favorite we’ve done was our ensemble last year. We dressed up as a circus! My husband was the ring leader, my daughter was a fortune teller, my son was a strongman, my baby was a little lion, and I was the bearded lady. I don’t think we’ll ever top it!
Ashley: My 18 month old daughter has some wild hair so we are throwing around the idea of dressing up as the band Kiss.
Elyse: I try to make sure I show my kids that I can do things on my own. If something needs to be fixed (a dead lightbulb, killing a spider, fixing a broken chair), I try to fix it instead of saying that Dad will do it when he gets home. Recently we ordered a new couch that required a bunch of assembly, so Ashley and I decided to put it together all by ourselves while our kids helped. It was so empowering!
I also try to be open with them about my own failures and successes. I want them to know that no matter what, I’ll support them in their big successes and their big failures.
Ashley: I try to teach them to be independent and how to do things for themselves, even my 18 month old. I've also tried to make a conscious effort to not talk bad about myself in front of them. I catch myself wanting to complain about my stretch marks on my stomach or bags under my eyes but I don't want them to be critical of their bodies. It's helping me love myself more and hopefully it will set them up to be confident and not critical of themselves.
Elyse: To me, the most interesting and inspiring thing I learned about Jane is that she had a big dream from a very young age, and everything in her life moved her to accomplish what she wanted to do. I was amazed to learn about her failures and how much patience she had while in Africa. It took her MONTHS before she had contact with chimpanzees, but she persisted, and because of that, she has changed the world.
Ashley: So many things to choose from! One really interesting thing is, when Jane was young she once hid worms under her pillow because she loved animals and creatures so much she even wanted to sleep with them.
Elyse: How many tacos can you eat before you die?
Ashley: Seven..... million. Why limit? Pass me all the tacos.
Elyse: Two things that make me feel on top of the world: Going to the gym and accomplishing something hard. I love feeling like my body is strong and knowing that I can do hard things. I love looking up at a big mountain of an obstacle (hardship, workout, goal, parenting thing, having a baby), then working hard to climb it and eventually standing at the top and looking down at what I’ve accomplished. Nothing makes me feel more powerful.
Ashley: In college it was walking around campus in my heels. Now, it's setting a goal and pushing myself to meet it. It's seeing my dreams become realities and knowing that I have the power to create. To come up with an idea and then make it come to life through my hard work and dedication.
Elyse: I’d say picking branding colors is fun….toddler meltdowns? Never fun. I’d choose color pallets every time.
Ashley: Toddler meltdown for sure.
Elyse: Being brave looks different for everyone! Some people can show their bravery by flying to the moon or living with chimpanzees in the jungle. Some people show their bravery by being a friend to someone who is lonely or trying a new food. There are so many ways to be brave! We want you to think about how YOU can be your own kind of brave.
Wouldn’t our world be so boring without color? No rainbows, no sunsets, no fall leaves! no red apples or orange pumpkins or pink crayons! I would hate it. By the way, my favorite color is yellow. What’s yours?
Ashley: Great questions Violet! Being brave starts small. Pick one thing you're afraid to do and try doing it anyway. It can be anything from trying a new food, asking a question when it's hard, meeting a new friend, or standing up for someone. The end result might not always turn out the way you wanted but you TRIED and that's the starting point for making things happen.
As for your color question.... I'm not sure. But I'm soooo glad it does! What a boring world we would have without color.
If you know anything about Fox and Trove, you know that we encourage kindness AND bravery so you can imagine how excited we were to hear about this incredible venture. We fully support these wonderful, strong women and wish them all the best! If you would like to support them too, please check out their Kickstarter page (they only have 7 days to go!) or sign up for their newsletter here!
We'd like to give a huge THANK YOU to Elyse and Ashley for taking part in 10.5 Questions!