What is your morning routine?
Alarms are the bane of my existence, so I rarely set one. I tend to wake up naturally at around 7:00am. Immediately after I wake up, I walk blindly to the pre-prepared coffee pot and click the ‘on’ button. I pour two cups—one for me and one for my husband—bring them back to bed, and then we talk about our plans for the day and read our morning emails.
At 7:30am (or 8:00, if I go to the gym) I take a shower, do quick makeup, blend our daily smoothies (organic spinach, kale, strawberries, blueberries, banana, flax seed, and ginger), and am out the door. I’m a practical woman who likes functionality so I’m usually wearing something comfortable. Depending on what my day entails I can change or get dressed up at the store.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I try not to get too comfortable with routines, as learning how to be malleable has been necessary for me as an entrepreneur. I also listen to my body: if I need more sleep, I sleep.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Before I launched ANTHOM, I worked in law which was a very regimented schedule with long hours. Part of that monotony is what made me want to start my own company. Five years later, I work longer hours, but I’m having a lot of fun which is very rewarding. We also recently relaunched ANTHOM’s website, which means I spent many early mornings photographing product. On those day, I definitely needed an alarm clock to wake me up before 6:30am.
What time do you go to sleep?
My friends and family always joke that I’m an Energizer Bunny that gets unplugged at 10:00pm. I’m going, going, going, and then, BAM, Ashley’s done! In general, I try to be in bed by 10:30 and asleep by 11:00.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
Most nights before I go to sleep, I’ll read and draft some emails. I also like to update my task list in my mailbox and outline my priorities for the day. I will prepare the coffee pot the night before, so in the morning, all I have to do is press the on button.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
For the rare mornings when I do need an alarm, I set it about 21-minutes before I actually have to get up, so I can hit snooze twice. I’m a weirdo and I never set the clock on an even time—if I need to wake up at 6:00am, I will set it for 5:56. If I’m waking up at 6:30, I will pick 6:23 (don’t ask me why!).
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I listen to my body. I’m typically not hungry until a few hours after I wake up. At that point, I’ll drink my smoothie or run across Canal Street and grab a coffee and a banana at Cafe Bari, which is around the corner from ANTHOM in SoHo.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I’m on my feet and walking most of the day, so I don’t pressure myself to work out every day. But I do love to work out, which ends up being around 2-3 days a week. I’ll go to the gym and let out all my stress on the elliptical, or run on the treadmill and then finish with some light weights and stretching.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
My forty-minute commute to SoHo is the time I take for myself. I like to focus on my breathing and embrace the feeling of sun on my skin. It’s the perfect time to reflect and prepare for a busy day ahead.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
If I open my computer first thing there’s no going back—I’ll get stuck online for a couple hours. I typically refrain from opening and responding to emails until I get to work. I usually arrive at ANTHOM at around 9:00am, and use the two hours before the store opens to complete any administrative tasks.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
I’ll have a sip of water right when I wake up, then coffee with a splash of organic creamer.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
I don’t have office hours on the weekends, so I’ll let myself sip coffee and lounge in bed until I’m ready to get up (typically that’s around 9:30 or 10:00am).
Once I’m up, I’ll work out for forty-five minutes then take a shower, and eat brunch. Then I will usually head out to run errands, assist at the store if needed, or go to the farmers’ market. I love cooking, and Sundays are my days for meal prep. I love to bake organic chicken and roast a lot of sweet potatoes for my weekday lunches.
Photo of Ashley by Clémence Polès.