There are plenty of reasons why Ashley James’ face might look familiar. As well as modelling for Oasis, Story Jewellery and House of Peroni, she made an appearance on Made In Chelsea in 2012 as Francis Boulle’s new love interest before going on to date Ollie Locke.
Ashley talks to us about how she got into the modelling industry, the worst job she ever had and advice she’d give to other girls to avoid ‘the bitchiness’.
1. How did you know you wanted to do your job?
Apparently at the age of 2 everytime I cried my mum used a get a camera out and I’d instantly stop crying and pose. It’s sad but true! I also used to charge my family to watch my puppet shows – I’d make the set and the puppets myself, so I suppose I was born a performer, although I actually used to want to be a singer and I did all my Grades up to grade 8!
2. How did you get started?
I started modelling at the age of 16 when I was scouted in Newcastle, and I had to do a catwalk in a bar! I gave it up at university then fell back into it when I was 23 after I was scouted as a model for Abercrombie & Fitch.
3. Worst job you’ve done?
The most random job was when I got booked for a big lingerie brand and when I turned up for the shoot they actually just wanted my boobs to super impose onto the face and body of another much hotter model!
4. What was the defining game changer moment?
I’d probably say Made in Chelsea was a huge defining moment for me as it gave me my initial break and gave me some profile. My proudest moments so far are walking in London Fashion Week and fronting an anti-fur campaign for PETA.
5. Talk us through your day…
I am a workaholic and I spread my time between my blog, my modelling, and presenting, My day totally changes from day to day depending if I have a shoot or castings. I always wake up naturally at 6:30. I take my dog for a walk, either see my personal trainer, go cycling, or go running before breakfast. After I’ll either go to a shoot, spend my day running round London going to castings, or working at home on myblog. I usually wind down around 7pm before seeing friends, reading, or watching a good Netflix series, or sometimes I have an event so head into town. I usually go to bed at about 10:30 / 11pm.
6. How do you chill out?
Reading and running are my biggest hobbies and the best form of escapism from the stresses of daily life. I suffer from anxiety and both these activities help me to wind down! I always put my phone on ‘airplane mode’ at night and find the less time I spend on my phone the more relaxed I am.
7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My dad is great at advice. “If in doubt say nowt” is one of my favourites as I think rising above bitchiness is very important in this very competitive industry.
8. Most shareable advice you’d give anyone who wants to ‘do a you’?
There’s no one way to succeed in our industry so I would just say be nice, be genuine, and work harder than everyone else. Also don’t compare yourself to other people – whether it’s the work they are getting or the way they look – you can only be the best version of you.
9. What’s your life mantra?
Work hard and be kind. My favourite quote is ‘karma is a bitch so you don’t have to be’.