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Who the hell is AJ?

Ashley Woodcock

Posted on July 22 2021

Who the hell is AJ?

Yet another fashion blogger? Don't worry babes, I'm far from it. Yes, this is technically a blog...and yes, I love fashion - but American June is so much more and if you give me a chance, I'll spill all the tea with you. 

Always nice to put a face to a name, right? So that's what I'll do today and then from here on out we can get to the dirt of the day much faster, I promise. Believe it or not, I actually started my career in public accounting and continued to spend the majority of it in finance and operations. Can't you tell from my pink hair and tattoos? (P.S. - colored hair and ink sleeves were NOT accepted back then at my jobs). Of course I got pulled into HR on more than one occasion for my outfit being too provocative....I was wearing a knee length skirt suit for goodness sake! I was like, listen lady, I can't help it if men in the office find me attractive, since that's what it was really about I'm sure ;)

Any-who that sort of thing continued, I shouldn't wear this, I was inappropriate here, there's a rumor I did this or that, blah blah blah - I quit! About 10+ years and a baby later, I collected all of my savings from those grinding years of office life and built American June (during the unfortunate and unexpected pandemic). I wanted to create a brand, a destination, a collection and ultimately a movement; one that empowers women to walk in their truth, dress how they want to dress and feel damn sexy while they're doing it! 

“Fashion isn’t one style fits all and all women don’t just fit one style.”

Yup, I said that - and I 100% believe in it. Sure we all know that only one style doesn’t exist, it would be a pretty boring world otherwise, but who gets to decide which style is best for whom? And once that style is chosen are we stuck with it forever? Goodness I certainly hope not, and that’s definitely not the case at American June. 

Growing up I used to change my “look” all the time. Not to age myself, but this was before social media, computers, cell phones, and all that jazz we now live and breath. One day I would dress preppy, the next day punk or goth and maybe the next day I would be wearing a butterfly mini skirt - which by the way, I totally should have kept since butterfly mini skirts are totally back in style again (insert me jumping for joy over this). My friends used to say I was just going through a phase, and maybe I didn’t even realize it at the time, but I was exploring styles and mixing it up along the way. I’ve never wanted to feel like I’m being put in a box…unless it’s a barbie box maybe LOL!

This was one of the many things I kept in mind when creating American June. I hear a lot of the time that you should be consistent with your branding, your Instagram profile should look clean and uniform, etc. but screw that, I’m not trying to be like Madewell or Lululemon where you have certain expectations of what you’re going to see on the shelves when you walk in the store. 

“Our profile isn’t uniform because people aren’t and fashion shouldn’t be.”

You can find that on my Instagram profile. Don’t get me wrong, the creatives that are able to make consistently beautiful and themed Instagram pages aren’t wrong, and they are visually pleasing for sure - but that’s just not AJ. Sometimes, we may not be visually pleasing and we certainly are not consistent. I’m not going to opt out of posting a cool new style we just got in the store because my kid woke me up early, I have bags under my eyes and am too busy to filter and edit. I’m just like everyone else, trying to do the best I damn can. I’ve been told that people should think of one thing I particular when it comes to your brand; a tagline, an image, a color scheme/theme. Well, the one thing I want people to think of is everything! American June is about embracing diversity among each other and with ourselves. This includes but is not limited to our mood swings, personality differences and changes, mid life crises, and treating ourselves once in awhile. My favorite comment that I overheard a customer saying to her group of five friends was, “I can’t believe we all found something that looked good on us.” I try to keep this in mind when curating my collections, I want a group of diverse friends to all be able to find something that they at least want to try or sparks their interest. 

Another thing that I keep in mind when curating the collections for American June is not only diversity across styles and body types, but also age. Once I hit high school and definitely in college, my mom and I would frequently shop at the same stores or share clothes from each others closet. It’s fun to be able to shop together and even more fun when you can shop at the same stores and both walk away with a purchase that you’re excited about. At American June, I want there to be something for everyone. Since opening, I’ve even had my 96 year old grandmother purchase a blouse that she wore to an outdoor wedding! At the same time, I’ve had a mother come in to shop and we even found a couple cropped tanks and a sundress for her 14 year old daughter. American June was made for anyone and everyone. I have even had the pleasure of styling a few young men that have come into the store that were able to fit into the sizing available. That was an extra special treat to see how your styles can translate across genders, I love it! 

You will hear me say this a million and one times, above anything else, I want people to feel confident dressing the way that they want to dress. Do you, be you, embrace you. That’s why our core values are what they are:

Empower. Indulge. Inspire.

Let’s lift each other up, compliment each other instead of tearing each other down. You think another babe’s outfit is cute? Go tell her! I promise it will warm her day. Want to treat yourself but feel guilty about it? Yeah, I’ve had that feeling way too many times after shopping…the dreaded buyer’s remorse. Did I really need that? Will my husband be mad when he sees the credit card bill? LOL! At American June I’ve made it a point to offer quality over quantity and maintain a consistent price point that will allow you to indulge, especially on the days you need it the most. Last, but certainly not least, try to set out each day to be the best version of yourself by building a positive environment that you can thrive in. For many of us, that means feeling good in our own skin or rocking an outfit that we feel confident in, and when you feel confident, people are drawn to that energy. Create your own style that inspires. 

Let American June be the the one place where there are no rules, cuz if there were…we would only help you break them babes!

I’m so excited to have you on this journey with me. Please ask me anything, comment anything, I want to hear you! 

Until next time babes,

xx

AJ

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