I am Ashleigh, the hands behind The Golden Pony Collective. Thank you for taking the time to visit my site!
A little background on me and how I got here. I grew up in Orange County. Sunny California. The first state to ban styrofoam. We had recycle bins for as long as I can remember. Respecting resources was a thing. You didn’t leave your car idling, its bad for the ozone. You didn’t walk away from a running tap, we were in a draught. You did laundry in the morning so that when they did brown outs in the afternoon to conserve energy during the heat wave, the cycle wasn’t interrupted. Then in early 2006 I moved to Providence, Rhode Island where I was exposed to true sustainable and green forward living for my first time, it was California PLUS. Emphasis on local grown, I joined a CSA and worked on a farm to pay for my share of organic veggies. You could take the bus all over the state or the train to Boston/New York. I walked everywhere. Over the years eco-conciousness became engrained in me and I found a passion for leading a more impactful life by having less impact on the world around me. Living in Providence sustainability and green living was such hot topic, I thought for sure that the rest of the world was progressing right along with us. In 2014 I moved to Texas. The rest of the country was not progressing right along with us.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my life here. I live in a 1910 Craftsman-Farmhouse on 1/4 acre in Fort Worth. We have 3 dogs, 5 Chickens, a garden, we compost. Not many cities in the country you can still find a 1/4 acre lot for under $100k. However, we could be doing a lot more in this part of the country to be mindful of the finite resources we have on this planet. There is still styrofoam in fast food restaurants. They tried to enforce bringing your own bag to the grocery or paying 5 cents a bag and people FREAKED. It lasted 1 week. Giant trucks idle in parking lots for 20 minutes so people don’t have to get back into a hot car. LITTER IS EVERYWHERE. People literally throw trash out of their car windows. Why is that ok?
Over the past 6 years I have been trying to find ways to further decrease my carbon footprint. Reusable bags, skipping produce bags or using my own, shopping bulk bins, not ordering takeout, making any foods at home that would come wrapped in plastic in the store; but I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough. How could I further help to reduce waste and help others do the same? I started composting and that got me thinking about how much I was previously throwing into the landfills that could have gone into a compost bin and what beyond food scraps could go into the compost and serve a second life as food for my plants. Natural materials. Cotton, hemp, linen, silk.
I have been interested in textile crafts since I was about 8 years old. My mom taught me to cross-stitch and there was no turning back for me. Over the years I have taught myself how to quilt, embroider, knit, crochet, sew, weave, macrame; you name it, I have a craft stash for it. When my mom visited my house last year she was thoroughly appalled to see that not only had I abandoned paper towels for cotton towels, I had also switched to cotton dishcloths because they were reusable. Sponges just seemed gross to me. You cleaned the dishes that you put your food on with a sponge you had used on your dishes for the past week? It sat soggy on your sink for a week, how is that sanitary? I loved being able to just throw my cloths in the wash every night and start my day fresh with a clean cloth for my clean dishes. Not to mention, those dish sponges can take up to 52,000 years to break down in a landfill. Most households toss 2 sponges a month. As of 2019 there were approximately 128,580,000 households in the US. That is over 3 BILLION not biodegradable sponges going into landfills every year. That’s 8.5 MILLION a day! Thats when it clicked for me, I needed to be making eco-friendly products that would replace our go-to non-compostable/biodegradable items with more sustainable alternatives!
And thus, a brand is born.