How Our Founder Structures Her Day
Ashley shares the habits and routines behind her busy days. Body How we spend the first few hours of our mornings can set the tone for the rest of our day. So when it came time to take a look at our own morning routines, schedules, and habits, we tapped our very own (and very busy) Ashley Merrill to see how the entrepreneur and mom of 2 sets herself up for the day. Though she spends much of her time thinking about rest, she has had to learn to balance her jam-packed work schedule with the right amount of family time and personal time so that she actually gets enough of each. Read on to learn more about her habits, productivity hacks, and routines that set her up for success.
Tell us about your morning routine.
I'm an "early to bed, early to rise person," so generally my day starts at 4 or 5 a.m. It's a calm time of day, so it's usually the time I get to my deep-thinking emails. I work in bed on my phone until about 7 a.m., when I get up, throw on Lunya layers and some moisturizer and go wake up the kids. My husband and I alternate days, but generally we make them breakfast and have them off to school by 7:35 a.m. I get back with just enough time to make a colossal jug of hot tea and start my 8 a.m. Zoom calls.
Do you have any daily habits that make you a better leader?
I work out five to six days a week. During Covid lockdown, I got in the habit of working out at home using YouTube trainers, and I've never turned back. My favorite trainers are Sydney Cummings, Caroline Girvan and Pamela Reif. Working out is a way to practice pushing myself — to build up physical endurance and emotional perseverance. This gives me the energy and strength to take on my day.
How much sleep are you getting? Do you wish you got more?
Of course, I wish I got more — I wish everyone got more. I spend many of my waking hours trying to make sure the world is better rested. Ironically I'm so obsessed with sleep because I've had a lot of waves of insomnia. For me stress, hormones and comfort are the biggest factors in getting rest. To manage my stress I try to stop working by 5 p.m. so I have time for my brain to wind down. I also do my best to track my hormone cycles, and before I ovulate I make my room as cool as possible and wear COOLDOWN PIMA because I find I run super hot at that time. I sleep with nearly five pillows all around my body and between my knees. It's quite a process.
What is your daily uniform?
Body I wear Lunya to work every day. While on one hand, this is certainly a perk of the restwear biz, on the other hand, a lot of our pieces are easily blended into daywear — bringing comfort into day-to-day life while still looking put together. When I have a big meeting I might throw on a blazer, but generally, I'm all about the blend of comfort and style, so even that might be layered over a sweatshirt.
Favorite thing to wear to bed?
Body Nude! Or any of my Lunya Washable Silk Sets, and sometimes a baggy tee.
What does getting a good night’s sleep mean to you?
It’s crucial for balance. A good night of sleep completes and restarts the cycle of one's waking world, and vice versa. I like to think of that time as the hours my conscious and subconscious can make sense of the day.
When did you start creating ceramics? And what inspired you to go down this route in your career?
I did ceramics with my grandmother as a kid, and revisited it awhile after she passed. I grew up in a very creative family of artists with different mediums, making it very easy to try different ways of creating art. I like to think of my love for ceramics as an extension of one of my creative outlets