At the head of the table of the CLUTCH Magazine Board Meetings is an adorable, freckled little red head, Ashley Wilson, CLUTCH Editor-in-Chief. But do not let her fiery locks and small frame fool you… this girl knows her stuff.
CLUTCH is one of Florida State’s first student-run fashion magazines. The magazine puts out one issue a semester, by a team of students voluntarily working away many days and nights during the preceding months. Ashley’s first experience with CLUTCH was when she modeled in the beauty section of the Fall 2009 issue. This was a great opportunity for her to get some insight into the inner workings of the publication and motivated her to further involve herself with the magazine. To do so, she obtained the Photography Director position for the Fall 2010 issue. Ashley notes how much work this was, because this position “involved planning all details (down to the duct tape) for each photo shoot”. Clearly, her hard work paid off because she continued her involvement in CLUTCH when her former Editor-in-Chief, Kristina Boggs, suggested that she was right for the position of 2011’s Editor-in-Chief.
Ashley took on the challenge, with the understanding of not only how much stress is involved, but also how much she would have to sacrifice to take on this position. Not only does Ashley act as Editor-in-Chief, which in itself is like a full time job, but also goes is a fulltime FSU student and works at T.J. Maxx. She tells me her secret to this never-ending balancing act is “coffee and youth”. There are rarely times in the day when she can sit and relax. Her schedule, give or take, involves “classes and CLUTCH errands and work during the day, T.J. Maxx in the evening and studying after work.” She consistently impresses her fellow CLUTCHers with all that she does, regardless of limitations.
Fashion isn’t always glamorous. Describing her social life as “virtually non-existent,” HC finds it unfortunate that so many people are missing out on her fun and quirky personality. If you do get the chance to meet this spunky red head, especially if you are interested in pursuing a career in fashion, then you are in luck due to her experiences with CLUTCH Magazine whisking her far into the fashion world. She gains most of her social interaction from all the oddballs on the CLUTCH team and her feline friend, “Zeno.” And yes, she confirms her cat is “named [after] the title character of Disney Channel’s Original Movie, ‘Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century,’” and quirkily adds, “she is my supernova girl.”
Ashley may be destined for “cat lady” status in her near future, but that does not mean she will be sitting in her rocker all day sipping on soup with Zenon in tow. She sees herself involved in fashion publication. Because she is more interested in the visual aspect of fashion magazines, she sees herself working with photography. Ashley is very self-driven and will certainly have no struggle reaching her career goals. She’s already put herself ahead in one of the most competitive industries by working with CLUTCH. She is currently learning more than she expected and gaining helpful tools she can carry over and apply to her future career. Employers will undoubtedly be very impressed with her list of accomplishments. It is Ashley’s first time being in a position of leadership and she explains, “Some of the most important lessons learned with this experience are those involving working with and managing a group of people -in the case of the CLUTCH team, a group of characters.” She has been learning, and will continue to learn, “a great deal about working relationships, managing friendships, while maintaining some sense of authority.”
Ashley has a grand amount of work left for the upcoming Spring 2011 issue, to be released mid-March. Readers can look forward to an expanded menswear and beauty section that she describes was “lacking in the past” issues. In addition to those CLUTCH expansions, she understands that “it is of the utmost importance to continue bridging the gap between CLUTCH and magazines found at the bookstore; appearing more professional and less like ‘student work’ each time”. The upcoming spring issue is CLUTCH magazine’s 10th, and as a result, an anniversary theme. This issue is a celebration of the growth and improvements of the magazine since it began five years ago.
All in all, Ashley is a one-of-a-kind gal that is sure to be going places after her FSU graduation next year. Her natural red hair (yes, it is real) and feline frenzy obsession may have been what placed her outside of social conformities before, but now, she has much to show from all of her nights spent in. So readers, get ready, because the Spring 2011 issue of CLUTCH is going to knock your socks off… and make you want to go out and buy some more fashionable ones.