We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaitlin Ashley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kaitlin, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I started my business, I just wanted to pursue the passion for fashion that I had since I was a kid. As the years went on, I realized the incredible opportunities that businesses have to make a real impact on their communities. So today, my goals have changed. Not only do I want to pursue a creative career where I get to put myself and my thoughts on display, but I also want to utilize my business as a tool to create positive change. As a veteran-owned company, I hope to utilize our revenue streams to help disabled veterans and war-torn communities to recover and thrive.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think one of the things that makes me and my business different from others is that it specializes in trendy, western fashion but it is also veteran-owned. I joined the Army at 17 and shipped to basic a few days after my 18th birthday. In addition to my business, I am also still enlisted in the Army Reserves and I’m a government contractor supporting the Department of Defense. Through my experiences in and around the military community, I have met many amazing people and I’m so grateful for it. But I’ve also been exposed to things within the veteran community such as PTSD, high suicide rates, and the stresses and impact of being in the military on day to day life. This has taught me so much about who I am, but also about how to be better for the people around me. The biggest lesson I have learned is that everyone needs help sometimes. It sounds cliche, but our mental health and relationships – at the end of the day – are all we have. Okay need to invest into our own mental health, support those around us on their journeys, and invest time into our relationships. That is how we will carry one another forward.

I want the world to know that we aren’t just another clothing brand. I’m a real person behind the brand, and I am pushing so hard for this business to succeed because I want to create tangible, positive change in the community, supporting causes like mental health advocacy, PTSD research, and psychological support to individuals who need it.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love our little city! We recently moved to Woodbridge, VA and absolutely love it here. In our free time, we love visiting the historic town of Occoquan and paddle boarding/kayaking with our friends over at Penguin Paddling. I would also highly recommend Layla’s Lebanese restaurant. The food is absolutely incredible and the people are even more amazing. We also love visiting Nats Park for a baseball game and Audi Field to watch DC United play.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband David has been there with me from the beginning. Not only did he encourage me to pursue my passions and start the business, he has continued to support my endeavors throughout the years – packing orders for me when I was out on military training, late night brainstorm sessions, and dealing with the constant flow of inventory into and out of our home.

Additionally, my business besties Diamond Weems and Courtney White. Although we’ve never met outside of the internet, we are constantly bouncing ideas around, supporting one another, and just chatting about life and business.

I am also grateful for my family’s support and encouragement. And of course my amazing customers who have made my business possible and have stuck with me on my journey to success.

Website: fidgeyray.com

Instagram: fidgeyray

Twitter: fidgeyray

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fidgeyray/

Other: TikTok: @fidgeyray

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.