A life-changing car accident had a profound impact on Texan florist Ashley Woodson Bailey in more ways than one. In 2012 she damaged her back in such a way that she could no longer work in floral events, a key part of her work as a American floral designer over a 20-year period. However, during her recovery she began to photograph flowers that were given to her as get-well gifts. “I have always loved taking photos and I have always hated that I was creating these gorgeous floral sculptures that die,” Ashley says. “I wanted to find a way to keep them alive. So I combined the two.” It didn’t take long before demand for the resulting photographic prints took off. “I knew I was onto something when my now agent sent me an email asking to work with me,” she says. Ashley also sensed that her work was gaining momentum when she saw one of her works in the home of actress Jessica Alba. She was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas and studied Art and Art History at the University of Texas in Austin. Now based in Atlanta, Georgia, she is now travelling the world as a result of her photography, which is all taken on an iPhone.
Which five words best describe you? Resilient, quirky, creative, giving and strong-willed.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My career began accidentally due to a car accident. I was a florist and broke my back so I could no longer do events. I started taking photos of flowers people gave me during recovery. I posted them on Instagram and people asked to purchase them so here we are! I am now about to launch a wallpaper line and some other really exciting things are in the works.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? You only have one life - don't waste it.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I am proud that I am able to create these gorgeous pieces of art with my iPhone and feel comfortable with it.
What’s been your best decision? To trust my gut and heart, and do what I love.
Who inspires you? All the independent risk-taking women in the world that juggle everyday life with their careers.
What are you passionate about? My family, flowers and animals.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Marilyn Monroe.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would like to shoot a story for Vogue.
What are you reading? The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty.