Cal State Long Beach – Broadcast Journalism
When it comes to fashion, fit can make or break an entire outfit. And if you ask Ashley Tarkington, she might say the same thing about a job. What had at first seemed ideal working in production at “Access Hollywood” and later at celebuzz.com soon felt more like that pair of favorite—but no longer quite right—jeans from college. What once seemed so perfect just wasn’t anymore. Her right fit, Ashley realized, wasn’t in entertainment news, but rather the fashion pieces she produced.
An opening in the wardrobe department at “Access Hollywood” was Ashley’s chance to merge her passion and a job into a career she loved. “I truly love fashion, putting outfits together and making people feel their best,” she says. She’s so in love with style she even finds time to author a fashion blog, Ash ‘n’ Fashn. Ashley assures us that as busy as it can get, some careful scheduling and a trusty day planner are the keys to success. “Oh, and always wear something that makes you feel confident.”
Work hard, don't complain and show up on time.
How did you discover your current job?
I actually started working at “Access Hollywood” right out of college in 2007. At the time, I was working toward producing, so I started as an assistant. A few years later, the show branched out and started a live morning show that I was lucky enough to work on; producing fashion shows and segments. Then, in October 2012, I left to produce for the website celebuzz.com, but things didn't work out. I was really enjoying the fashion pieces I was producing and contributing to, but I was burnt out on entertainment news. Luckily, I heard about an opening in the wardrobe department back at “Access Hollywood” and quickly threw my name in the hat. It was (and is) the perfect fit.
What responsibilities do you have in your role?
My job is to dress the on-air talent and meet the needs of celebrity guests. Because we do a live show early every morning, a guest often needs wardrobe assistance. I also shop, pull from showrooms, attend events and search for new lines to contact for the show.
What was it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
I always hear the saying, "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." It's so true! Before this, I didn't understand it was possible to not feel like you're working when you go to your job every day, but I truly love fashion, putting outfits together and making people feel their best.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
I’m always worrying about how to balance my day job and blogging. I get lots of emails and responding to them takes so much time. I stress over each one until I have them answered.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
I'm not going to lie: it can be. I try to do as much in advance so I don't have to scramble later. I religiously use my planner and like to schedule out my week so I know what I need to do and what to expect.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
I'll let you know when it happens!
What are some of the rules you live by?
Work hard, don't complain and show up on time. Oh, and always wear something that makes you feel confident.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Being a good listener and being able to see outside of your own style bubble to dress someone else.
Where do you turn to for inspiration?
I don't know what people did before the Internet! Between Pinterest and style blogs, everything you could ever dream of is a few clicks away. I might just be nosey, but it's so fun to see how other people put things together—whether it’s a tabletop, a little black dress, a wedding or a DIY project.