Since starting her career in 2001, Ashley Brewsmith has worked as a hairstylist on everything from film productions to fashion shows, was a featured stylist on OUTtv’s Shine True (a series celebrating the trans and gender non-conforming community by helping them to present the way they feel), and has been a salon owner since she was 23. In 2010 she moved Toronto locations and opened The Proudest Pony, which offers gender-free pricing and an LGBTQ-safe environment. Already a partner with Green Circle Salons — who divert hair clippings and salon product packaging and waste from landfills — in May 2021 Ashley launched a line of eco-friendly Proudest Pony Shampoo + Conditioner Bars, that are plastic-free, paraben- and SLS-free, and made in Canada with plant-based ingredients.
My first job ever was… in a kitchen at a restaurant.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I like setting my own rules.
I founded Proudest Pony because… I saw a way to do haircare products better.
I’m passionate about sustainable hair care because… I care deeply about the impact our choices have on the planet and the creatures we share the planet with.
My proudest accomplishment is… surpassing 10 years of running a successful business.
My biggest setback was… losing my first supplier for my shampoo/conditioner bars and all the work I did to establish that relationship.
I overcame it by… powering forward with my vision for the product line.
My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is… don’t overthink — do!
“The future excites me because there has been so much innovation in creating sustainable alternatives for everyday products, and this gives me hope.”
The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… to carve out time for yourself, separate from your career,
The thing I love most about what I do is… connecting with like-minded individuals.
If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be… an optimistic outlook.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… that I have way too many hobbies that I bounce in and out of.
I stay inspired by… following my passions and not getting hung up on details.
The future excites me because… there has been so much innovation in creating sustainable alternatives for everyday products, and this gives me hope.
My next step is… introducing The Proudest Pony products to as many people as possible! And inspiring people to make the switch away from plastic packaging — one of our bridgeable shampoo/conditioner bars is equal to three regular sized plastic shampoo/conditioner bottles (and most of what’s inside these is water).