Ashley Wiggins, Brix Coworking
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Ashley Wiggins, downtown community manager, Brix Coworking.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
I want to start out by saying that I have been very lucky to join a company that allows me to work through any challenges as a team and celebrate rewarding moments together. For me, the most challenging aspect of my job is the sheer newness I have experienced with the coworking industry. I received my bachelor’s degree in event management and while there are many parallels to the coworking industry, I was only recently exposed to it. However, as I mentioned previously, I joined an amazing team that not only supports me in my learning process, but also supports my ideas and new initiatives. I would have to say that that support is easily the most rewarding aspect of the job! I am, many times, given the blank-slate go ahead to try or do something new to enhance the company. This support and trust is a huge part of why I am so loyal to the team here at Brix.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
In my work with Brix, one person who I continually cross paths with and hold in the highest regard is Tiffany Kenney with downtown Madison’s Business Improvement District. She has been such a gung-ho advocate for the community and the downtown businesses. She is so passionate about her platform and the city of Madison. I also admire the tenacity and creativity she has shown throughout the pandemic and quarantine in an effort to get Madison and it’s businesses back to a new normal.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
My career has taken many turns and twists prior to me landing at Brix Coworking. In that time, I would have to say that my personal high point was our Monona location’s grand opening. We were faced with so many challenges as we looked to have a grand opening in the middle of the pandemic, as we first opened the doors in March right before we went on lockdown. Prior to joining the Brix team, I was in events and it was such fun to flex my event muscles again to have the event go off without a hitch. It was a fun, safe, and socially distanced event!
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
There are so many things I wish I could tell my younger self, even though I am still in my 20s. I think that one piece of advice I would give myself would be that you should be willing to be patient and wait for the company that will value you and your contributions and not to worry if you don’t find it right out of college. Also, to not be afraid to walk away from a company that doesn’t value or appreciate your hard work. Everyone should know their own value and be confident enough in it that you don’t allow employers, co-workers, or anyone really to treat you as any less valuable than you are.
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
I am a newer transplant to not only Madison and Wisconsin as a state (I am a Michigander at heart), but also to living in a capital city. I grew up in a very small village that had one stoplight and a lot of farmland! Overall, I have to say that the thing that I love most about Madison is the feeling that, even though it is a capital city, it still feels almost intimate. This perhaps is because I work downtown and tend to see the same people, but I love feeling like I see so many familiar faces around town!
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
In general, I would like to consider myself a crafty person. I wouldn’t say that I have any secret talents; however, I do enjoy the challenge of finding new ways to repurpose inexpensive or thrifted pieces into fun and beautiful pieces as well as experimenting with new mediums. One of my more recent obsessions has been canvas painting! Now, this in no way means that I am an expert or an artist, but it is so fun and relaxing to make something pretty without any pressure to make it perfect.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Oh goodness! My guilty pleasures are numerous and very varied. I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy and I definitely have spent a number of weekends curled up on my couch watching them for hours on end. More specifically, I love Hallmark Christmas rom-coms. The only problem is that I am a FIRM believer in no Christmas until after Thanksgiving; it just doesn’t feel right! However, especially with the recent quarantine we experienced, I have been very guilty of watching a few of the Christmas rom-coms available on various video and streaming platforms early. In a recent call with my sister (who just started her MBA program in Boston and who shares my dislike for premature Christmas-themed decorations, music, and shows/movies), she was so shocked that I had been bingeing the Christmas movies early!
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