Meet Ashley Griffin – CEO, Yah Roots Official
- What was life like growing up for you? What kind of family did you grow up in?
I moved around a lot growing up. I was born in Baltimore, MD but my mother moved us to Wilmington, NC when I was 4. I lived there all the way through my later teenage years then BOOM, my senior year of high school my family left Wilmington and moved back north to Baltimore. Imagine relocating as a senior, it was not fun leaving all my childhood friends. I went to 3 different High schools, however, I was able to make new friends at all of them. My family is spread out on the east coast so I don’t get to see them often, but when we come together it’s always a lot of dancing, karaoke, and laughter!
- How old were you when you knew this is your calling?
As early as 10 I begin to be conscious about hair care and would do my own hair for school. My hair is curly, so I remember going to hair stores to find hair products that I thought were “good” for my hair, at 10! By 12, I began to make my own hair serums by mixing oils that my grandmother had and would “deep condition” my hair once a week. I didn’t think anything about what I was doing at that time until I had my 2 children, I noticed that hair care is my passion. I gave my son dreadlocks and would make my own twist cream, and I would make deep conditioners for my daughter’s hair from natural and organic ingredients. As my knowledge for hair care grew, people would come to me for hair care tips, and wanted to know what I was using on my family’s hair. This is when I knew I wanted to share hair products with the world.
- How do you maintain your integrity in an otherwise very competitive and sometimes unscrupulous industry, as a business at times can be cutthroat?
I believe that if you stick to your passion and maintain your values and morals then you can face anything that comes your way. Never lose sight of what your drive is. There are thousands of hair products out, but I don’t look at them as competition. I focus on my own brand and knowledge of hair care, so, as long as I am providing the best hair products for my customers, I am happy. I interact with my customers and I allow them to provide authentic reviews, I feature real everyday people on the Instagram business page @YAHROOTS_OFFICIAL, that’s what drives me to stay focused on my brand.
- What advice do you have for others who have the dream?
My number one advice is to invest in yourself! Invest not only money but time into your goal. Read, study, and educate yourself on what it is that you trying to accomplish. Knowledge is power, and with knowledge, you can do anything you put your mind to do. Second advice, do not be cheap with yourself, if you need a machine that cost $400 that will benefit you, GET IT THAT 400$ machine! It will all pay off.
- What are some of the things you do to wind down and relax after grueling events and preparations for them?
I love music, so when I want to wind down I may play some smooth r&b or smooth Jazz music, it puts me in calming headspace. Of course, a nice glass of wine is always good to “wine-down”
- What is your definition of peace? What is your definition of success?
My definition of peace is the space that I call home, and the people I surround myself with. I do a lot of work from home, so I like to invest in furniture and live plants and flowers, it makes me feel happy and peaceful. I am very big on good energy from others, so I keep my few close friends around to spread good vibes also.
Success to me is seeing your dreams become your reality. Whether big or small, its so amazing to see your hard work and dedication pay off. It’s not about money it’s about your accomplishments and that priceless feeling of “I DID THAT!”.
- What is the one thing you want people to remember most about you and your work?
I want people to know that YAH Roots Official is what I prayed for, this is my gift from The Highest and I give all credit to God. I promote a love of ethnic natural hair of all types. It is my passion to provide the best products for natural hair. Every ingredient used in YAH Roots is exclusively chosen by me and beneficial for all hair types. I like to say its “Made with Love”.
- What type of legacy do you wish to leave?
We live in a world that it’s not appealing to love our ethnic hair. Afros, tight curly hair, thick hair, wavy hair, thin hair, whatever your authentic hair maybe, we hide it with perms, weaves, and wigs. I want people to know that our ethnic hair is beautiful and there are amazing organic and natural ingredients that God has put on earth for us to maintain and love our hair. My legacy is to promote knowledge on hair care and beard care and to regain the love for our own natural hair. YAH Roots is the face of bringing natural hair back in style.
- If there’s one thing you could change about your past, what would it be?
This is a great question; my answer is very simple. I would not change anything about my past. My past experiences and tribulations are what make me who I am today. I am at a good place in my life and I wouldn’t be where I am if I had not gone through life as God planned me too. As I always say, “Turn your L’s into lessons”
- If there is one thing you could change about the world what would it be?
I would love for Black, Native Americas, and Latino cultures to have more opportunities and resources to become business owners.
- What advice do you have for the young ladies (teens to young adult age) who are growing up in today’s world with so much influence in music that is not always supportive of their best interests? What advice would you give young men?
Ladies, I know how easy it is to be on social media and see other people “living their best life” I want you to know that its only entertainment and only believe half of what you see online. Move at your own pace in life, set your own goals, and do not compare another person’s lifestyle to yours. Remember you write your own book with your own story, be yourself always.
Men, you play such an important role in this world. I know there is a lot of influence in our music culture that does not encourage healthy relationships or respect for women and promotes violence. I encourage you to keep the entertainment separate from your actual goals in life. Know that it IS cool to be a good guy, and it IS cool to want a healthy relationship with a woman, and it IS cool not to condone in violence. We need our men.
- Are you single?
Yes, I am single. Might not be for too much longer though lol
- In your opinion why are relationships failing today and if you could remedy them, what would you do?
In my opinion, relationships lack communication and it causes long term issues between you and your partner. I would say be open to expressing your feelings respectfully to your partner giving the chance to talk things out early on before situations become more complicated.
- What are you looking for/from a relationship?
I am looking for a spiritual connection with someone. Someone that will be on the same accord as far as our values, morals, and beliefs. If we are grounded in The Most High we can get through anything in life.
Who do you admire most and why?
I admire my mother Valerie, my father Desmond, and my grandmother Shirley. These three have been so influential in my life and taught me to never settle. They are hard workers, true hustlers, and dreamers. I gained a lot of my hustle and ambition from them. I am forever grateful to have learned from them.
Ashley Griffin is the creator and founder of YAH Roots Official Hair and Skincare. Since a child, Ashley has grown a true passion for encouraging women and men to love their authentic ethnic hair. She loves creating tutorial videos providing knowledge on healthy hair and beard maintenance. People regularly come to her for hair tips and want to know what she uses in her hair. This inspired her to create YAH Roots Official for the world. Ashley’s love of math led her to pursue an education in finance and science, which helped her to become her own formulator for YAH Roots Official; making her own products in a personal lab. Ashley gained years of extensive research on ingredients and formulating before releasing YAH Roots Official to the world in May 2020. With a steadily growing amount of positive reviews, she has been able to stay connected with customers providing more than just her products. Ashley’s goal is to influence people to embrace and care for their natural hair.
Along with being a full-time entrepreneur, Ashley is also a full-time employee for an Insurance company and single mother of two amazingly intelligent children Jayden and Nyla. When asked how she handles all these responsibilities her answer is simple, “Balance”. Though her busy schedule, Ashley enjoys making time for her family and herself. She loves planning weekend trips just to get away and enjoy her “me time,” as well as frequently taking road trips with her family to exploring new places. Outside of traveling, two of her favorite things to do is trying new foods and furniture shopping. Ashley is a true hustler and goal-getter, giving all credit to God first in everything.