We are thrilled to introduce you to our latest Power Woman, Ashley Merrill: Founder and CEO of Lunya, which provides confidently comfortable sleepwear for the modern woman.
Photos taken by Nicki Sebastian.
Please share who you are and what you do professionally?
I’m a mother of two, a wife, and the founder/CEO of Lunya (lunya.co), Lahgo (Lahgo.co) and The Deep (thedeep.life). I’m also an investor through NaHCO3 (Nahco3.com).
Being a female entrepreneur is a powerful thing. Can you please share a few words of wisdom/advice to someone that wants to start her own company?
Fundamentally being an entrepreneur, female or not, is powerful in that you can sustainably create change and opportunity in the world through business. As a woman in today’s world, we are being given a bigger platform to facilitate success and inspire the next generation into more equitable business ownership. It’s exciting to be part of the movement. I find that some of the best entrepreneurs start businesses not to objectively become an entrepreneur but to solve a problem. It’s how you ensure you are creating products that the world needs and wants and is the foundation for successful business supply/demand.
What are you most proud of?
I’ve been thrown so many challenges in the course of building Lunya and I’m so grateful I was able to persevere through those barriers to build a product, team, and company that I’m proud of.
What has been the most significant in making you the woman you are today?
I’m the product of many people. My mom was always painfully honest and direct with me. She made me fiercely independent. My dad was an entrepreneur, I never believed there was a limit to what one person could accomplish. My husband is an unyielding optimist and has taught me the power of believing in audacious goals. My kids have reminded me of the power of thinking beyond today and about how my actions influence the next generation. They inspire me to try to live my values in everything I do.
Describe your personal style. Do you have a certain look that is your go-to for power dressing?
When I was younger I dressed a bit more sexy, form-fitting, and conventional. As I’ve gotten older I’ve leaned into having way more fun with clothes that I wear outside the home. I enjoy experimentation and see it more like wearable art. I love to mix unusual items to create something that feels new and intriguing... I think having fun (with fashion) can be timeless. When I’m in my off hours I wear Lunya 100% of the time. When I’m home from work I shed my “on” persona and am all about comfort, ease and feeling good.
Where do you find inspiration and how do you stay inspired?
Instagram is a never-ending well of inspiration. I follow a lot of influencer types and then combine them in a never-ending stream of experimentation. I also follow lots of artists and interior designers. Inspiration can come from anyone and anywhere.
What is something you do to take care of yourself daily?
I try to work out daily. I use class pass and generally work out at lunch with my team. Pilates is a go-to for me.
What are you reading right now? What are you listening to?
I just finished Sapiens, Where the Crawdads Sing and the Stranger. I generally put the summaries on my Instagram @ashley__merrill so I don’t forget. I also read a lot of Futurism, HBR, and watch a ton of movies and documentaries. I just finished unnatural selection, I love Explained and enjoyed Modern Love. I need to read and watch a lot to stay inspired by my work on Thedeep.life.