Ashaunna Ayars is the Founder and CEO of the brand marketing and talent management firm- The Ayars Agency. The Ayars Agency develops and executes creative and strategic marketing campaigns for talent and brands including- Mary J Blige, Common, Ne-Yo, and brands Starbucks, JCPenney, and MGM Pictures.
The companies foundation is built on a customized mix of analytics and real- work insights, understanding this generation’s world view, behaviors, relationship to culture, and the importance of the brands in their lives.
Growing up in Queens, NY, Ashaunna spent most of her childhood attending catholic school Monday through Friday, going to a Pentecostal church on Sunday, and hanging out in the NYC housing projects on Saturdays. Being well rounded is an understatement.
Ashaunna sits with Herfaith and gives details on her life as an intern at Atlantic Records, to building one of the music Industry’s most sought after Marketing Agencies , and how her careers journey has strengthened her faith.
What’s your definition of faith and spirituality?
For me- My faith is my belief in God. It’s my unwavering belief that my steps are ordered and that God has a plan for my life. Spirituality is the tools and practices I use to connect to, and further strengthen that faith. My spirituality speaks to the action… reading my bible, going to church, praying, fasting, etc. Faith is the belief, spirituality is the connection or action. That’s how I see it.
What are some examples of trials and tribulations you faced in your life that made you want to clinch onto your faith?
In 2014 while sitting in my super comfy position as Senior Vice President of Marketing at a major label, my mother was faced with some health issues. She lived in another state and not being with her was heartbreaking. Leaving that position and the career I had work so hard for was an incredibly scary option, one that many people, including my mother, told me I’d be crazy to do.
But my faith reminded me of God’s promise to provide for me and be a healer for my mother. I left that job, and moved to Atlanta with my mom for 1 year. I had no job, no trust fund or real savings to rely on, and what is now The Ayars Agency was just a “side hustle” that I funneled passion projects through. I relied solely upon my faith (and hustle) to believe that this “side hustle” could give me the financial stability I needed while continuing to fuel my passion for marketing and management.
And true to his word, I’ve never gone without, and The Ayars Agency has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
How did you handle these trials and what made you not fully give up?
I took it day by day, reminded myself of the bigger picture and worked really hard to balance my responsibilities to my family, along with my responsibilities to myself. Faith was the key factor in my decision to leave that job and move to another city without a plan. But, I had to put in the work and develop a plan to continue my career and create an income once I got to Atlanta. Faith without work is dead!
What advice would you give other women based on your belief?
The biggest piece of advice would have to be that you can’t rely on Faith without putting in the work. You can’t pray about something or ask God for a blessing, then sit back and just wait for it. You have to put in some work and be prepared to receive what your asking for.
How has your faith help propel you in this industry?
Being a woman in this very male dominated industry is hard. Being a woman, and an entrepreneur in this industry is even harder. My faith has helped my confidence in both of those areas.
My faith reminds me that I am supposed to be in those rooms and have seats at those tables because God said so. Because my steps are ordered and I can do all things through him. My fearlessness in business has helped propel me in this industry and my fearlessness is a direct result of my faith.
How has your faith guided you throughout life and other opportunities within your career?
I always say one of my greatest gifts is my gift of discernment. I think I have a really great sense of judgement and use it both in my personal and professional life. My faith allows me to be confident in that gift which helps my decision making within my friendships, business opportunities, potential clients, finances, and so much more.
What does it mean to you to be an empowered woman of faith?
Being an empowered woman of faith, means that you use your faith as the foundation for your confidence, drive, strength, and hustle.