Growing up in the Western Cape, Ashleigh Battle, founder and owner of The Lot and Third Eye Wear, has always had a deep love for fashion.
“From as young as I could remember, and certainly before I could read, I would make my grandmother take me with her to the hairdresser so I could page through the international fashion magazines in the waiting room. Once I was old enough to get an allowance I would spend it entirely on old issues of Vogue Magazine.”
Ashleigh describes how she would study every detail of the editorials and campaigns over and over again before safely stashing them away.“I loved to dress up and I loved to look different. I would cut up and customise my clothes to make them unique and I would get frustrated when I couldn’t find the things I wanted to wear in stores.”
How to build your own career
It was at this point, Ashleigh Battle decided to turn her passion into a business idea and embrace the path of entrepreneurship.
“I wanted to curate a fashion store that didn’t sell ‘safe’ styles or basics, but rather sold unique items in sale quantities.”
A store that didn’t have to have something for everyone but would rather be specialised and cater for people like me – unapologetically different people who were happy to embrace and celebrate their uniqueness.”
After finishing school, Ashleigh began studying towards a business degree at the University of Cape Town, but soon realised it was not what she was created to do. As a result, she worked as a DJ until she saved up enough capital to open her first store in 2016.
“The point arrived where I had to take a huge risk before finishing my degree, but I dropped out and the rest has been a whirlwind of late nights, early mornings, trips around the world, constant planning, designing and working relentlessly to build my brand.”
Embracing an education suited to a busy lifestyle
In between her jet-setting lifestyle, Ashleigh Battle decided she wanted to further her education, but returning to university was not an option due to her changing whereabouts constantly.
“I decided I wanted to study a course in Property Development as it’s been an interest of mine for some time. I like the idea of incorporating my knowledge of fashion into lifestyle and interior spaces and I have a few property projects I’m involved in on the side. GetSmarter provided me with an amazing platform to further my education while juggling my fast-paced lifestyle.”
Since taking the property investment course, Ashleigh Battle has started investing her time on some new retail and property projects, in the hope of leveraging her design talents in the form of property design and management.
“I found the course to be very practical and I learnt so much from it, and I’ve now formalised my approach to property investment. Next, I want to do the Interior Design course so I can learn to use the SketchUp software effectively.
My advice for others is do it now. There’s no time like the present. Either way the time will pass and if you study that course you’ve been interested in, then you are guaranteed to better yourself.”
Ashleigh Battle took the leap and gained the skills she needed to become a successful entrepreneur.
Are you ready to do the same?