Ashleigh Downer, HEYDAY girl

What do you hope customers experience at HEYDAY/KNAPSACK?

My goal is that every person who walks in our stores feels welcome – but not just in the Webster’s definition sense, but rather, “welcome” in the fullest capacity. I want the space we create to make someone stop in their tracks, take a deep breath, and slow down. Small businesses have a leg up when it comes to space – not physically, of course, but there is this opportunity we have to invite people, new and familiar, into a place we have cultivated intentionally to maximize their potential – whether that be for fashion, for their home, or for the stellar gifts they’re on the hunt for. The presence our girls exude is so unique – we’re a one-of-a-kind experience, and I’m so proud of it.

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What does it mean to be a HEYDAY girl?

To represent a team of women I am proud to work alongside and chase dreams with, whether they be dreams for the store, for our lives, or for the world. I love us, our presence in our local community, and the foundational things we stand for. We’re forces to be reckoned with, and we look good doing it.

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How was your style transformed since working at HEYDAY?
My style has been ever-evolving since taking those first fateful steps into HEYDAY some 14 odd months ago. As I encounter new styles and get exposure to items I never would have chosen for myself that I get put on for our shoots, I’ve really expanded my closet. We always like to joke about how I went braless for a shoot once, and ever since, have basically cast aside any societal obligation to bras I was previously defined by. I’ve really surprised myself.

ash-48What is a typical day in the life of Ashleigh look like?

Let’s see. Dodge the mice in my kitchen on the way to my coffee pot. Watch Netflix as I curl my hair on my bedroom floor. Make myself one egg, over-easy, and a slice of toast – without fail. Send the flu, even the plague, but I will never forsake breakfast. Sit my ass down in a classroom for too long (Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m unendingly thankful for my education), then end up somewhere in Old Town for dinner with friends before heading home to catch up with the roomies. If it’s the weekend, I’m always trying to go some place new, hunting down the next best cold brew and cinnamon roll combination. If they’re under the same roof, I’m moving in permanently.

ash-69What was your most memorable outfit as a kid?

Although not an accurate predictor of my style now, I can never seem to forget this purple velvet outfit with sparkle details on the collar I had when I was probably somewhere around 8 years old. A young girls Juicy Couture Velour Track suit equivalent, if you will. This massive rainstorm came through Virginia, and my parents watched as I quite literally rolled in the gutter in front of our home as a raging river roared past. That velvet became so heavy and my mom has footage of me on those old tape recorders, grainy quality and all, pulling my pants up as I ran back and forth through this torrential down pour. It’s either that or the horrid private school uniform. Still waiting for the preppy inspiration to make its comeback from my traumatized wardrobe.

ash-95What has been your biggest takeaway from working at HEYDAY/KNAPSACK?

Gosh, people are incredible. Even people I would claim to know relatively well amaze me with these hidden talents! As our team has taken on this creative initiative, I have witnessed an imagination and determination that could move mountains. When you know the heart of a mission, your commitment to that mission, to that vision, is transformed, and you’re willing to go above and beyond to bring it to life. And that transcends to every area of life – its beautiful and humbling, and I am infinitely grateful to experience it in my job.

ash-104What made you want to work at HEYDAY/KNAPSACK?

I was looking for a job, and I honestly didn’t care what the job was initially. I just knew I wanted to work with people and for people in a place that echoed kindness and fun. I walked into HEYDAY, ended up chatting with Jen, and knew this was the place for me – assuming she’d hire me. Full disclosure, she totally did and continues to put up with every crazy thing that is me.

ash-120What’s the worst trend you have participated in?

Oh my god. Headbands. They did nothing for my forehead. ash-128What items can you not buy enough of when shopping?

Candles. OMG. And anything involving stationery. If I had a desk, it would be the most well-stocked, heavenly smelling productive space in all of Colorado. However, if and when I do homework, I sit on the floor or my couch. I’ve also been very good at buying “statement” pieces lately, or at least justifying pieces as the foundational, timeless ones that I will have for the rest of my life.

ash-136What item can you not stop thinking about currently on our shelves/racks?

I went all out and bought our Dusty Rose Crossbody Tote by ABLE, and actually cannot stop looking at it. I use it for school, coffee dates, the occasional romantic date I fool someone into, and every opportunity I get to go anywhere. I love it. I don’t put it on the ground, I put it on my car seat, and sometimes…I even stick my face in it because it smells so good. How weird is this getting? Okay, I’ll leave that there.

ash-144Who is your style icon & why?

Man, that is an excellent question. The Olsen girls slay. Kendall Jenner is a dream. However, a few friends have dubbed my fashion a la Harry Styles as of late. I definitely take inspiration from my time abroad in college – relying on black, street and sleek, with the occasional hint of REI.

ash-158When you go to create an outfit, what’s the first thing you pull?

Denim. For all of time. End of discussion.

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Ashleigh’s Look No. 1 / Just Black Denim Jeans, Gentle Fawn Body Suit, Levi’s Ex Boyfriend Jacket, Free People Booties, TOMS sunglasses

Ashleigh’s Look No. 2 / Just Black Denim Jeans, Semi-Nice TeeLevi’s Ex Boyfriend Jacket, ABLE Tote, Free People Booties

Photography Allison Song

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