ashlee janelle


When talking to fellow creatives, we often wonder: HOW DO THEY DO IT? To prevent Instagram stalking or doom-scrolling to figure out their secret sauces and success stories, we prefer to ask them face-to-face. Today: an unfiltered conversation with ASHLEE JANELLE DANSO, FOUNDER of YOUNG / THE AGENCY, CREATIVE CONSULTANT, MODERATOR, and SPEAKER. Cover photo: courtesy of Ashlee Janelle, shot by Jules van Engers


Sneaking in her parents’ clothes, secretly plundering her mother’s jewelry box, and fighting with her sisters when they got mad at her for wearing their clothes: from a young age, Ashlee Janelle Danso knew she felt drawn to fashion. Working in fashion PR and styling for a couple of years, her entrepreneurial spirit took the upper hand. You might know Danso as a moderator, public speaker, creative consultant, and founder of YOUNG / The Agency. With no days alike, she prefers to start her mornings with a prayer to reflect, see things, be grateful for what is, and start the day with a calming moment. “After that initial moment, I grab my phone to see if there are any important calls, emails, or messages I need to respond to. I love breakfast, but I don’t always have the time to make it, so I mostly eat something small and start working on my to-do list for the day.”

Also, read: Sia Arnika: “As I get older, I feel more centered – and it shows in my designs”

Danso is a busy bee, with multiple projects that demand her attention simultaneously. In addition to Young The Agency, she recently launched “Ashlee Janelle Discovers” – a YouTube series in which she delves into successful fashion entrepreneurs’ stories to discover their secrets. While Danso wonders how they do it, that’s exactly what we want to learn about her. 

What has driven you to start YOUNG / The Agency? 

“In 2017, I worked as a Digital Influencer Manager at a PR agency. My role was to develop ways to tell a brand’s story and translate the strategic plans into creative concepts. I was good at getting things done and convincing people to collaborate with the brands we represented because of the community I had built for myself. When I left the PR agency, I knew I wanted to do this myself.”

How did you develop your new series, “Ashlee Janelle Discovers”?

“Last year, I felt a little bit stuck. I tried everything to get my fashion career to the next level, but nothing seemed to work. From getting rejected by fashion companies to companies having budget cuts as a side effect of COVID-19. I had to dig deep within myself and figure out what I wanted to do. I believe in the power of storytelling. Opening up to my audience about my journey and talking to successful fashion entrepreneurs about their keys to success felt like what I needed. That’s how I came up with the fashion series Ashlee Janelle Discovers. In the series, I genuinely try to discover what it takes to reach the top and hope to inspire others.”

What secrets do you wish to unravel with the concept?

“I’m not sure if it’s a secret I’m trying to unravel with the world, but what I hope to achieve with Ashlee Janelle Discovers is to help people gain a deeper knowledge of the fashion industry and themselves. What are you willing to do to reach the top? What is the top?”

These are just two of your projects. You work as a business owner, creative consultant, host, moderator, writer, and content creator. How do you combine these different tasks, projects, and jobs? 

“It all starts with having a clear overview. Most projects I work on are easy to combine because they all blend.”

Ashlee Janelle

What do you love doing most?

“Interviewing people because I genuinely love to connect with people who inspire me.”

How do you generate ideas and bring them to life?

“Most of the time, ideas come to me when I talk to people or go for a walk to clear my mind. I’m compassionate regarding my work, so I must see it visually before executing it. Every project is different, but I always start with research.”

Ashlee Janelle

What hiccups have you experienced in your career so far? What have they taught you about yourself or your way of working?

“I’ve experienced many hiccups, but they’ve always taught me to prioritize my projects. In the past, I would get so excited about other projects that I would pause mine. But now, I don’t do so anymore because I need to hold myself accountable at the end of the day.”

How do you stay present? 

“By praying and spending time with my fiance, family, and friends.”

What are you most proud of? 

“That I have always stayed true to myself.”