At almost 30 years of age, Ashley Love-Mills has more than enough talent, energy and beauty to go around. It was at the premature age of 3 that Ashley knew where her true passion lied. As she blossomed into a woman, so did her passion for other things. After being the 5th African American to win Miss North Carolina, handpicked by Tyler Perry for a leading role on his television show to countless modeling opportunities, Ashley is on the rise and doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
Some may argue that it is impossible for one to truly know what their passion is as a child. However, Ashley knew even then that she was something of a different caliber. Having a father who served in the military, we can only imagine how stern and disciplined he was during her early upbringing. I asked Ashley if her parents were as artsy as she was and she explained that they weren’t. She described them as being very traditional, disciplined, far from social butterflies and the complete opposite of her artsy personality.
In 2013, Ashley was titled the 5th African American to win Miss North Carolina. Can you imagine how much of an honor that had to be? After being crowned, the announcer asked Ashley, “How do you feel?” with so much excitement and emotion, she cried out that she didn’t know how to feel and that all of her hard work had finally paid off. She ended by saying, “Miss USA, here I come!” Although Ashley viewed her pageant career as temporary amongst her other life goals, she feels as though it prepared her for what was to come.
In May 2016, Ashley was at a point in her acting career where she was ready to temporarily pause. After going to many auditions and getting call backs, going through screen tests but wasn’t booking, she felt discouraged. After having her agent tell her not to take a break but to keep at it, she decided to get out of her own way and auditioned for Tyler Perry’s television show, “Too Close To Home”. Almost a week later, she got the call that she would be reading for the role of Valerie. Unaware of how impressed Tyler Perry was when he saw her tape, he shared with her that she was the ONLY person reading for the role of Valerie at her call back, he mentioned that when he saw her tape he knew that she was “Valerie”.
Although her professional life seemed to suddenly be on the up and up, Ashley was dealing with some things that affected her personal life. During this time, Ashley’s father (whom was living with her at the time) was battling cancer, in which he’d been living with for quite some time. It was while he was in hospice care that Ashley shared with him that she’d be on the show. Unable to speak, Ashley’s father expressed how happy he was through the brightness of his eyes and the tears that rolled down his face.
It is never easy to lose a loved one let alone a parent. Ashley knows that her father is beyond proud of her and is celebrating all of her accomplishments while in heaven.
Ashley doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. I asked her if she had any special projects coming up in 2018 that her fans could anticipate. She mentioned that she would begin filming for a new project but she wasn’t able to share with us too many details. Sounds like big things will be popping in 2018, that’s what we like to hear.
Did someone say Production Company? Don’t for a second think that Ashley has the time to sit around twiddling her thumbs eating Bon Bons. In 2016, Ashley started her own production company, Mustard Seed Film Entertainment. She mentioned to that every year they will be sponsoring a Veteran family for Christmas and anyone interested can submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is something about a woman who is able to stay in her own lane and confidently ride her own wave without falling into the pressure of what everyone else is doing. I asked Ashley, how she manages to stay true to herself when we live in a world where women on Instagram are all about being beat to the gods, wearing 40 inch weaves. Ashley shared that originality and staying true to yourself is what it is all about. She comes from a very diverse background with her mother being Filipino, White and Native America. Not being drawn in by the pressure of social media, Ashley stated that her talent speaks for its self and she is only focused on getting her coins.
Ashley is a woman who knows who she is and is confident in the path that she is walking in life. She is proof that anyone who is passionate, driven, dedicated, and committed will go far in their pursuit to happiness. Ashley’s advice to the young black girl who is afraid of getting out there to live her dream, “be honest with yourself, network with those doing what it is that you want to do, and don’t be afraid of rejection”.
Keep up with Ashley on IG @AshleyLoveMills