Multimedia journalist Ashley is a Millennial on the move. The reporter-writer-influencer was among a select number of journalists to be invited to the advance screening of the biopic of singer Bobby Brown that recently aired on the network.
When she’s not being courted by big brands, and attending posh events, she’s busy growing as a professional. Ashley Jae attended the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the only nationwide organization devoted to the personal development and nurturing of journalists of color.
Kreyolicious: When did the creative start manifesting in you?
Ashley Jae: I’ve always been a creative person…more than I ever realized it, especially as a kid. I remember as a kid, one of the first things I [aspired to be when] I grew up was [to be] a photographer. It’s funny because I actually do that now, along with other creative things.
As a kid, I was always involved in the arts: band, arts and crafts, drama, dance, chorus, and etc. But you know as you get older, adults, especially Haitians love to push the Doctor, Lawyer, Nurse Complex on you, so I strayed away from my creative side for a very long time.
I didn’t get back into until junior year of college and I never looked back at anything. Personally, the harder I tried to stay away from being a creative the harder it kept pulling me back.
Kreyolicious: How did you get the idea for Jaecation?
Ashley Jae: So I’m not really known for my “JAECATIONs” and much as I’m know more for my “JAESchool” work. For starters “JAE” is my brand. @AshleyJAE_ was my Twitter name for about 9 months before the “JAE” actually stood for anything.
One day I was brainstorming while doing my hair and “Journalism. Arts. Entertainment” just popped into my head. At the time, I was looking for opportunities and no one was opening the door for me, so I built my own.
From there, I started a blog called the “JAE School”, which chronicled the black life at my predominately white institution. It encompassed stories which was the Journalism, photos which was the Arts, and videos which was the Entertainment.
The JAE School blew up bigger that I expected throughout the black community around our campus and other campuses too. That’s all people would call me around campus: “Ms. JAE School,” “JAE SChool,” or “AshleyJAE”, but rarely by my real name.
I did not have a problem with it because it meant that I was doing something right with my brand. After college, it was hard to transition my blog, especially since it was so specific about school, into something that people would still care about.
So, I stopped blogging and started focusing more on me and my personal brand. At the time, I only felt comfortable sharing my vacation moments. So once again, I was doing my hair and getting ready for my vacation and the idea of “JAECATION” just popped up in my head.
It’s more of a play on word on “baecation.” Since then, I’ve definitely made it a more of a staple on my social media handles. So, people definitely look forward to seeing it.
Kreyolicious: So you’ve had stints at The Daily Beast and the US Dept of Interior. What did you learn from these career experiences?
Ashley Jae: Working with US Department of the Interior’s National Park Service, I served as a Public Affairs Assistant for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks and it was one of the most life-changing experiences.
With them, I was given a lot of creative freedom from digital and social media management standpoint while also learning a lot South Florida’s climate, wildlife, tourism and more, something I did not know I could care until I was fully submerged in it.
As a traveler, going to work everyday was new adventure and learning experience. I have come into contact with animals that many people would run from like snakes, alligators, birds, sea and regular turtles, coral, manatee, and etc.
Working there definitely lowered my fears of animals. Being able to work under two presidential administrations, you learn a lot about the government and what they really care about.
The Daily Beast was a completely different experience. I learned a lot of breaking news, social media tools and practices, and writing. The Daily Beast also gave me better access as a journalist. Both experiences taught me more about myself than anything.
I learned what pushes me and what doesn’t. I learned what type of career, I want and what type I do not. Which to me was the most rewarding experience of them all.
Last Updated on February 6, 2023 by kreyolicious