Ashley Rector Quimby Digital
Ashley Rector, founder of Quimby Digital. (Credit: Courtesy of Quimby Digital)

In 2019, a mental health crisis led Ashley Rector to the conclusion that while her day job provided stability, she needed to do something she was passionate about – if only for her mental well-being. That year, the Cleveland, Ohio, entrepreneur launched Quimby Digital, a digital marketing agency that helps fellow female founders grow and manage their social media feeds. Rector and her team focus on those who have limited funding for digital marketing initiatives, and whose projects they believe in. For her, it’s crucial that clients feel as though they are getting her full attention and gaining knowledge they can carry with them as they scale their businesses – and expand their follower counts. 

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

At Quimby Digital, we prioritize innovation and deep-rooted collaboration. While many in our industry deliver a one-size-fits-all solution, we invest time in truly understanding our clients’ unique narratives, tailoring strategies that resonate with their audience. By intertwining data-driven insights with creative prowess, we provide not just results, but meaningful, sustainable growth for brands that choose to journey with us.

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

Our recent work with a FemTech app stands as a testament to Quimby Digital’s prowess in the evolving digital landscape. In crafting a TikTok campaign that went viral, we didn’t just witness growth – we saw an explosion of user engagement and app downloads. This achievement not only elevated our client’s brand but also reinforced our belief in the power of creative, timely, and resonant content.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

Scaling has been incredibly interesting – and difficult. It is like a puzzle that needs to be completed over and over again, because the needs are ever-evolving.

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?

While I was an attorney, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and hospitalized for three days. I had reached a point of burnout. At the time, I had launched a digital and print magazine dedicated to sharing the stories of women from around the world. As such, I was essentially working two full-time jobs. I reached my mental limit, and I knew I had to make a change. Was I going to follow my passion, or keep the safety net of being an attorney? I went with the former, to prioritize my mental health. It was the best decision I ever made.

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Hire people who are smarter than you. Some entrepreneurs fall in the trap of thinking they are the smartest people in their business. I learned a long time ago that everyone on our team has something to teach me.

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

Honestly, I think about how far we have come. But I also have two young children at home, and a hug from them, or the glimmer in their eye as they enjoy something as simple as watching the rain clouds pass over the sky – really grounds me.

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days? 

It depends. Sometimes it’s a rap song, like “I Don’t Get Tired” by Kevin Gates, or something alternative, like “The Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine. 

Who is your most important role model?

My father. He taught me about entrepreneurship when I was very young. He launched his business when I was born, and sold it years later. It was the best education I could have hoped for. ◼

Instagram: @quimbydigital

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