Hey guys, my name is Ashleigh Derby, + I am the proud creator of Dot + Dash Boutique. In an effort to be more transparent to all of you, I have decided to add a blog to the Dot + Dash brand. I am in no way a writer or an expert in punctuation, so run on sentences will definitely be a theme going forward + I can definitely own that. I will do my best to keep these posts lighthearted, honest + consistent. I am looking forward to starting a new chapter with Dot + Dash and truly hope you can jump on here for a good laugh, to fulfill some curiosity or to just momentarily escape reality.
Like the Dot + Dash brand this blog will basically feature all things shopping, coffee, wine + dogs. By “dogs” I mainly mean Hayden (my dog), but I am sure we will have some featured guests over time + with the wine there may also be some prosecco stories involved. I am completely okay with embarrassing myself, so I will commit to providing you with truthful stories about me and/or unnamed loved ones.
Let’s kick this off with some basic Dot + Dash knowledge. I get asked the question a lot, “where did you name come from?” A little back story about me, I LOVE to name everything!! All objects, frequent wildlife visitors, my cars, my vacuum, anything + everything I can name, I will. I have two stipulations when naming an item + as long as one can be fulfilled, then the name typically sticks. One of the two stipulations that can be met is based on the first letter of the object, must be the first letter of the name. This is mainly true with our inanimate objects, like our cars or our vacuum. I have more than enough examples, so here are a few:
- -Vintage Viv the Vespa (pictured below)
- -Rhi Rhi the Roomba
- -Savvi the Schwinn
- -Andi the Acura
- -Trixii the Tacoma
So, as you can see the letters are always consistent + in my mind that makes the name “acceptable.” It is a weird thing I have to do.
The second stipulation that can be met is the name has to have a true meaning behind it. The name has to come from something I love or is associated with me or a family member in some way. For example, our dog, Hayden Olivia. We are huge Iowa Hawkeye football fans + for anyone who knows anything about Iowa football, this is an easy one. Hayden was named after the legendary football coach, Hayden Fry. He coached the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1979-1998 + had some incredible seasons. However, the not so easy part of Hayden’s name is Olivia, which is actually after the Olive Ct in Iowa City. Although it does not still stand true today, Olive Court used to be a huge tailgating spot before the football games. Due to construction, this is no longer the case. Peep puppy Hayden below + follow her on Instagram @haydentheminidood. Living creatures + bigger projects tend to have more meaningful names than vehicles + vacuums, which leads me to how I got the name for Dot + Dash Boutique.
When I came up with this crazy concept of opening a clothing boutique, I just KNEW the name had to have a meaning. My first thought immediately went to my grandmother, or Noni, as we called her, who passed away in 2010. She is very much missed + I thought this would be an excellent way to have a little tribute to her. My original thought for the boutique was “Mrs. A,” because those were her initials. Her first name was Mamie, middle initial R, last name Stanley + when she married, she kept Stanley + added Anderson. Since I am a practical thinker + a big dreamer, I immediately thought about how that name tied to me only feminine objects. Although I still wanted to some way honor my Noni, it just wasn’t working in my favor, because all I kept thinking was “Mrs. A.”
Now something else that is not so fun about me, is when I get my mind going on something it does NOT stop!! I am up all hours of the night trying to force my creative mind to come up with something perfect + this task was no different. I got stuck on the letter “A” because, well my name is Ashleigh + my Noni was Mrs. A. It is a bit of a stretch, but now this had TWO meanings, instead of just one! BONUS!!! Many, many, many hours of research, scouring + googling later, I came across the Morse code translator + THERE IT WAS!!! The letter “A” was a dot dash! So simple, so meaningful + so perfect for me!!! As I looked at the picture of the dot and dash next to each other I knew it needed just a little something more which is where the “and” kind of fell into place. Since we were working with symbols it all needed to match, because yes, I am a VERY consistent + matching person. That is where the plus sign came in instead of the word “and.” Everything clicked in that moment, I knew this was the name + I could hit the ground running…
The logo is a collaboration of my family’s creative mind coming together. The original logo (pictured below) I asked for feedback on was the words “Dot + Dash” with a small dot over the “o” and a line under the word “dash.” Zach, husband to be, suggested making the whole “O” a circle or dot. DING DING DING!!! Now we are getting somewhere + then my dad one upped him and said, just put the line under the “ASH” in “DASH” since your name is “ASHleigh.” You guys look at all the meaning in just one name. A name that at this point was just an idea in my head + the furthest thing from a reality.
But, with so much meaning in a name I had to make this dream come to life…