Woman in a grey shirt sitting and smiling with two girls
Ashley from Florida
Raising The New Generation In A More Sustainable World

Meet the Moms: Introducing Ashley

Meet Ashley from Florida

Ashley is a stay-at-home mom of two precious girls Reya and Rose. She's passionate about dancing, sustainability, and thinks that there is nothing more powerful than a group of women genuinely and fiercely supporting each other. You can follow her on Instagram @millenialmamas.

What’s your name? Any nickname?

Ashley Rietz, I get called Ash frequently. Not by choice, but what else do Ashleys get? lol. 

Live in? Grew up in?

Currently living in Florida. This was the last stop for my parents before they retired from the military, so I grew up everywhere from Germany to Guam to California :) 

You’re the mom of...

Two sweet & feisty little women: Reya, 3 and Rose, 9 months.

Woman in a grey shirt sitting and smiling with two girls

Ashley, Rose and Reya

What made you want to be more careful about things you were buying for your house or your kids? Was there an “aha” moment or specific event?

I watched a documentary on Netflix about fair-trade, and it covered the details of the lives of people that work in the sweatshops. The documentary also talked about how the material for our clothes & food are cultivated using pesticides and how sick even some of the field workers can get spraying and harvesting the materials or food we eat. In short, the documentary was an eye-opening moment for me, because I was completely ignorant to this process--as I'm sure many people are. It made me care more about where the necessities I fill my home with were coming from because it's not just my life or my children's lives that are affected by my choices of consumption.

How did you get started? What were the first few changes you made?

I first went into a Google frenzy trying to find lists that showed free-trade retailers and even grocery store chains. I'm a mama on-the-run, so one of the services I frequented was pickup/ delivery grocery services. After discovering the primary service I was using was not listed as a fair-trade grocery chain I immediately switched to another in the area that is. Then, not long after Upchoose found me :)

What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?

I can't say I see any immediate difference in my life or health, but the confidence of knowing that I'm making the right decisions for my family in the long-run is the most fulfilling part of making each switch.

Any tips you'd like to share with moms who just heard about these issues and trying to figure out their first steps?

Do the research. We spend so much time scaring ourselves prior to our babies' arrivals looking up things that are not always even relevant to how we care for them or how we provide for them. Take time away from searching all the ways your baby can come out with extra toes and start researching the little things we didn't think mattered, like where we source our clothes and baby products from.

You picked a preloved set on UpChoose, what made you pick that set in particular?

To be honest, I'm not fully sure. The way I've survived with both of my girl's clothing has always been either by grandparent gifts or by getting "preloved" clothing from other mamas. I've always been in this kind of rotation of hand-arounds with other mamas near me, so I guess I was just going with what I'm accustomed to :)

Favorite outfit or item from your UpChoose set?

It's SO hard to choose because I love every piece in the set. It's between the wrap around onesies & the 'MINI' romper for me. Honestly, if there was one in my size I would rock it, too, haha!

Ashley' daughter

Rose wearing her mama's favorite outfit from her UpChoose Baby Set.

What’s most exciting to you about being part of the UpChoose community and what are the most important things we can help you achieve?

The most exciting part for me is the feeling of being involved in something bigger than just buying clothes. Knowing that has been the reason I can't seem to shut up about UpChoose anytime I'm out around moms now. You all are helping me not have a build up of clothes in my home, as well. Before I would store them in the attic where eventually they'd get damaged or forgotten. Now with UpChoose, I use when we need to, then send them back when we don't anymore. Such an easy, stress-free process for me.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Oh that's hard. Mamas need all the super powers don't we? If I had x-ray vision I could see when my toddler is up to something mischievous; If I could move faster I'd have everything done before dawn and spend the day relaxing with my family, haha. If I had to choose one, maybe I could multiply myself and be in multiple places at once. That way I'd still be getting everything done and at least one of me could be relaxing on a beach somewhere. 

Favorite movie?

That's hard, too. I'm a dancer, so I LOVE dance movies! They notoriously have terrible plotlines, but the choreographed sequences can be so phenomenal that you can't keep from dancing while you're watching it! Like the old & new version of 'Footloose,' or the Step UP movies, or Center Stage! I love them all ❤️

Favorite song?

I don't think I have one all-time favorite. I love the different moods that you can feel with different styles & genres. Just listening to a song can completely change how I'm feeling that moment, and I love it. One for me right now is "Lights down low" by Max. I still cannot pinpoint what it is about it, but I when it comes on I'm instantly moving. I can't hear or see anything else going on around me, it's magic....which I can tell you has confused my children and husband on more than one occasion haha.

Dream place for a vacation?

Spain. The weather, the culture, the food. It always just seems so perfect & romantic.

Favorite dish?

Mmm. Anything with good flavor, really; BUT I can eat a spicy veggie burger ANY DAY, now. I'm obsessed.

Ashley's pick: UpChoose Baby Set, 9-12 months, Warm Weather, Clothes-only set, Classic style.

If you want to learn more about the UpChoose community, our sustainable baby clothes solution, react to this article, or be featured, drop us a note at hello@upchoose.com!