10K Saturday with Ash Burns!
Lulu: Hi everyone, and welcome to #10KSaturday, and actually Alison and I are together on this one. Staring at each other in the face. Intently.
Alison: Really? Don’t blink.
Lulu: I won. (Laughter) It’s 10k Saturday, and we have a really special guest for this one. Who is it?
Alison: It is our producer, Ash Burns.
Ash: Hi guys…
Lulu: So excited. So just to let you guys know, this is 10K Saturday. If you are looking for our full episodes that involve our really strange imaginary luxury travel days, then look for those full episodes. If you’re here for twenty minutes or so — ish — with Ash, then we’re going to take her through the 10k five.
Alison: Oh, I like that. That’s good.
Lulu: I just made that up. Is it actually five? Obsession, wishlist, ten thousand, charity, happy. Five.
Alison: Five things.
Lulu: Hey guys, I just created a thing. It’s the 10k five.
Ash: This chair is so squeaky. I’m so sorry.
Alison: It’s totally fine. (Laughter) We normally ask our guests about themselves, so Ash, what do you do?
Lulu: Great interview technique. The widest, most open-ended question… so Ash, tell us a story.
Ash: Well, I will tell you a story, actually, because this kind of leads into what I do. The last time I gave an interview, the only other time, I was working on a film doing costume design, three months in, eighteen hour days, and was asked on the very last day to give a behind-the-scenes feature interview about my process. At this point I was sleep deprived and overworked — at one point I put on a hat I had made and tried to do an accent and give a character… I’m not going to say the name of this film because I don’t want anyone to go look this up and find this interview, so to say I’m nervous about this interview is an understatement. (Laughter) Because I don’t do this.
Alison: She normally works behind the scenes.
Lulu: (in a random non-specific accent) But today, we’re going to do accents! (Laughter)
Ash: I’m going to leave that to the performers.
Alison: Because I’m so good at accents.
Lulu: You’re the queen of them.
Alison: Well, then, let’s get right to it.
Lulu: Well, I think we should tell people first — you guys should know that this podcast could not run of its own machine engine unless Ash was at the helm.
Ash: I like what you said earlier. That you guys are the lightbulbs and I’m the chandelier. I liked that. I want to be the chandelier at Tiffany’s, though.
Alison: (singing just like Sia. Just like her.) The chandeleeeheeeeee….
Lulu: (singing … but not in any way like Sia) The chandeleeeheeeeee….
Ash: I’d definitely swing from the chandelier. That’s very apt.
Lulu: Alison and I kind of limped along for the first five months, kind of on hope and prayer, and amazingly, some of you started to listen to us, even back then, so thank you for being along for the ride — and then five or six months into having the podcast and realizing that we were getting listeners that didn’t know us personally — that was a big one for us — we decided to ask Ash. We were actually on vacation with you, and all of a sudden we were thinking, wait, she’s really organized, she likes to travel, she likes to be in contact with people and be business-y, she has a great sense of marketing and design and art and all of these kind of things, and we said, maybe she should be our producer. PS, we have no money to pay you. (Laughter) Do you want a passion project?
Alison: And she said…
Lulu: So immediately, as soon as Ash came onboard, if you’ve been listening to us from the beginning, you probably saw how the momentum of our podcast really kind of took speed. And all of a sudden we were, you know, people were sending us emails and we were actually following up with them. That was a plus. Alison and I would have big picture ideas, and then someone would actually make them happen instead of us just saying them out loud and being like, “that’d be cool.” (Laughter)
Ash: It would be cool, and here it is, in the flesh.
Lulu: It’s so awesome to have Ash on board because we can be like, “Ashley, do you think this would be a good idea?” And then she’ll either say no, and we go oh, okay, or she goes, yeah, let me work on that, and then all of a sudden —
Alison: We’ll get a spreadsheet.
Lulu: And then she goes, did you read my email? And Alison and I go — (they make creaking, thinking noises) — I mean, I opened it… I knew it was from you…
Alison: Which one? (Laughter)
Ash: We’re a work in progress.
Lulu: We’re figuring it out. But Ash, publicly I want to say we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without you.
Ash: Aw, shucks. Thanks, guys. My Southern roots coming through there. See? I got an accent in there without even trying.
Lulu: That’s what we do. We just open it up for natural conversation. It takes us a little while, but we’ll get you there, eventually. So, we have a few questions for you. We call them the 10k five.
Ash: How much of this are we cutting?
Ash: As your producer, can we get it under twenty minutes?
Lulu: Oh no, she has producer power and she has guest power. This was a mistake. All right, you gonna ask her a question, Ali?
Alison: Yeah, what’s your obsession?
Ash: Okay, guys, I didn’t even have to think about this one, which is great. I do personal styling and personal shopping, and I had used this for a long time, and started getting this for some of my clients, and it’s called Box of Style. It’s by Rachel Zoe, she has a seasonal subscription kind of thing, and you get four hundred dollars worth of beauty and fashion products for a hundred dollars each box.
Lulu: A month?
Ash: It’s every season, which is kind of nice, because sometimes when you get something every month, it’s too much stuff.
Lulu: That’s only a hundred dollars a quarter?
Ash: Yeah. It’s four hundred dollars a year. One of my favorite things is —
Alison: Wait, you can keep it?
Ash: Yes, you can keep it! You keep all of it.
Lulu: I know you’re trying to describe it, but we are really lost in the very basic parts of this.
Ash: I realized that. I was going too fast.
Lulu: It’s relatively cheap.
Ash: It’s four hundred dollars a year, and you get sixteen hundred dollars worth of stuff — at least — for four hundred dollars a year.
Alison: What was in your last box?
Ash: A silk scarf, the one I wore in my hair the other day, that was awesome, it’s by Chan Luu — it’s super cute, and my favorite Edible Beauty gold eye cream.
Lulu: Edible eye cream?
Ash: No. I’m sorry. Let me repeat myself. The brand is Edible Beauty, and it’s their gold eye cream. (Laughter)
Lulu: I was like, that’s a waste of eye cream.
Alison: I was like, um, that’s a weird fetish, to have someone be like (tongue sounds) on your eyes.
Lulu: Is that a lot of carbs? Because I’m keto…
Alison: Close your eyes. Close your eyes. Can I lick your eyes? Close your eyelids (another tongue sound. Kind of like a frog.)
Ash: So it’s great, and I will put a link in the 10k Saturday blog, because it’s amazing.
Alison: We know you will. (Laughter) I’m going to do that.
Ash: You should. It’s like a quick update. And that’s even me, I shop for a living, but it’s still nice to get something that someone picked out for you. You’re like, oh, this is amazing. Or use it as a gift. Your tote bag from Christmas. That came in that box, and I was like, I already have a blush pink leather tote bag. So I’m giving you this one that came with my Box of Style.
Lulu: This is going to sound like it’s a plug and a marketing ploy, but it’s really not. We have banners for that on our blog, correct?
Lulu: So they can actually just go to one of our blog posts that Ash puts so many hours into, just for you people.
Ash: Lovingly. It sounds like I didn’t like it.
Lulu: I know that’s one of the advertisers we have on there, so you can just click on that.
Ash: Yup, you can click on that, or 10k Saturday, we’ll have it other places too. So that’s my obsession.
Alison: I love it. So now what’s your wishlist?
Ash: I would wish for ten more wishes.
Lulu: Oh, you’re one of those.
Ash: I listen to the episode every week, and you guys are talking about your wishlists, and I have no idea how I’d pick one. I would wish for so many things.
Lulu: Don’t get stressed out about this being the wish of all wishes —
Ash: — the final answer? That’s what it felt like.
Lulu: — just — right now.
Ash: I want laser hair removal, but I don’t want to go into a place to do it, and I’ve noticed on Instagram I get these ads for do-it-yourself at home —
Alison: — lasers?
Ash: But it’s a little cute machine, and you just click a button a bunch of times and it slowly removes your hair… (pause) You heard the break in my voice, because I got nervous just thinking about it. Apparently it hurts when you go in and get it done in a center.
Alison: And it doesn’t when you do it yourself?
Lulu: With a machine you bought from Instagram?
Ash: I have an idea. One of you Instagram hair removal ads sponsor 10k Dollar Day, and we will try your product. And by “we,” I mean maybe me, because Lulu and Alison look freaked out.
Alison: I don’t know if I’d try anything with lasers…
Ash: But here’s the thing — you would never have to shave, ever again.
Alison: But maybe you would get third degree burns and then have to have skin grafts. (Laughter) That would be worse.
Ash: Clearly I’d be the one to test it.
Ash: How about this? Just hair free-ness.
Alison: Wish for hair free-ness! (Laughter)
Lulu: Oh, you’re gonna regret that one.
Ash: I already do.
Lulu: I’m gonna make that a GIF for the kids. (Laughter)
Alison: Just a completely bald Ashley, no eyebrows, no hair anywhere. It’ll be good.
Ash: Dying. Half with embarrassment, half with laughter.
Lulu: I’m gonna ask you a question. It’s gonna involve some money. I think you might know where this is heading.
Ash: It’s like I’ve listened to seventy-one, seventy episodes…
Lulu: But here’s the fun part. We actually haven’t said this specifically, but on 10k Saturday, sometimes our guests just buy something with their ten thousand dollars. So it’s open. It’s a completely open-ended question. What would you do with ten thousand dollars today?
Alison: Today. Has to be gone today.
Ash: I would spend the money to go somewhere for months, and by “somewhere,” I mean a Spanish-speaking country so I could finally finish learning Spanish.
Alison: Oh, I like that.
Ash: I would use the money to live in a country for — let’s see, ten thousand dollars — that could get me somewhere for three months, maybe? Peru, Ecuador?
Lulu: If you go to South America where it’s cheaper, absolutely.
Ash: Probably one of those. That’s what I would do. Because, one, you get to travel, awesome, but also I could finish learning something I’ve been trying to do since I was like three. That’s what I would do. Learn a language, travel.
Ash: Muy bueno.
Lulu: Muy bueno. I can’t speak Spanish.
Ash: Most of the things I know how to say are not very nice. Because my mother would say them to me. My mother speaks Spanish, so — (laughter)
Alison: I just know how to say inanimate objects like puerta and boligrafo, lapis, zapato…
Lulu: What’s boligrafo?
Alison and Ash: Pen.
Ash: Zapato is shoe.
Alison: Puerta — door.
Ash: All I know is “¡Que te pasa contigo!”, which when said aggressively is my mother saying “what the hell is the matter with you?”
To clarify, Ash’s mother taught her much more than just the bad words and aggressive phrases. Her stories of growing up in South America are what inspired Ash to become the travel-and-culture-obsessed, eventual-expat she is today.
Lulu: I think Contigo is a brand of water bottle.
Ash: I have their little thermos.
Lulu: So ten thousand dollars: travel, Spanish immersion. I like all of that. I’m going to ask you — and you don’t have any papers in front of you, so I’m very confused because you’re so organized, and yet you know all of this off the top of your head, and I feel like, how can you live in both worlds at the same time… but if you had a nonprofit or charity to support with ten thousand dollars, who would you give it to?
Ash: That is really hard, because I like to do some research and pick a new charity every year to donate a chunk to at the end. One I support monthly is JDRF, which is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I have a family member that has type one diabetes, and I do believe there is a cure, and that is what I’m going for, what my money goes to.
Alison: I love that. Perfect. Ash, you’re good at this!
Ash: Am I really?
Alison: So tell us what your happy is.
Ash: My happy is I get to be here with you guys, because you are my friends, and it’s fun to all three be together at the same time, in the same room. I hear your voices every week listening to the episode multiple times, so I feel like we’re hanging out all the time, but I saw Lulu today, and I was like, I haven’t really seen you in a couple of months. But it doesn’t feel like that. But to be all together feels really nice. And to be with my family — Alison’s kids are my nieces, and I love them, and it’s been fun. I get to play mom for a few days, give them back after a couple hours, once Alison’s slept an hour for the week. Then I hand them back over.
Lulu: We normally don’t do host happies on a 10k Saturday, but because Ash is here and this is literally #team10k that’s sitting in this room, I think that I would like to know what your happy is too.
Alison: okay. I didn’t think about it before. My happy is that we’re on final countdown for Sweden. It makes me happy. And the fact that we got to talk about it tonight and plan a few things… I’m trying to build my Sweden fund so we can do some fun things. That’s my happy. I’m excited. I can’t believe it’s a month away.
Ash: I can’t either. That’s blowing my mind.
Alison: It’s crazy.
Lulu: My happy is the amount of possible gigs that we have in our calendar right now — which, when I say “possible gigs,” what you guys need to know is we just sat here for hours and Alison would just say dates of potential festivals that we’re going to apply for, and that she is applying for, and that’s what we need our Patreon funds for, because it’s between fifteen and fifty for each application. I don’t think we’re going to book all of them, guys, don’t worry, but it is exciting to look at our calendar, because — this is an old freelancing trick — you put them all in your calendar so you know if anything conflicts, or if I book job A, then I definitely have to pull myself out of the running of B and C… that is in my blood from freelancing. So we have put all of them in our group calendar, and right now it looks like we are booked and blessed.
Ash: Yeah, which is great. We’ll take it.
Lulu: We will tell you guys if any of those pan out. Everyone, I’m so glad that you got to meet Ash. Don’t forget that every Wednesday, those full episodes drop. Thank you so much for being here. We’re going to end this the way we end every 10k Saturday. Bye!
Ash: Okay, bye!