Relationships

Welcome, Ashley!

Ashley Ford, writer

Today, I’m so excited to introduce our new contributing writer, Ashley Ford. She’s made a couple cameos on Cup of Jo this year, when she wrote a beautiful essay about weighing more than her boyfriend and shared her fantastic week of outfits. We adore her funny, thoughtful way of looking at the world and were lucky enough to entice her to join our team this fall. I can’t wait to share more of her pieces with you. Here are some fun facts about her…

Her backstory:

Ashley grew up in Indiana, as the oldest of four children. (“I’m a born-and-bred Hoosier,” she says.) Since moving to New York three and a half years ago, she has worked for all kinds of places — big media companies, small media companies, foundations, arts non-profits, etc. She has contributed to publications including The Guardian, ELLE, BuzzFeed, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine and Refinery29, and she taught creative non-fiction writing at The New School. Now, she’s writing a book, hosting a TV show and two podcasts, and planning a wedding. “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but I’m enjoying myself,” says Ashley. She currently lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn, with her fiancé Kelly, all their books, and the one plant she has yet to kill. “Of course,” she says, “It’s a succulent.”

Lightning Round Q. & A.

Favorite book: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. But I love SO MANY books. I could go on and on and on.

TV obsession: I’m currently enjoying Stranger Things, but The Golden Girls is my forever jam. I will always love and watch it.

Favorite podcast: This is so hard! I listen to so many! Can I do a top three? Another Round, ReplyAll and The NoSleep Podcast.

A random pet peeve: Putting ketchup on fries instead of on the side. I have a thing about food-to-condiment ratios, and this ruins it from jump.

Next on her travel wish list: So many places. I actually didn’t have the resources, opportunities or confidence to travel much in my twenties, but I’m trying to make up for that now. A few days after we got engaged, Kelly and I left for a two-week trip in Italy. It was the most magnificent trip I had ever been on in my entire life. The food, the people, the hotels, THE WINE! I’ve always liked being on the go, but it’s hard when you don’t grow up in a family that travels. My parents have never been on an airplane. That’s something I’m really wanting to change over the rest of my life. I want everybody in my family to get on a plane, at least once.

What she makes for dinner when she’s home alone: A cheese plate. Before Kel and I lived together, I probably had cheese for dinner once a week. But he eats like a Midwesterner: meat, bread and beer.

Three New York recommendations: 1. Eat 2. People watch in Prospect Park. 3. Walk the bridges in the spring and fall.

Personal fun fact: I have an endless abiding love for Kenny Loggins.

A few more pics of Ashley…

Ashley Ford and her fiance Kelly

Ashley with her fiancé Kelly.

Ashley Ford in Rome

About to battle a tiger at the Colosseum in Rome.

Ashley Ford, writer

Trying out gold lipstick.

Ashley Ford, writer

At her desk at home.

Thank you so much, Ashley! We’re so excited to have you.

(Top portrait by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. Ashley and Kelly portrait by Gail Werner. Rome and lipstick photos from Ashley’s Instagram. Desk photo by Edith Young for Man Repeller.)

  1. Cindy says...

    I remember that piece that she wrote! SO glad she is joining Cup of Jo. Welcome Ashley!

  2. Loving the addition of Ashley. There are so many things to love about her (intelligence, wit, her devotion to The Golden Girls), but she really sealed with an abiding love for Kenny Loggins. Me too, girl. Me too.

  3. Sasha says...

    This is so exciting! Can’t wait to read more from Ashley :)

  4. Shannon Mocine-McQueen says...

    Finally, a women of color on the team! This is wonderful. As a loyal reader, and woman of color, this matters. Thanks ;)

  5. Wow this is so great! I loved that piece on she and her boyfriend! I’m so excited that she’s joined your team, cannot wait for more!!

  6. Claudia says...

    Awesome!!! Can’t wait to read more of your writing Ashley!!

  7. Heather says...

    So excited for Ashley to be joining the team! I hope more book reccomendations are coming ☺️

  8. Rae says...

    Whooo hooo! Great addition to a great team!

  9. Luisa says...

    I love your blog, I love Ashley becoming part of the team!
    Love from Germany :-)

  10. Callie says...

    Hooray, Ashley! I’ve read your work on other platforms and am excited that I’ll be seeing you on my favorite, CoJ. You’re a great addition to an already fabulous team! :) I’m jazzed that you mentioned Walk Two Moons! That was a pivotal book for me as a kid, got me really interested in reading and writing. My mom read the chapters aloud to me before bed, and I think it was really special to both of us. (Maya Angelou is also a top favorite! More book rec’s please!)

  11. Fiona says...

    I’m so psyched Ashley is joining one of my very favorite blogs. This is great in every regard!

  12. Tiffani Green says...

    I’m so thrilled about this! I loved the features she did here and I have also heard her on Dear Sugar and the Modern Love podcast. As a black woman it has always meant a lot to me that you regularly include content from women of color and this is another great step in that direction!

  13. Joanna says...

    Welcome, Ashley! PS: That gold lipstick is so amazing, and you should wear it every day!

  14. Sasha says...

    Joanna,
    I’ve been reading your blog for 10 years (!) and I have to say I love the new perspectives brought by all your hires. You continue getting more interesting and diverse, and I look forward to reading Ashley’s pieces.
    Is Ashley replacing Lexi while she’s on maternity break? I swear I am not a stalker, just remember Lexi’s recentish post that she was expecting a baby soon.

    • Sasha says...

      Also, I don’t know how I missed Ashley’s essay the first time it was posted, but I just read it, and it is so good!

  15. Megan Fisher says...

    I am SO excited to see this. Ashley, your essay spoke to me so much and seeing this announcement almost brought me to tears. I am so happy you’re part of the Cup of Jo team now. You’re amazing!!! Can’t wait to hear more from your voice and learn more about you. xoxo, Megan

  16. Carmen B. says...

    This is so exciting! I’ve been a fan of her since reading her contributions to Refinery29. I can’t wait to see what she brings to Cup of Jo.

    p.s.
    gold lipstick, yasss.

  17. Lisa says...

    Welcome Ashley! And I hear you on the fries / ketchup. Not only does it skew with ratio, but it makes them soggy before their time. What kind of person would do that?!

  18. Kirsten says...

    So exciting! I love her work.

    Also excited to see that she named Walk Two Moons as one of her favorite books–that book has haunted me since I read it in like 5th grade. So good.

  19. Barbara says...

    Walk Two Moons – That’s my favorite book too!! I read it once a year because it makes me so happy.

  20. brianna says...

    This is the best news! #goldengirlsforlife

  21. Bonnie says...

    I follow her on Twitter.
    She is Ah-MAY-zing!
    SOoooo glad she is writing for y’all.

  22. Welcome, Ashley! Kenny Loggins!! OMG me too, My sister and I used to jam out to “Conviction of the Heart”, his best work is on that Leap Of Faith album.

  23. DIANA says...

    Wow! Ashley is such a “get” – so excited to see how far this blog has come!

  24. Laura says...

    Walk Two Moons! Oh my gosh I LOVED that book when I was younger and could not have named it now, but I know there are still parts of it that I think about regularly. Great addition to the team – so looking forward to Ashley’s contributions!

  25. Megan says...

    You seem lovely! What a breath of fresh air. I’d love to be friends, although I’m intimidated by your literary prowess.

  26. Katie says...

    Awesome! I loved reading her essay you published about weight and her relationship, and it was very well received by my friends. Can’t wait to read more from her!

  27. Alice says...

    Ooh – lucky us! Amazing woman, clever and fresh and fun. Loved her essay, it affected me deeply, and I’m really looking forward to what she has to offer in future. This has made my week!

  28. Lindsey Petersen says...

    Woot woot! So delighted to read more from you Ashley!
    P.S. You are crushing it with the gold lipstick.

  29. Pumla says...

    It’s so good to see you here again Ashley.

  30. Stephanie says...

    Ashley, you seem enchanting! Welcome!

  31. Lauren says...

    Awesome news. Welcome, Ashley!

  32. Jess says...

    YES could not be MORE EXCITED. Ashley is already one of my favourite contributors.

  33. Emma says...

    Hooray! Welcome Ashley!

  34. Nicole Costello says...

    Welcome Ashley!
    I loved your article and so can’t wait to read more.

    Nicole

  35. As a longtime follower of Ashley’s instagram and R29 stories I AM THRILLED! Welcome, Ashley!

  36. KK says...

    This is great!!

  37. Valerie says...

    Great news! Can’t imagine anyone more awesome to join the team. Really looking forward to your writing, Ashley!

  38. Simge says...

    I loved her previous contributions. I am so happy that I will get to read more pieces by her yay! :) Hi Ashley!

  39. Wb says...

    What a charmer! Can’t wait to see more of her.

  40. Welcome Ashley!!!

  41. Katherine says...

    Yes! Ashely’s writing and style show truth and soul; she is a kindred spirit and I very much look forward to her posts!

    Also, Ashley in that gold lipstick = MEOW ?

  42. Megan from Canada says...

    This is THE BEST NEWS! Welcome welcome welcome, Ashley!!!

  43. Welcome, Ashley! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your previous pieces on COJ and can’t wait to learn more about you. Through the internet, you seem so cool and like someone I’d want to hang out with. :)

  44. Jessica says...

    Welcome and you look gorgeous in gold lipstick!

  45. s.montgomery says...

    Damn….things are about to get good up in here! So excited that Ashley’s on our team (The collective COJ team that is)!!!

  46. TAB says...

    Her favorite book is Walk Two Moons? What’s not to love?!!!! Welcome, Ashley. I’m so excited for you :)

  47. Meredith says...

    Oh my gosh, yessssss!!!! This is such amazing, wonderful news! Welcome, Ashley!

  48. Daynna Shannon says...

    I AM SO EXCITED I absolutely loved her essay and week of outfits and honestly, hers were the bar that I measured all others by. That’s the impression she made on me. I’m so happy she’s onboard! And I can’t wait to see her non-white perspective on so many things. I think that’s so important. Plus she’s frickin’ gorgeous!

  49. Yay! I started following Ashley on Instagram after reading her guest post on here before… so excited :) She is one busy gal! Good for her!! Didn’t know she was from Indiana like me hehe. That is definitely the Midwestern diet hahhahah bread, meat, beer.

    x

  50. Aya says...

    BEST NEWS!!!!!

  51. Cen Ong says...

    I love that essay that you wrote. Such a beautiful piece. I look forward to many more. Welcome Ashley!

  52. Elizabeth says...

    Welcome Ashley! Can’t wait to read more of your writing!

  53. Anonymous says...

    Welcome, Ashley!!

  54. Hilary says...

    Welcome, Ashley! I feel like we are already friends. :) I can’t wait to read more of your writing, and in honor of you, I might just have to Loggins it up while driving around tomorrow. I’m trusting your taste, and must say I’m looking forward to it. Ready to take a musical journey past the danger zone!

  55. Corbin says...

    Whoohoo! Welcome Ashley. Can’t wait to read your pieces.

  56. Bets says...

    Welcome, Ashley!

  57. Michelle A says...

    Yay Ashley!

  58. Robin says...

    Eeee! So excited for this! I’ve LOVED the previous posts by/about Ashley. Good call COJ :)

  59. So excited about this! I enjoy her writing :-)

  60. I’m thrilled that Ashley is joining your team. I really enjoyed her previous essay on your site and the post about her week of outfits. I need to look for her other writings and I look forward to her contributions to Cup of Jo.

  61. Genevieve says...

    Fantastic addition. Congratulations!

  62. Christina says...

    Thrilled Ashley is joining Cup of Jo! Looking forward to reading her writing!

  63. Karen says...

    She is awesome – what a get for Cup of Jo! I’m so excited to read everything she has for us.

  64. Amy says...

    Awesome! Ashley, I loved your essay on COJ. Also, is your fiancé a bookseller? I also love him; he’s so nice to my kids and me when we visit the bookstore, even when they’re being PITAs! What a great couple of people you guys are! :)

  65. Rachel Crable says...

    Aaahhh I am so excited! Great move Joanna!

  66. YAY!! I’m a big fan of Ashley’s and so glad she’s part of your team!

  67. Lillian says...

    Ooo yes! Very pumped about this news.

  68. I am super, duper excited about this news! Ashley’s an amazing writer + an excellent human, and I’m so looking forward to reading more of her writing here. And oof, what a power team you are building Joanna!! I LOVE IT.

  69. MK says...

    One of the best things I’ve read was Ashley on her family relationships and getting married. Also, she was on the Longest Shortest Time semi recently talking about her Dad, it was so honest and beautiful. What a talent. Bravo Cup of Jo!!

  70. RB says...

    Yess!! I am a fan of Ashley’s writing and am so pumped for this news.

  71. Elizabeth says...

    Yaaaaayyyy!!!!

  72. Jess says...

    I still think about her essay (weighing more than her boyfriend) all the time! It’s such a beautiful, thought provoking piece. I’m really excited to read more of her work on here. :)

  73. Ashley S. says...

    Hooray!! I loved her essay and week of outfits. I can’t wait to see more from her!!

  74. Laney says...

    It was a little awkward to explain to my husband why I said “oh, YAY!!!!” to my computer screen upon reading this. I first discovered Ashley here and have since thoroughly enjoyed following her on social media and reading more of her writing. She has such a distinctive, refreshing, lovely way of putting her thoughts into words and I’m so excited to see what she does here at Cup of Jo.

  75. Amy says...

    Oh, I remember her wonderful essay and that awesome yellow dress! I want to be her friend!! Kenny Loggins and Maya Angelou and Golden Girls forever!

  76. M says...

    Welcome Ashley! Also — I love, love, love that gold lipstick.

  77. What an impeccable choice! A hearty welcome, Ashley and smart move, CoJ team!

  78. Re says...

    YESSSSS! So excited to see what Ashley adds to the mix on a regular basis! Truly impressed with this brilliant hire.

  79. Caitlin says...

    Yay! Love Ashley!

  80. AHH! Ashley is one of my favourite internet humans — so, so excited she’s joining the Cup of Jo team!! <3

  81. Kathleen says...

    Agree with her 100% on the ketchup on the side…

  82. Roselyn Gonzalez says...

    Jo, a huge and heartfelt thank you. I’ve followed you for years and I’m so grateful that you have made an effort to truly diversify your content. First with the mother series, then the beauty series-never excluding age, color and size, dating, and the list goes on. It truly makes me happy to know that a brown girl like me can rely on your blog for a bit of variety and now more so from your new contributing writer. May the world one day have your eyes to see all the beautiful colors and hues and shapes you do.

    Thank you,
    Ros

    • A MARTIN says...

      Yes yes yes to all thay you say! So exciting!

    • Oh goodness, I am currently battling an emotional hangover (I should never drink wine on a school night) and this just made me cry at my desk! Such a lovely comment x

    • Rae says...

      Made me cry too. Beautifully said.

  83. Barbara says...

    Hooray!!!! Now I need to catch up reading Ashley’s other writings!

  84. Elle says...

    What a nice surprise! I remember thinking that Ashley had lots of interesting ideas in addition to her great style when I read her comments during her week of outfits, and now it will be great to hear and see much more of her! (Seems I’m just too old or inept or something to find or follow podcasts. But I do manage to get myself here reliably!)

  85. Welcome, Ashley! What a beautiful new face to get to see on the blog. :) I know it’s random and maybe I should just email you but I’d love to hear how you have managed to get published over the years in The Guardian, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, etc. I’m a full time freelance writer and have been trying to submit things…but I feel like I can’t quite seem to get my foot in the door. Is it because I don’t live in NY (I’m from Atlanta)? Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

  86. Marlena says...

    I’m so excited! I started to follow Ashley on Instagram after her post here, and I’ve ordered clothes from Universal Standard from her recommendation – US is a game changer!

  87. Alex H. says...

    I am squealing with excitement – welcome Ashley!!! Excited to hear your thoughtful perspective on the wonderful Cup of Jo team.

  88. Alex says...

    I am squealing with excitement – welcome Ashley!!! Excited to hear your thoughtful perspective on the wonderful Cup of Jo team.

  89. valentina says...

    I am SO SO SO excited about this. One of my favorite writers/tweeters/rockstars joining one of my favorite blogs. How perfect is that?

  90. Hooray! Love Ashley’s writing and SO EXCITED to see her here!

  91. Allison says...

    I too have endless love for Kenny. You should check out yacht rock on spotify.

  92. Kathryn says...

    Is it possible that I’m not actually the only one out there that loves Kenny Loggins “Conviction of the Heart”!!????

    • Heidi says...

      I love that song. :)

  93. First a black princess now this! YQY!

    • Barbara says...

      Yes, this!!

    • DIANA says...

      Meghan Markle out there slayin’.

  94. KimV. says...

    Ashley, I love your writing and am looking forward to reading more of it here! Congratulations on the new gig!

  95. Ana says...

    Welcome Welcome Ashley! Love this blog :)

  96. jeannie says...

    Loved your previous posts on Cup of Jo! So happy you have joined their team and can’t wait to read more!

  97. Anna says...

    Welcome, Ashley! Have loved your writing elsewhere and Twitter so I’m excited to see you here as well! And do watch Four Weddings and a Funeral, it definitely exceeded my expectations. (wink)

  98. Alexandra says...

    Yay! Love to see a fresh new face on your wonderful team!

  99. Tara says...

    Very rarely comment but had to share…reading CoJ with my seven month old on my lap, wriggling away and when Ashley’s photo came up he stopped, gave it the biggest smile and happy sound. Seems he really liked you :)

    • Laura says...

      Maybe it’s her beautiful smile :)

  100. sara says...

    Wonderful! Thank you so much for this kind and supporting notch in the web. I just did some work related research and came across so many horrible and insulting comments that it is once again a relief to visit this blog with all it’s thinking und well-mannered human beings.

  101. Walk Two Moons was my very favorite YA book as a kid and I had not thought about it in years. Thanks for bringing that amazing book back into my mind! I have to reread it now.

  102. Giulia says...

    Welcome Ashley! :) Soo happy to read this, every image, word, anything you write or post makes me feel warm and happy, so it is grand to see you on my mostfavouritest blog. Cheers to the CupofJo team, the happiest and best place in my whole computer! Love you all, Giulia xxx

  103. Johanna says...

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

    This is fanstastic!!!

  104. Yes!!
    I loved reading Ashley’s piece about dressing as a heavier person. She has such insightful, high EQ people around her, and I’d love to hear more about her life!

  105. mallory says...

    Yay, welcome Ashley!! So excited to see women of color represented on Cup of Jo! Can’t wait to read your pieces.

  106. Ellie says...

    So exciting! I didn’t put two and two together, but now that I have, I like her writing a lot!!

    Also, Ashley that gold lipstick is BEAUTIFUL on you :)

  107. Alex F says...

    Ok. So I enjoy regularly reading your blog, I look forward to reading it. Then I see THIS?!! AMAZING!!! She has such an incredible voice, whenever I read something of hers it sounds like it comes from my BFF. She’s warm, funny and so smart. Great addition to the site! Congrats, Ashley!

  108. Tyler says...

    Walk Two Moons!! Haven’t thought of that book in so long. Great one :)

  109. Lizzie says...

    Welcome Ashley! What a wonderful addition to my favorite corner of the internet. Looking forward to your contributions. :)

  110. Erin Gleason says...

    OH THIS MADE MY DAY!!!! :)

  111. Emma says...

    Congratulations on the new role! Cup of Jo is lucky to have you.

    Would you share where you got those *amazing* green glasses?

  112. Jill H. says...

    YES! What a lovely addition to the COJ team! So excited to read more of her pieces! :)

  113. Lula says...

    I am SO SO SO excited about this! She had me at that beautiful yellow dress on her week of outfits. Well played, Jo!

  114. Amanda says...

    Yay!! I love Ashley!!!

  115. Kayleigh says...

    How exciting! I loved her cameo and would love to see her wedding outfit. Congrats to Ashley and to you guys!

  116. Kay says...

    This is great news! :-)
    Welcome, Ashley – I am excited to read more of your beautiful and insightful writing.

  117. Talia says...

    A perfect addition to your fantastic team! Welcome, Ashley!!

  118. heather says...

    hooray!

  119. I first learned about Ashley’s wit, insight, and badassness via Cup of Jo . . . and now she’s one of my favorite people to follow in IG and Twitter. I am so looking forward to reading her future pieces!

  120. Angela says...

    So excited!

  121. Tricia says...

    I audibly gasped when I read this. Very exciting.

  122. AJ says...

    Brilliant! Looking forward to reading all your stuff, Ashley!

  123. Mary says...

    Ashley and Jo, Please post a list of all the books that you love. There can never be enough books to read, or a book list that is too long. I wish there was an 8th day in the week where everyone had to spend it reading!

    • Meredith says...

      I second this request! However, Mary, one of my tricks is to look in the comments section on her all of the book-related posts; people always have some gems in there! (I suggest this, currently having approximately 57 books in my possession waiting to be read…)

  124. Ahhh!!! Welcome, Ashley! I love all the pieces you’ve done on here and I follow you on Twitter. I’m so excited to see more of your work on a site I love so much.

  125. Stephanie says...

    I just love her. Good call bringing her on, Cup of Jo.

  126. E says...

    She’s my favorite person on Twitter, hands down. I hope she’ll share more about her upcoming wedding!

  127. Vicky says...

    Yeeeeeesss!! A true gem added to my fav blog. So eager to hear more from you.

  128. Lexi says...

    Welcome Ashley!!! I’m so excited to see all of your content here. I’ve been a fan of your work for ages, and I may have squealed a bit when I saw this announcement. Congrats!!!

  129. Lindsay Morris says...

    I’ve followed Ashley’s Instagram since she was a featured writer here on your blog. She’s a wonderful, inspirational gal. So excited to see more from her here!

  130. Michelle says...

    What a wonderful addition! Thank you for making this already amazing blog even better!

  131. Alex says...

    We are all so delighted to have you join the team, Ashley! Looking forward to reading more of your great work.

  132. Meghan says...

    Is this the same Ashley who was on Lena Dunham’s, “Woman of the Hour” podcast?! I LOVED that episode, but never made the connection before. Welcome, welcome – what a talent to have enticed, Jo!

  133. Tiffany says...

    That gold lipstick is working for you!!!

    • Rachel D says...

      Agreed!!!

  134. Laura says...

    OK i just re-read her week of outfits and realized that she’s wearing her grandmother’s earrings in this new photo!

  135. Diana McNeill says...

    Welcome to the team!

  136. Heather says...

    Awesome! I absolutely loved Ashley’s week of outfits and essay. Very excited to see more of her contributions!

  137. Sarah says...

    So excited for this. And the gold lipstick is amazing.

  138. So exciting! I can’t wait to read her pieces. Thank you, CoJ! :)

  139. Amber Olney says...

    Oh wow, wonderful!! Welcome, Ashley!!! :)

  140. Yes! Congratulations Ashley! Your week of outfits was my favourite and I am looking forward to reading your posts! <3

  141. Celeste says...

    Welcome! I loved that neon yellow dress and you look so great in it.

  142. becs says...

    Yay! I remember loving your pieces, Ashley! And I’m glad to hear your recommendations for visiting NYC. I’ve always said that when I make a trip to New York someday, it will be a food tour. :)

  143. I am SO excited about this! Ashley Ford is one of my favourite writers and Cup of Jo is one of my favourite blogs. This news is like an early Christmas present!

  144. Rebecca Joseph says...

    I am not sure if I missed it but I think you forgot my fav Ashley fact – the tweet that led to so many school lunches being paid off for students who couldn’t afford it, and now that I come to think of it the library tweet for Ferguson. Please google it – I have to rush but in short she’s great!

  145. I love this!! Full of joy for all involved … mostly us readers :)

  146. Kate says...

    Oh my gosh, Walk Two Moons….I think about that book all. the. time. Meeting Sharon Creech in grade school was like, the biggest day of my LIFE. Looking forward to reading Ashley’s work on here!!

    • Brooke Anderson says...

      I’ve been a bookworm for all my 29 years on earth but I had never heard of it! I just checked out the ebook through my library based on Ashley’s recommendation! :D Excited.

  147. Maire says...

    Excited that a fellow Hoosier and brilliant lady will be contributing to my favorite blog! Yay Ashley!

    • Welcome, Ashley! What a beautiful new face to get to see on the blog. :) I know it’s random and maybe I should just email you but I’d love to hear how you have managed to get published over the years in The Guardian, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, etc. I’m a full time freelance writer and have been trying to submit things…but I feel like I can’t quite seem to get my foot in the door. Is it because I don’t live in NY (I’m from Atlanta)? Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!