Ashely Allwood is a creative mix master. Along with her husband and fashion designer Kevin Allwood, they own and operate KASPACE. More than a showroom for the Kevin Allwood collection, it is also an art space and gallery of luxe and ethical designs that was a natural evolution of their publication, KA Magazine, which focuses on a holistic and luxurious look at “eco-conscious living in the modern and urban world.” They also lead Allwood Agency, a creative services and branding think tank, and on top of all that, Ashley is a neo-soul recording artist who is spreading her love of conscious living through her lyrics. Their daughter Kloe is now 7-years old, and this mom says living a well-edited life has helped her realize all her passions.
“I don’t think you have to put your whole life on hold as a mom; you just have to find new ways of getting things done and since having a child, I’ve discovered so much about myself.
I remember having a big belly and performing live when I was 7 months pregnant and I thought I could do it all once she was born. Of course, when she came into the world, it was a different story. She wasn’t sleeping, she wouldn’t let me put her down for more than 5 minutes. Like so many babies, she was a demanding little munchkin. I had to prioritize and decided to put more effort into the agency and the magazine while she was young.
When I started looking at daycare options, I realized she needed a lot of mommy time, and I felt that I needed more time with her too. I couldn’t wrap my head around sending her off to someone else during her core development years. Luckily the nature of my work allows me to work from home and I made the personal choice of homeschooling her until she was 4-years old. She learned to work around me. She knew that mommy had to do things during certain times of the day and she learned to explore and be creative on her own terms too. I did a lot of work in my home studio while she was taking naps and at night, after she went to sleep. I had to rethink my schedule and my creative flow so we could go to the park for playdates and have enough time for homeschool activities.
When we moved from Montreal to Toronto, opening the studio also created big shifts in my life. I put my music completely on hold. I was ready to give all my energy and focus to this beautiful KASPACE with Kevin and be fully present to support and launch this project. Now that the Toronto showroom is coming into its own, I’m ready to record new songs in studio and perform again.
How I get it all done comes down to math. I look at how many hours I have in the day and for me, that doesn’t include a long commute. We’ve designed our lives so that we live close to work and school, which gives me valuable time everyday. I also don’t own a TV. I use those hours at night to focus on my most creative work or simply catching up on business. We’ve also simplified things by living in a condo-townhouse so there’s less to take care of at home. Realistically, I have a good 10 to 12 hours to get things done in a day.
Naturally, my creative instincts have changed since becoming a mom. I want my daughter to be inspired to make better choices. This world that we live in is so instant and everyone gobbles things up and spits things out so quickly. I think the creative process isn’t appreciated or considered as much as it should be when we decide to buy, listen to or watch something. That’s really my purpose now. I’m hoping to inspire people to make conscious choices that transforms their energies and vibrations for the better.
The main shift that started this conscious lifestyle was when I decided to become a vegetarian over 12 years ago. We found a little baby bird that was injured and covered with oil and when I picked her up, I could see the intense fear in its eyes. We cleaned it up and gave it to a bird sanctuary and that’s when we decided to stop eating meat. This one conscious shift happened, and then another one opened up to us. We learned fashion is the second most polluting industry in the planet because of the toxins that are used to create fabric for the mass market. This inspired us to shift our design approach to a more responsible and ethical one. When Kloe was young, she suffered from eczema and when I was trying to find something for her skin, I discovered all the chemicals in so many beauty and topical products and now I only choose non-toxic ones.
We’re changing our lives slowly and with each step, making changes has become easier for us and I’m happy Kloe is changing and learning with us. I don’t think living ethically has to be rushed or perfect. I’m not here to judge. I’m here to inspire people to get started.”
The couple’s mantra even makes its way onto a book; a favourite charm necklace from Nu Human.
Before her shift to eco-chic living, Ashley had her favourite must-haves like these Gucci boots which she still treasures because she bought them to celebrate a career highlight at the time: Kevin’s first runway show in Toronto, when his designs were more conventional than conscious.
From top to bottom: Her favourite bracelets include a protective evil eye talisman, loving rose quartz beads and shungite stones to help ward off damage from EMF (electro magnetic fields) rampant in modern living.
Also on her wrist: A beaded bracelet the couple designed in partnership with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, led by the UN to encourage ethical fashion production with artisans around the world, and Dot.Haiti, a Donna Karan-affiliated charity.
Vegan leggings and a logo-tee designed by dad are must-haves for Kloe.
Ashley is also a strong supporter of local talent like Cachet Allen, who wrote I Am Kindness, a book devoted to teaching kindness and compassion to growing minds and souls.
“These are both from a collaborative project with the Ethical Fashion Initiative in Haiti, where we work with artisans to create beautiful handmade pieces for our collection using materials from their communities and in turn support their businesses and families, of which most are women and mothers . We believe in providing work and opportunities to grow a strong social systems through ethical fashion.”
This mom also adds doses of positivity with her VitaJuwel Wellness Water bottle (available at Ka Space). Amethyst, rose quartz, and clear quartz stimulate and soothe the mind and emotions while support overall wellness, outside and in.