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Meet Ashley-Lauren Elrod of Visionary Woman Productions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley-Lauren Elrod.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Visionary Woman Productions was birthed out of a collective of diverse, talented friends in 2011. I’ve always been a major advocate of “rising together’ and I truly always saw opportunity to collaborate with friends. Whether through acting, music, photography, design, and more, I wanted to bring people together, especially women, to create beautiful and engaging bodies of work collectively,

Though it has transitioned to a one-woman show, due to all of us being called creatively and personally in different directions, VWP Productions has developed into a solid brand that people know. I take pride in knowing that when I’m casting, designing, photographing, and talent consulting that I’m creating a positive and professional space for people to be themselves in.

I am constantly on both sides of the table; from behind the scenes, to acting, to casting and I know the feeling when certain people make you uncomfortable or make you feel less than. I promised myself that this brand would be known for its positive flair, and genuine relationship building, because trust is built through relationship with your clients. As soon as someone sits in my chair for a session, or approaches me to cast, I don’t treat them as a business transaction, I treat them how they should be treated. Doing so, has actually led to me becoming great friends with the majority of my clients, and staying in professional network with the rest.

I always ask my mission question to each person, which is “what’s your vision”. It instantly starts the building of a new found friendship and opens doors for people to be vulnerable and genuine with where they are in life, and where they would like to end up. Through VWP, I strive to help every person get to the final destination and to achieve the dreams they find impossible. I believe I have gotten where I am, with the reputation I have on and off screen because of the simple mindset to rise with community.

It can’t be all about you. It’s not about you. It’s about the change you’re creating in the world. I choose to create the good stuff, the visionaries, and leave a legacy of doing so.

Has it been a smooth road?
Honestly, I have only changed the brand twice, going from a collective to solo and it’s been very smooth. In college when I started the company, it was hit and very easy to bring in clients. We were still in school and everyone was looking for new photos for a price a college kid could afford, so we were in high demand. It started off as just that, and then everyone slowly went their own ways, though most of us have still collaborated on separate projects and still stay in touch til this day.

The biggest struggle for me personally has been understanding what I’m truly worth and not settling for less. I have always had the problem of being too nice and low on my rates in the past, which can occasionally bring in difficult clients, or stress me out because I’m giving my all and hardly getting what I should in return. This is something I’ve been working to change so VWP can be a bit more profitable to start hiring on some team members!

You must know your worth in business or you’ll stay broke. It’s awesome to help people out who truly need it, but at the end of the day, it’s your livelihood and purpose that you’ve trained hard to create. That must be respected. Once you respect it, others will too, and you will always attract the right client.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Visionary Woman Productions – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Visionary Woman Productions is a boutique diverse productions company. I specialize in casting, assistant directing, business for actors’ consultations, portrait, headshot photography, and set decoration. Yes, that’s a lot (haha) and I do it all, on my own. My month’s weeks vary and I absolutely love it! I could go from set decorating on a feature film, to booking three photo sessions, to casting for a new Revlon campaign at the same time. It keeps life crazy interesting. Sometimes stressful, but mostly fun.

I’m known for creating a positive, professional, and fun experience, and that is what I’m most proud of, as well as being able to accomplish what I have completely solo. It’s gotten me very little sleep but a very full heart, and that’s what sets me apart from others. I will give you every single ounce of me that I have to create the best project and portrait possible. I am diligent, creative, and most of all care about what’s going on in the head and soul of every person that contacts me. I care about building that relationship so that people know they can trust me to get the job done in the right way.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I absolutely love Chicago, its home. I love the chill vibe along with our summer and fall months! Those months are the best times for creating dynamic and epic projects!

The least thing I like would be the bitter cold wind hitting my face in the winter, haha!

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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