Featured image via Martin Bentsen, City Headshots
Encouraging women to negotiate harder, take more risks in their careers, and invest in situations that are important to them? Sign us up and teach us your ways! Our NJMOMpreneur of the week, Ashley Gertsley, is helping women break through their financial fears and struggles to save and earn more through her female-owned and operated business, The Fiscal Femme. She makes managing money fun, judgment-free, and addresses not just the numbers, but also takes on the emotional and behavioral sides of money challenges, whether it’s negotiating a raise or paying off debt. This financial force is inspiring us through her fight for feminine power and equality and her heartfelt personal mission to support organizations like NextGenFace. She sat down with us to discuss her book, The 30-Day Money Cleanse, dish out some of her best business tips, and clue us in on some New Jersey gems, like her go-to stop to impress at a party, The Cheese + Wine Store in Hoboken.
Founder of The Fiscal Femme & NJMOMpreneur Ashley Gerstley
NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Ashley: The Fiscal Femme’s mission is to get women wealthy, because to us financial well-being means power and equality. When we are financially well (imagine a nice buffer in our savings accounts), we can negotiate harder to be paid fairly at work, we can leave people and jobs when we’d like, and we can invest in the things that are important to us (the lifestyle we want, other women-owned businesses, or causes and organizations we value). We have great free resources and guides on our website, and we also offer courses, workshops, and one-on-one coaching. My first book, The 30-Day Money Cleanse, is also in stores now.
Our approach is different because we address the emotional and behavioral sides of money, not just the numbers. We make managing our money fun and accessible and have a judgement-free approach. We also are very passionate and transparent about how we are compensated. We do not make money from promoting financial products or banks, so we’re able to remain conflict of interest-free (and that’s in the best interest of our clients). We are also women-owned and operated!
Growing something takes time and persistence. If it’s important to you, stick with it. Break big daunting tasks down into bite-size tasks. Get out of your comfort zone.” -Ashley, NJMOMpreneur
NJMOM: What inspired you to get into your line of work?
Ashley: I needed it myself! Despite my finance background (I was a finance major in college and then worked as an investment banker), I knew nothing about my own money and wished The Fiscal Femme was around at the time to help me!
NJMOM: What is your favorite part about your business?
Ashley: My favorite part about my business is getting to see results in the women I work with. Whether it’s a one-on-one client who is no longer stressed about money or someone who sends me a message on Instagram saying my book changed their life, the results make all the work I do so worth it.
NJMOM: What is your background in your business expertise?
Ashley: I have entrepreneurs as parents so running my own business was something that was modeled for me from a young age. I have a finance background and then got certified as a coach because I found that even when we know what we should or want to be doing with our money, most of us aren’t doing those things. Our emotions, habits, and behaviors are intertwined with our spending – a lot like food!
NJMOM: What are you most proud of in your career?
Ashley: Writing my first book, The 30-Day Money Cleanse. It took two and a half years from when I started the process to actually holding the book in my hands, and I’m really proud of how it turned out. It’s been amazing to see it out in the world doing its job.
I also recently released a music video parody of Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings.’ I think the video turned out so well, but I’m most proud of how far I went outside my comfort zone with the project. As someone who wanted to curl up into the fetal position before going on camera for the first time, it’s pretty miraculous that I sang and danced in a music video!
NJMOM: What is something few people know about you?
Ashley: With social media, I’m a pretty open book. But this is a fun fact… I was in the Warren Buffett club in college. We went out to Omaha to meet him and got to have lunch with him and even ride in his car!
NJMOM: What can we expect from you next year – personally and professionally?
Ashley: Good question! I honestly have no idea! The things that I’ve done consistently: continue to work outside my comfort zone, grow our impact of getting more women wealthy, and have some fun with family and friends.
NJMOM: What charitable cause are you most passionate about?
Ashley: I’m passionate about causes that support women, children, and animals. My son was born with a cleft lip and palate, so I’m also passionate about organizations like NextGenFace that help children get the medical care they need.
NJMOM: Who is your role model? Why?
Ashley: My parents! They are the most fun, loving, generous and all around incredible people. I look up to them in so many ways. They’ve modeled how to have an incredible marriage and partnership, how to be amazing parents, how to run successful businesses, and how to have fun and enjoy life along the way.
NJMOM: What is the best piece of advice your mom (or parent/role model) ever gave to you?
Ashley: The best piece of advice my mom shared and truly lives by is to get outside your comfort zone. To this day, she continues to push herself to grow and do the things that scare her. I’m so grateful to have her as a role model.
NJMOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by? Why is this quote so important to you?
If you are not in the arena, getting your ass kicked on occasion because you are being brave, I am not interested in or open to your feedback about my work.” – Dr. Brene Brown
I love this quote because as a people pleaser, I’ve always feared the wrath of the haters as a business and platform grows. This quote reminds me that it’s easy to sit behind a computer and criticize people, but it’s hard to put yourself out there, be vulnerable, and stand for something. And that’s brave.
NJMOM: What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey with your family?
Ashley: I live in Hoboken and love walking around and exploring when it’s warm. We go to the parks, hang out at the pier, and check out local events. When friends visit from the city they are shocked at how amazing the views are. It’s weirdly still kind of a best-kept secret!
NJMOM: What is the best part about being a mom for you?
Ashley: I never knew I could love something or someone so much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it keeps getting more and more fun and I’m filled with love for this miraculous human.
NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Ashley: I love picking up fish at Tutta Pesca’s fish market for dinner. I love the Cheese + Wine Store. They have a great selection of wines and if you ever bring their cheese anywhere, you will get major kudos. It’s divine! Our son Eli loves Hoboken Aardvarks music classes and is a regular at Liberty Science Center and Popup Library storytime. For fitness, I’m a huge fan of Orange Theory Fitness in Jersey City and also love the classes and vibe at Jane Do and CycleBar. I love Little City Books – it’s such a wonderful bookstore. I’m still trying to find a Hoboken happy hour with good wine – please advise!
NJMOM: Where do you reside and vacation in New Jersey?
Ashley: I live in Hoboken. For vacation in Jersey, we did a beach overnight last summer that was really fun and visited friends at the Jersey Shore. We might visit some new beachy towns this summer!
NJMOM: What advice might you have for a fellow NJMOMpreneur who is just starting out?
Ashley: One of the hardest things for me is patience. Growing something takes time and persistence. If it’s important to you, stick with it. Break big daunting tasks down into bite-size tasks. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t forget to put aside money for taxes!
NJMOM: Anything else you’d like to tell moms in New Jersey?
Ashley: Let’s connect! Find me at the links below 🙂
For more information on The Fiscal Femme, follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.