“This year is so exciting because Pink Palms is creating a product line! We’re starting with tableware and I couldn’t be more excited.” Ashleigh Li of Pink Palms on what’s new at the brand
LA-loving Liverpudlian Ashleigh Li is the force behind the ultra pink, ultra playful and – most importantly – ultra helpful brand, Pink Palms. Having previously lived in LA, Pink Palms’ name is inspired by the iconic ombré pink skies and elegantly cool palm trees that litter its streets. With a background in interior design and styling, not to mention as a cardiothoracic critical care nurse, to say that you’re in good hands is an understatement. She’s cool, she’s calm and she’s got your wedding under control (thank GOODNESS) and can help with pretty much anything, from the curation of mood boards to theme building and setting up and sourcing those all-important items for the big day itself. Plus, her latest venture, Bungalow by Pink Palms is causing all the waves when it comes to online memberships and ideas for newly-engaged couples.
I caught up with Ashleigh to get the lowdown on her lockdown 3.0…
#1 We’ve just gone into Lockdown 3. In three words, describe how you are currently feeling…
“Hopeful but tired!”
#2 Talk to us about your usual daily routine for your business and how this will change in lockdown…
“Usually I get up, make brekkie for my family and take my little one to school. I then come home and work 9-3pm till I pick her up from school. I then take a few hours off to spend a bit of time with her, make dinner and put her to bed. Then a few nights a week I’ll work in the evenings, either on client calls or Bungalow workshops.
In lockdown, it’s all up in the air as I’m home schooling 8-3pm, then will try to work 3-5pm and stop to make dinner etc, and then try to get a whole days work done from 7-10pm. I have recently taken on a VA and I’m so grateful for her in lockdown!”
#3 How will/does lockdown impact your business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support you throughout?
“I’ve very much focused on how I can support couples and the industry, not necessarily the other way around…
This time last year, I was just running Pink Palms which is a wedding design studio, working 1:1 with clients and brands. Working 1:1 means it’s a high ticket service and I know not everyone wants that, although they very much value the expertise. So, I branched out last year, and created a wedding design course for suppliers and Bungalow, an online membership for engaged couples.
Lockdown means a few things for me: sadly more postponements – which obviously has a financial impact on my business.
It also means Bungalow members need more support – whilst that’s not 1:1 support, making myself available for them is really important and part of what they join for.
But it’s a great time for suppliers to take part in my wedding design course – it launched last year in lockdown 1.0 and the students LOVED it, it’s such a creative outlet.
I think the biggest way we can all support each other (suppliers and couples alike), is to stop spreading panic online amongst people we don’t know. When we’re panicked, it’s like a hot potato and people want to get rid of it – so we want to download on to someone else and then feel better about it. It’s totally normal and healthy to do that. The issue is, with doing it online, in a bridal/supplier FB group for example, we don’t know who it is we’re downloading on to. People in that group might have been doing all they can just to hold it together that day. I pick up the phone and call my mate if I’m having a wobble, I know I’ll get a much more sympathetic approach anyway as opposed to downloading on IG. I am NOT saying we have to act like we’ve got it all together, but panic spreads like wildfire in online spaces and these are simple things we can do to help each other right now. And, I’ve stopped watching the news!”
#4 Name three small businesses on Instagram you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “I have an unhealthy OBSESSION with @asouthlondonmakersmarket – you can find so many great independent businesses through them.”
No.2 “@gbzhome – she makes jesmonite coasters and I have some pink and green ones and love them.”
No.3 “@soleycreative – she is the most incredible person to work with on your business! I couldn’t recommend her enough.”
#5 Favourite lockdown snack? Has this evolved from lockdown 1?
“I don’t think it’s evolved – I just have a mad craving for dim sum! We usually go out for dim sum pretty regularly but didn’t go at all last year and I’m missing it badly! So we’ve been having dumplings at home which are helping tide me over…”
#6 What’s your most recommended lockdown pick-me-up when you’re feeling down during lockdown? What’s getting you through the days?
“Routine is a HUGE one. In the morning I listen to a Tony Robbins priming exercise on Youtube – it’s a bit of a mash between gratitude and meditation – but it helps get things in perspective. Doing that every day massively helps me, and then music. Did you know it’s scientifically proven that if you dance and shake your bum it’s an instant mood booster?! I’m all over Spotify! In fact I created a Pink Palms wedding playlist on Spotify over Christmas – if you need ideas for a wedding playlist or just a boost, go find it!”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown?
“Pickled ginger to put in my ramen! You know the pink shredded stuff? Obsessed!”
#8 Name a dinner/meal or beverage choice you feel might bring someone joy to their lockdown life…
“A Lucky Pineapple cocktail box will bring you so much joy!”
#9 Talk us through what’s new at your brand…
“SO much! Last year saw Pink Palms branch out into teaching a design course for wedding suppliers, building Bungalow – the online membership for engaged couples. Bungalow is open all the time now, and the design course will launch every 3 months.
This year is so exciting because Pink Palms is creating a product line! We’re starting with tableware and I couldn’t be more excited.”
#10 What’s your lockdown outfit most days? Have you, say, developed an unhealthy attachment to the elasticated waists of your leggings like myself?
“OMG yes – athleisure is where it’s at!!”
#11 What series have you now completed on Netflix/Amazon Prime etc.? Any recommendations?
“Silicon Valley! LOVED IT!”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“I’ll drive all the way home to Liverpool and give my grandad a big hug. We lost my Nan in September – so they were together for the first lockdown – but now he’s by himself. So, he’s obviously top of my list and well worth the four hour drive from London.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“Gabby Shemtov Floral delivered a bouquet to me last summer and it was so out of the blue and so lovely – and much appreciated!”
#14 For a little Instagram-escapism and positivity, what account would you recommend?
“I love @notestostrangers account, he’s done tonnes of polls on his stories the last year and they are so random and so funny – I love doing them.”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “I’m so grateful to have travelled around the world so much already. Being stuck at home makes you think about all the wonderful places you’ve already been!”
No.2 “Grateful for my hustle – it keeps coming back again and again. No matter how many times I get knocked down or feel low, it just takes a couple of days and my brain is back in hustle mode. I can’t control it even if I wanted to and I’m so grateful for it!”
No.3 “Health – if there’s ever a time to be thankful for being healthy, it’s now.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted again?
“It will 100% be Sushi, and if I wanted to go fancy I’d say Kaia at The Ned. If I wanted amazing sushi with a more relaxed vibe it’d be Rockstar Sushi in Wimbledon (my best kept London secret!).”
#17 What would be your five film recommendations to watch during lockdown…
“So, I’m all about lighthearted movies RN…
Three Men and a Little Lady (OMG this was like therapy watching this movie, one of my all time faves)
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Coming to America
#18 What book would be top of your lockdown book list?
“I only read business related or design books. I’m not a fiction kind of person really… but I do love Morning, Noon, Night: A Way of Living by Soho House.”
#19 Name an odd purchase you’ve made during lockdown…
“A juicer to make celery juice! (I hate celery…)”
#20 The best gift you received this festive period?
“You know my best gift was that I didn’t get gifts for the sake of it, everything was either what I needed or wanted and that’s so appreciated.”
#21 Name a brand you would love to collaborate with…
“Manifesting right here: Temperley London! Ahh I would LOVE to collab and co-design a pink sequin dress…”
#22 What’s your advice to lockdown brides?
“Get a self-care routine! Bungalow members are so used to my banging on about this but it’s so important for your wellbeing. If you look after yourself, you make better, more well-rounded decisions and you’re much less likely to snap or have a breakdown the next time someone randomly asks you ‘have you decided if your wedding is going ahead yet?!’”
#23 Your favourite beverage?
“I’m definitely a cocktail girl, and a sucker for any kind of sour! Amaretto Sour is a fave. Hawksmoor do a drink called Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew and it’s one of my all time faves! I’ve become a coffee nut since we got a coffee machine, I buy my coffee from Dark Arts Coffee Co. I was pulled in by the fact they have fun meme-style names for their seasonal coffees…”
#24 Name your favourite magazine to curl up with.
“Elle or Elle Decoration. I’d love to be able to get Lonny Mag in print though, but it’s US only….”
Head to the (pleasingly pink) Pink Palms website to discover more about Ashleigh Li’s wedding offerings. Plus, learn more about Pink Palms’ Bungalow online membership.
Want to read more WFH Diary entries from your favourite bridal brands, boutiques and designers? Head on over to the Bridal Editor WFH Diary page.