Through navigating fibromyalgia from an early age, natural-born organizer and entrepreneur Ashley Dick learned how creating systems and efficiency at home and in business sets the foundation for a life of peace, tranquility, and an enhanced well-being
There is a certain sense of all-encompassing calm, a settling of the senses, a transcendence from chaos, and for all of us, an invitation to breathe deep, that is felt as a result of organized and efficient systems set in place. A meticulously managed customer relationship management system at the office, a perfectly organized kitchen, a fully automated home in which all lights can be turned off with a single command, a virtual calendar so effective it eliminates the need for an assistant – these are the daydreams of supreme order that entice and elude many.
For a rare few, creating order and organization is their strong suit and God-given gift. Ashley Dick, Entrepreneur, Organization Extraordinaire, and Niagara, Ontario native, is one of these exceptional individuals, using her innate talent to create systems and efficiencies that cultivate peaceful and streamlined homes, small businesses and corporations. Dick is a force of nature, a lover of minimizing, planning, neat and clutter-free spaces, while also being an extraordinarily creative and adept artist. This distinction is the lens through which she sees the world, noticing what can be improved to make life easier and more joyful in every situation, space, or organization.
Her perspective of the world also revealed a realm of possibility. From an early age, Dick learned to manage physical pain, later diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Despite the disheartening downtime the flare-ups often required, Dick kept the flame of her ambition alive, pursuing her ever-expanding interests and hobbies. A true “multipotentialite” – over time, her dream job title went from artist to doctor to engineer – taking her to Western University in Ontario to study Medical Science, Brock University for Business Management, and McMaster University for Chemical Engineering. Her experience as a student was a gauntlet, traversing the challenges of university education and, in later years, compounded by worsening fibromyalgia symptoms. Unpredictable flare-ups of widespread muscle pain, chronic exhaustion, difficulty sleeping, and “fibro-fog” – intense brain fog affecting concentration, memory, and ultimately, mental health – were a constant struggle while pursuing her Chemical Engineering degree.
Living with fibromyalgia, often called “the invisible disease” due to its inability to be detected by doctors or the naked eye, was in many ways a blessing in disguise for Dick. She learned the importance of maintaining a growth mindset, strengthened her faith in God, and discovered that while there may be circumstances out of her control, she had the power to control the narrative of her life. Becoming well-versed in self-care, one of the ways Dick nurtured her spirit was by practicing her passion for organizing and creating a peaceful environment in each room of her home. Curating her living space to emanate calm, stillness, and tranquility dramatically improved her well-being, and the gravity of this was not lost on her. If she could improve her life in this way, how deeply could she impact the lives of others?
Everything shifted for Dick and the rest of the world when the Covid pandemic began, shutting down her university’s engineering program, disrupting her plans, and presenting a beautiful opportunity. “Being able to take a pause to focus on my health gave me space to establish what in my lifestyle was working and what wasn’t,” shares Dick. “It opened my eyes to a better path forward in my career and way of living.” The game-changing realization for Dick was that she could create a life that put her first, prioritizing her health and inner peace, in a career that tapped into her superpower: changing lives through organization and efficiency.
Entrepreneurship and the art of pivoting have always come naturally to Dick, and the potent combination helped her launch two purpose-driven companies with the goal of helping people simplify life and feel a sense of inner peace.
Design & Trinket, her full-service lifestyle brand, provides interior design, organization, electronic optimization systems, and custom projects for homes and businesses. Through packages catered to a client’s needs, Dick eliminates the mess and the stress caused by cluttered spaces and ineffective systems. From consultation to project completion, Dick focuses on implementing long-term solutions for every client, installing user-friendly designs, and providing thorough education on how to maintain them.
While having earned the nickname “The Organization Fairy” because of her seemingly magical ability to transform any business, space, or thing into something remarkable – there are many other ways that Dick is using her gifts to help others live life to the fullest. Alongside her best friend and fellow “fibromyalgia fighter,” Jillian Nielsen, Dick’s most recent venture, iAdTraining – short for “I Advocate Training” – is a virtual health and safety platform making access to industry-recommended training available to everyone with a smartphone or computer.
iAdTraining.ca’s virtual access to safety courses means employees can complete the training without having to leave the workplace, and individuals can improve their safety competency by taking courses from the comfort of their homes; making access to health and safety education affordable, easy and stress-free. In the post-pandemic job market, the most valuable asset is the ability to pivot. As someone who has successfully diverted in the workforce time and time again, Dick is a huge proponent of being an eternal student, constantly learning new skills to have a wide range of options and revenue streams. “The key to pivoting careers is to always be learning,” Dick shares. “Continually developing new skills will put you one step ahead and ensure you are prepared when it is time to transition.”
Dick’s business enterprise doesn’t stop there – frankly, there’s not much that isn’t in her wheelhouse! Dick offers global event and wedding planning, creates stunning commissioned bespoke artwork, refinishes furniture for environmental sustainability, and designs home decor. While Dick imposes no limits on her potential, embracing her many talents and welcoming more to come, her mission remains steady – to make the world a better, more peaceful place.