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Crown Stories

"The Kiiing's": Our Story

"The Kiiing's": Our Story

Why do you have 3 i's in your last name?

My husband and I get this question on a daily basis and we love to share the meaning behind it. Our last name is something that symbolizes our foundation as individuals, as well as our family. Neither of us have relationships with our fathers so it was important for us to not carry on a last name that we have no connection to. Instead we wanted to build our own legacy that embodied who we are as a family unit.

My husband, James and I have been together for 13 years and married for 7 years (it will be 8 years this July 🥰). We dated long distance for 4 years before we lived in the same place, which sounds crazy 🤪 I know. However, it was the best decision we have ever made and we are stronger as a couple because of it. When I first met James, I remember him telling me that before we had children that we were going to change our last name. I remember thinking "I wonder what it is going to be?" If you know my husband this thought would have crossed your mind as well. He always has a reason behind everything he does.

In 2015, we took a trip to San Antonio, Texas and we decided to eat at a restaurant on the River Walk. I remember we were waiting on our food and he says "I know what our last name is going to be. It is going to be King; but with 3 i's." I remember looking at him and saying "3 i's...why would we ever spell our last name with 3 i's? People are going to think we are crazy and that we can not spell!" 😂. He responded and said "The 3 i's stand for the Trinity, which is our foundation and I chose "King" because it symbolizes us starting our own domain and legacy." I immediately felt proud and excited about this new change that would soon be a reality.  

Fast forward to 2016, we got married on July 9th, 2016 💕. We purchased the frame above where we had all of our close family and friends write well wishes to us and hung it in your home. I remember during our wedding weekend, we both were looking at it and reading all the heart felt messages our loved ones wrote. James picked up a pen and wrote "Kiiing" right above our photo. This might seem like something simple to you; but it was a solidifying moment for us and we never looked back.

On September 12, 2016, James and I went to court and legally changed our last name to "Kiiing". For for me, this was a HUGE moment, not only for us; but for me. I remember for the longest time wanting to get rid of my maiden name. For me, your last name is something you should be proud of. Whether it is the pride that is carried through your family name, the relationships that are tied to it or in some cases for a female it may symbolize a special bond that is formed between a father and daughter. My maiden name did not have any of these emotional ties; however the moment I stood in front of that judge with my husband and we officially changed our last name is a moment that I will never forget and forever cherish. 

For you to find your forever person and not only be able to build your empire together; but for you to also create a lasting legacy that you both can be proud of is something I will never take for granted. Mr. Kiiing, you are my forever person, my honey, my "fly guy", my babe, the person that excepts me for who I am and loves me unconditionally. I love you and I am forever yours. 

This is one of my favorite stories to share; but it does not end here. As you know my business name has my last name in it, which was very intentional on my part. My company is a reflection of who I am as a person and a consistent reminder that I am here to serve and share the gifts and talents that God has blessed me with.

Being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life. There are days where things are going great, I feel like I am headed in the right direction and I am exactly where I need to be. But more often, there are days where I question my purpose, my decisions and even my abilities. As crazy as it sounds, these are the days that I visit my own website and look at all the work I have created and poured my heart into. The one thing that always stands out is my last name. It reminds me that it is not about me; but it has everything to do with my purpose and the assignment that God has given me. 

So when you support Kiiing & Co. Designs, you are not just supporting me; you are supporting my family, my dream, our legacy and reminding me what my purpose is and it's importance. Thank you for all your love and support. It never goes unnoticed. I look forward to continuing to serve and share my journey with you ❤️

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4 Mindset & Growth Routines

4 Mindset & Growth Routines

Keeping a positive mindset can be a difficult at times. In this blog post, I wanted to share four self care routines that I personally do daily to keep me in a positive state of mind...

1. Daily Prompt Journaling (Gratitude App: 5 Minute Guided Journaling)

Journaling is something that I actively started doing in 2022. It is a way for me to release my thoughts and feelings, as well as reflect on my personal growth as a wife, mother, friend, artist and educator. I have tried many journaling apps; but by far the one that I love most is called Gratitude.

My favorite thing about this app is that it is a guided journaling experience. If you are new to journaling this is a good starting place. The Gratitude app provides you with a new journaling prompt daily, monthly challenges (these are separate from the regular journaling prompts) and provides you with space to create a digital vision board. Being able to reflect daily not only helps you process through your emotions; but it also provides an outlet for you to visually see your personal growth and how far you have come.

2. Meditation (Headspace App)

I have been using Headspace since 2020 and it is my go-to app for quick mediations and breathe work. I remember when I first started my meditation sessions, I really did not understand the benefits of taking time out of your day to shut out all noises, sit in silence and decompress your thoughts and feelings. There is so much that happens within a days time. Sometimes the things we experience are great and sometimes not so much. However, utilizing meditation sessions to decompress is a self care task.

We as people, are always thinking about what we physically need to do or accomplish; but sometimes we forget to give our minds that mental break it needs and deserves. The powerful thing about meditation is that pairing it with a self care task like journaling can amplify your outcome and experience. By you taking the time to ease your mind and sit in stillness, you are giving yourself the opportunity to reflect and truly appreciate the things that are going right in your life instead of focusing on everything that is going wrong. 

3. Affirmations & Quotes (Motivation App)

This is an app I hesitated to keep; however it has been one of my favorite daily practices! I have my app set to send out at least 5 affirmations and/or inspirational quotes daily. It seems like something small or unnecessary until you have a hiccup in your day that you did not plan for. There have been countless times where something has happened during the day and I feel myself starting to become overwhelmed and then I get a notification. I take the time to reflect on the message (affirmation or quote) given and how it applies to my current situation. Most of the time after reflecting, meditating and embracing the situation, I mentally calm myself and move on. What I have come to realize is, we expect a lot out of ourselves; however sometimes we do not provide ourselves with the tools we need to get through those tough situations. Giving yourself those daily reminders and affirmations may seem unnecessary; but when you truly are experiencing something that makes you feel uncomfortable, annoyed or uneasy it is imperative to give yourself grace and space to accept and cope with what you are feeling. 

4. Quest Programs (Mindvalley App)

This is a new routine I just started a few weeks ago; but it has been very beneficial. The three mindset and growth routines listed above have been very helpful; but I knew I needed to take it one step further. Personally, I love to learn about other people's journeys (especially entrepreneurs). It is a way for me to reflect and learn how they were able to overcome their hardships.

The Mindvalley app provides it's users the opportunity to not just grow professionally; but also to grow physically and mentally. They have courses (quests) over health, performance, business, mental health, mediation, relationships, etc. It is like a life app to say the least 😂. My favorite thing about it is that they offer curated programs that guide you through specific topics so that at the end of the course you have been provided resources, tools and information that can help you grow in that area. 

I hope that these four mindset and personal growth routines listed above help you. If you are in a season in your life where you are wanting to provide yourself with self care routines that will better your everyday life I hope that you will give them a try ❤️

If you have any self routines that have personally worked for you and you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you 😁

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"Neo Davis": It Has To Work

"Neo Davis": It Has To Work

In 2022, I had the honor of being mentored by Nehemiah Davis and became a part of his Inner Circle Mastermind Program. This experience was life changing in some many ways. The amount of time and effort that Neo pours into his mentees is unmatched and I am forever grateful for his guidance and support. 

When I first started my business, I was lost to say the least 😂 and I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I knew I needed help in finding those missing pieces to build the business of my dreams. There were three things in particular that I did not have which were: Clarity, Confidence and Community. Clarity, I lacked a clear vision of what I wanted for myself and my business. In return, this made it very difficult to truly live in my purpose and execute the way I needed to. Confidence, I knew I was talented; however there was a part of me that was not sure if I was good enough to accomplish my dreams. Community, I have met a good amount of entrepreneurs during my business journey; but I lacked a group of people that I could lean on for support in business and in life. 

I was looking to add digital products and services to my business model. My background is in Art Education and I literally eat, sleep and breathe art whether it be through my business or my 9-5 job. It has always been a dream of mine to have my own design company, as well as a space where artists could explore self-expression, challenge their artistic practice, learn how to leverage art to acquire knowledge in core subjects and mentor creatives that are interested in going into art as a career or as side hustle. 

I spend 7 months building out an online studio, illustrating and writing my first book and creating my first online tutorial. The learning curve was real ya'll 🫠. Formatting and learning the in's and out's of publishing a book was one thing. However, teaching in-person was so much different than teaching online. On top of all that I had the challenge of figuring out how to produce products for "little" artists that would be educational, as well as help them strengthen their cognitive and fine motor skills. After months of illustrating, formatting, planning and filming your girl finally got the chance to launch my online studio (The Artfull Studio) and my first educational art bundle! I am still learning so much when it comes to digital products and services; but I absolutely love the process and how I am able to reach a larger audience online. 

As I stated before, digital products and services was where my focus was; but when your girl got the chance to go to Dubai for a mastermind event something unexpected happened. This trip alone was the highlight of 2022 for me! To make it even better the trip was planned for December which is my birthday month and I was able to celebrate my 35th birthday in Dubai ❤️. I have seen pictures of Dubai; but being able to experience it in person was mind blowing 🤯. From the architecture, the food, the excursions and the culture it was an out of body experience. It was like being in a whole other world...literally! 

I knew it was going to be a trip of a lifetime; however I did not know it was going to change my entire artistic practice as an artist and designer. That missing piece that I referred to earlier was not just adding a digital aspect to my business and missing those 3 C's. I also was lost as an artist and I did not feel like I had an art practice that was fulfilling and meaningful to me. Let's just say I was creating art; but I was not creating art with purpose. 

This photo is of a coach that I met in Dubai named Matty J. Neo invited him to be a speaker at our mastermind. He made a monumental impact on me and at the time I did not know how big of an impact it was going to have on my artistic practice and story. I have always struggled with sharing my story with people hence why social media does not come easy to me nor is something that I enjoy 😅. However, it was one of the missing pieces that I did not have to connect myself with my audience. I have been creating art since I was three years old and in the past I never shared my creation process because it has always been a therapeutic outlet for me to work through my thoughts and feelings. We all know how uncomfortable it can be to share things about yourself with people you do not know. But regardless, it is something I knew I needed to do. It needed to be authentic and in my own way. The way that Matty J explained the importance of sharing your story, not only for yourself, but the impact that it can have on others was eye opening for me. Learning how to document my process for myself and audience has lead me to more personal and professional growth that I could not have not imagined. 

After the mastermind, I set out to create a completely different art style that was unique to me. It would share my story through my art, culture and faith. Now when I create, it is a process of me sharing a piece of myself, educating others on my culture and motivating/inspiring others through their own personal and professional journeys. Whether it is a culturally inspired topic, a quote that speaks to me, an experience I have had or a scripture that is on my heart to share. It is a visual representation of who Ashlea Kiiing is and what I stand for. It is crazy to think that one trip can make such a huge impact on a person's life. It brings me back to when people say "It only takes one experience, one person or one opportunity to completely change the trajectory of someone's life". This mastermind and trip to Dubai was just that for me.


Lastly, I want to take the time to thank the person behind this post which is Nehemiah Davis. Thank you for everything you have taught me, poured into me, encouraged me to do and exposed me to. I am forever changed and I have you to thank for that. Even though 2022 was one of the hardest years of my life, I learned so much about myself, I am closer to God, I have found my artistic voice and I truly understand what it means to live in your purpose. You will forever have a special place in my heart. The quote in this piece is something that I tell myself everyday and forever will. It is a reminder that there is no Plan B, you just have to keep working towards Plan A regardless of how difficult it may be. It WILL work, it just is going to take time and happen in God's timing. "It has to work or it has to work" - Nehemiah Davis

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Embracing Your Change

Embracing Your Change

“Embracing Change” was created to represent the constant changes that we encounter through life. Change can create fear, uncertainty, and doubt; but everything happens for a reason. Being open to new or uncomfortable experiences helps us grow as human beings. Being positive, resilient and self-reflecting on our experiences are key components in conquering the struggles that life throws our way.

Change has been something that I have had to learned to embrace even when it puts me in the most uncomfortable situations. "Get Comfortable with being Uncomfortable" is something that has been told to be numerous times throughout my entrepreneurial journey. Even though we may not like it, it is imperative for us to learn how to adapt even in the most difficult situations. We have to learn how to navigate through accepting tough times regardless of whether or not we agree with the outcome. Especially when it comes to failing or not getting the outcome that we desired. 

However; it is important to remember that failing is also part of the process. Things do not always happen when we want them to; but learning how to acknowledge, accept, experience and embrace our journey helps lead to growth physically and emotionally. For me, I have learned to accept my failures as lessons that God wants me to experience so that I can grow and evolve into the person He has made me be to. Be confident in knowing that what is for you shall not pass; but also recognizing that "no's" are not forever. It may be a no right now; but that does not mean it will never happen. I truly believe that "no's" are God's way of redirecting us to the path He has created for us so that we can live out our ultimate purpose. 

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” - Henri Bergson

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