Baton Rouge native becomes business’ Mary Poppins

Holly Duchmann
Submitted photo.

It was during Ashley Miles’ previous prestigious role as a global chief business officer for a wellness company that the Baton Rouge native felt a calling to help growing entrepreneurs push their businesses to the next level.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, 45% of businesses fail within their first five years—70% in the first decade. With that in mind, and armed with more than a decade of experience helping grow fledgling companies, Miles founded Franklyn West as a business growth collective. 

“I felt a calling to help more businesses and leaders reach their full potential,” Miles says, adding that her firm streamlines the planning process and utilizes a network of ambassadors to help business owners. 

Her network of ambassadors are a Who’s Who of CEOs, directors, vice presidents and investors, including Daymond John, of ABC’s Shark Tank. Backed with a wealth of experience from their own careers, the ambassadors are paired with clients. 

“We’re like the Mary Poppins of business,” Miles says. “We come in, diagnose, and in a very short period make recommendations to help get your business to the next level. We’re anti-old-school consulting, with research and powerpoints. We work as a trusted sounding board for business leaders to help them grow.”

A graduate of Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge, Miles has always been passionate about helping brands develop through their connection through pop culture, customer insights and creative solutions. After graduating from the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism, Miles packed her bags for the Big Apple, landing a gig with InStyle magazine

Promotions and opportunities presented themselves to Miles in New York City in a timely fashion, and she eventually joined the early team behind Refinery29. It was after nearly seven years with the modern women’s lifestyle website that she was recruited to be the global chief business officer with Thrive Global, a wellness company, in 2019.

After leaving Thrive Global in April, Miles officially launched Franklyn West in September and has already built a portfolio of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to seed-stage startups. On the side, she does executive coaching and also leads New York Women in Communications, a nonprofit organization, as its president. 

“As a mother of two young girls, I am proud that I get to help women claim power in their businesses and life,” Miles says. “New York Women in Communications gives me the platform to do that.” 

In the next year, Miles is working to double Franklyn West’s business by expanding into the health and wellness, food and beverages, entertainment, and technology sectors. With the publicity the business received earlier this year from BusinessInsider coupled with organic growth from existing clients, Miles says she’s currently focusing on meeting demand and meeting expectations. 

See Franklyn West’s website.