If you haven't read our company story you will find that the success and impact of the business have been fueled by a passionate and purposeful founder’s personal back story. You can watch this short video that takes you through some of the backstories and gives you a sense of Ashley’s essence. Hear her journey from disabled child and near-death experience to thought leader and acclaimed entrepreneur.
Founder Ashley Black invented the FasciaBlaster and the Fasciology product suite after spending nearly three decades pioneering the science behind the understudied and misunderstood system of the body- fascia. The Ashley Black brand is a passion project for Ashley to rid the world of senseless suffering from myofascial pain that she experienced her whole life. This has parlayed into a love for the beauty-related side of fasciology as she loves to help women, and men, gain confidence in their appearance in non-invasive ways. It was not an overnight success, but it was a wild ride with a unique backstory. Ashley’s journey reads like a Hollywood script because her brand was built on a series of serendipitous events that catapulted her into her position at center stage.
After being diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis as a child, Ashley developed a disdain for a cookie-cutter approach to her debilitating pain. She would do gymnastics down the arthritis doctor’s office hallway to avoid having her blood drawn or receiving painful injections. Arthritis was an obstacle to her Olympic dreams, and as a very young child, Ashley was empowered to take her health into her own hands. Young Ashley used logic and creativity to invent healthier and more effective solutions of her own. In the 70s and 80s, she was fascinated with anything athletes were doing for their health, and she would read Sports Illustrated and books on athletes for inspiration for overcoming arthritis. She had a long routine of eating raw eggs, hot-cold bath therapy, rigorous stretching, Eastern massage techniques, and bizarre-looking strength training. But, she minimized her symptoms and became an accomplished athlete, to the surprise of her doctors and everyone around her who knew how debilitated she was and how much pain she went through.
Ashley never really saw overcoming arthritis as any “big deal”; she was just living her life at its fullest expression. In her teens, she began teaching her exercise routines at a local racquet club before there were “fitness certifications.” She also had the entrepreneurial bug, starting her first company at 13. She had products she created in retail stores throughout high school and college. Wanting to develop products and programs that would change people’s lives was woven into the very fabric of her core personality from the get-go.
HOW IT STARTED
Ashley’s early bodywork career began when she worked as a fitness trainer under the legendary strongman pioneer Bill Kazamier for many years. She was exposed to unique ways to create strength in the body, and she added it to her catalog of already innovative ways to develop better fitness. At her college, Auburn University, she was known for her fitness classes with hundreds of participants and for leading her dance team, which she captained, to the National Championships. After college Ashley became the national Pilates trainer for a major fitness chain and trained at the San Francisco Spine Institute, where she actually began to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Then she worked for a nutrition company, where she discovered the role of food in healing. The traces of her childhood arthritis were becoming a fleeting memory, and Ashley was already helping people be more empowered with their health.
The upward trajectory came to a sharp halt, after the birth of her second child, in her mid-twenties. During childbirth, she contracted a near-fatal, bone-eating infection that entered her nervous system and bone marrow and left her in excruciating pain. She had a near-death experience where she began to uncover her purpose. Despite doctors telling her she was lucky to be alive and Western medicine failing her, Ashley embarked on a quest to find the root causes and effective treatment of her new irreversible injuries, such as spinal collapse and an eroded hip.
On her mission to heal, she traveled across continents, perused thousands of international research papers, and subjected herself to every new and non-traditional therapy that had promising outcomes. In a happy accident, she discovered fascia in a dissection course that altered her understanding of physical pain and dysfunction. Ashley immersed herself in theoretical and practical studies concerning fascia and came to see it as the holy grail to her healing herself. Ashley discovered that global medical literature consistently alluded to connective fibrous tissues in pain studies and realized that fascia was the missing piece in the picture. The fascia was and still is a gaping hole in the medical industry, and Ashley wanted to change that. She used her techniques to heal herself and was on a mission to help others like her. She also believed that if she could take herself from being bedridden to healthy, she could take healthy people and even athletes to the next level and break through the glass ceiling.
FASCIOLOGY EARLY DAYS
The experience led her to successfully launch bodywork clinics, which she ran alongside chiropractors, orthopedics, physical therapists, and other holistic healers. Professional athletes flocked to her Fasciology method for pain relief and performance optimization. At one point in time, Ashley was treating a top 10 athlete in every major sport. From Dikembe Motumbo (NBA), to Derek Jeter (MLB), to Herschel Walker (NFL) to Brian Ching (MLS). She invented the FasciaBlaster during this time and used it for her professional athlete clientele to help extend the efficacy of her treatments. She never intended to use the FasciaBlaster for beauty. That would come later. She invented it solely for treating fascia and helping her clients with athletic performance and injury. With only 1000 units, it became a coveted item in places like the NY Yankees training room, and only the insiders of the Ashley Black ecosphere had possession of one.
The results with her athletes were so profound that Ashley decided to attempt to introduce her technology to the world but had no idea where to begin in her quest to manufacture and launch mainstream products into an industry that didn’t exist yet. She knew that creating the fascia industry, so she could lead it was no easy task. But because helping every person on the planet understand fascia care is her mission, she began to take fundamental steps.
The making of the OG FasciaBlaster
She first needed to free up time to focus on the FasciaBlaster project, and she needed to physically be where the action was. So, she sold her clinics and moved every other week to Los Angeles. She spent one week in LA, treating elite clientele like Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx, and the other week in Texas with her children, working on building out the FasciaBlaster launch plan. While in LA, she made strategic contacts and built relationships with many uber-successful people in entertainment and products brands. These relationships were the foundation of how Ashley would decide to take Fasciology to the world. At the end of the day, it was a “fame” play because she took on the responsibility of making fascia “famous”.
During this time, Ashley would encounter an unexpected result of her product. One of her athlete’s girlfriends noticed that her cellulite had gone away after borrowing the FasciaBlaster. In an instant, Ashley knew why because fascia is the root cause of cellulite. She knew that this was the “hook” she needed to get her first layer of customers. Ashley had no idea if it would work for women of all shapes and sizes, so she did a small study to find out and, in the process, got her first before and after pictures. It did work, and she was off to the races.
“Ashley Black WILL YOU MARRY ME??? I started this journey three weeks ago and even though I work out like crazy and eat completely clean my legs were still rippled with cellulite...not only have they shrunk in size but the cellulite is disappearing on a daily basis!! I'm hooked thank you!! Let me know when I can sell this thing!!!”
After exhausting many avenues for launches such as infomercials, retail, and home-shopping, Ashley decided to self-fund FaceBook ads in 2014, when Facebook ads were in their early days. Ashley’s message is genuine, and she is exactly like she is in person in her video appearances. Her message resonated with consumers, and Ashley had finally found the megaphone that she needed to tell the story she had been telling for the better part of three decades. This time with the cellulite twist. The company tested ads during 2015 and gained traction in 2016, and the company did $40m in 2017. This catapulted the company and Ashley into a totally new realm, where she thrives. You can see where the FasciaBlaster story picks up from here in Our Story.
“It’s not that hard, just don’t be an asshole”
Black has since become the American Business Association’s Entrepreneur of the Year, a 3x #1 Best Selling Author, a TEDx Speaker, hit the Fastest Growing Companies list, has had over 1Trillion unique media impressions, and has over 8 million followers. She is the co-author of a scientific paper that has been peer-reviewed and published that proves the safety and efficacy of her products. She continues to invent, expand, and has big plans for the future of Fasciology.
But don’t expect to see her pounding the pavement. Ashley moved to Costa Rica years ago and attributes her success to being grounded and connected. Her three biological children are in their twenties and are the apple of Ashley’s eye. One of her sons works in the finance department, and her daughter owns a branding company that brands many of Ashley’s businesses. In their thirties, Ashley’s two adopted children are executive VPs in the company and are thriving in business development and merchandising. In Ashley’s free time, she is a surfing and yoga addict and spends much of her time growing food and cooking. She enjoys the simple life in the country on her 100-acre property overlooking the Pacific Ocean. She is a devout environmentalist and devotes much of her resources to charitable projects alongside the love of her life, Jordi.
When asked about her philosophy on life in an interview, she said, “It’s not that hard, just don’t be an asshole. Be mindful of the planet and the lives on it. Meditate and listen more than you talk”. When asked about her success, she attributes it to her near-death experience and answers, “I’m just doing what God told me to do. It’s just my place in the universe”.