We’re bringing you stories from women who are chasing their dreams and building a life that they love with New York Country Swag’s, “Woman of the Month.”
Each month, we highlight a different female pursuing her passions. Introducing you to women who are taking risks, working relentlessly and turning their dreams into reality. These are empowering women who serve as role models and should be celebrated.
Our Woman of the Month for April is Ashley Eicher creates, hosts and produces content for several major outlets, always remembering you can be a kind and a strong woman in this industry. Growing up in Louisville, KY, Eicher always loved music and recalls hearing a variety of types of music around her house including Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Trisha Yearwood, Lionel Richie, and Wynonna Judd. She was on stage performing from a very young age, feeling natural, not nervous when the lights came up. She moved to Tennessee to pursue a career as an artist but decided to attend MTSU and study music business first.
Although throughout her college career she interned for ASCAP, MCA Records and Scott Hendricks her very first job out of college was working in artist management for Wynonna Judd.“I learned so much working for Wynonna and Kerry Hansen Zaidy (Wynonna’s then manager). Because we were a small management company dedicated solely to Wynonna, I was able to have my hands in a multitude of things from marketing to touring, A&R and the process of recording an album, to television appearances as Wynonna was on the Oprah show regularly at that time. I am so grateful for that time in my life,” Eicher tells us.
She went on to compete in several pageants across the state, eventually becoming Miss Tennesee and competing in Miss America. Her time as Miss Tennessee allowed her to become the spokesperson for Governor Bredesen and the Department of Education for Tennessee and to help champion their character education initiatives. “I was speaking in different schools across the state about respecting yourself and respecting others,” she recalls.“The experience allowed me to make a difference in a way that I hadn’t been able to before. Eventually, it opened the door to television.”
She worked as an agent trainee at Creative Artists Agency and for her first on-air job, ABC hired her to host a digital series and a three-hour live special from the red carpet of the CMA Awards and back in 2007, Luke Bryan just happened to be her co-host. She then helped to launch AXS TV as the host and producer of all of their Nashville based content, and also hosted the Ram Report for Rolling Stone Country.
More recently, Eicher produces all of the video content for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival which takes place right outside of Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee, hosts “Tailgate Hour”, an hour-long live show from each of Garth Brooks stadium tour dates which is broadcast on his channel on Sirius XM and started a podcast with Hunter Kelly Kelly. Her podcast, All Our Favorite People launched about a year ago and highlights long-form stories of people who are doing incredible things. They kicked off their first episode telling Jackie Lee’s story of battling cancer and grieving the death of his mother. “The fact that Jackie trusted us with some of the most deeply personal, beautiful and painful moments of his life and to be able to share his story in hopes of helping someone else, it was an honor to be a part of and one the greatest gifts for both of us,” she says. Other guests have included country music artists like Kassi Ashton, Lauren Alaina, and Jake Owen as well as Annie Downs, the best selling author, celebrity fitness trainer Erin Oprea and the CEO of St. Jude’s Children Hospital among many other inspiring guests.
“We launched the podcast because (in 15 years of friendship) we have always wanted to do something together. The podcast allows us to have in-depth conversations with our guests about the beauty, pain, and hilarity that is life and connect with our audience in a meaningful way. Life is messy. It is beautiful but it is messy. And in the Instagram perfectly filtered world we live in, it can be really easy to fall into the lies of comparison and not enough. I think it is something we all struggle with to some degree,” Eicher says of the podcast. “So we talk about those things. We talk about the things we love, the stories, experiences, and people that have shaped us. And we laugh A LOT. Let’s be honest Hunter is hilarious and you never know what he is going to say. I love being able to go from belly laughing to talking about the really deep, life stuff. And hopefully, it’ll help somebody. We hope that when people listen to the podcast if they feel alone, I hope they realize that they aren’t alone.” For more information and to listen to all of the podcasts head to https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/all-our-favorite-people.
She goes on to speak passionately about The Dollar Club which is run by her church Cross Point, which brings the community together to prove that if every one donates just one dollar, the impact we can make when we all do good together can have a major change in the world. “They pool all of that money together, find a need in the community that needs to be filled and go fill it. When a community comes together to help someone else, the possibilities are endless. It has a ripple effect. When someone sees how their generosity – even something as simple as a dollar – helps someone else, it makes them want to do more. And God has used the stories from Dollar Club to change my life. With every story we tell, I’m reminded of what is really important – Loving God, loving people, taking care of each other and using our gifts and talents to do good in the world.”
While the Dollar Club has helped people, families, and organizations in Nashville, they’ve also told stories and helped organizations throughout the US and most recently in Kolkata, India. “It is only through the generosity of a whole lot of people that the Dollar Club is able to help as many people as it does. And I’m just grateful that we get to be a part of telling their stories,” says Eicher. “We spent a week in Kolkata, India last fall in the boys home and girls home that SEED built and in the slums of Kolkata where most of these kids grew up. I left a piece of my heart in Kolkata.” The money donated from the Dollar Club to the SEED organization helped to finish building out the boys’ home giving the boys, who mostly grew up in the slums, a safe place to live, eat, go to school and prosper. Locally the Dollar Club benefits organizations like Rest Stop Ministries, a not-for-profit 501-(c)3 faith-based organization in the Nashville, TN area dedicated to comprehensively restoring female survivors of domestic sex trafficking.
One of our favorite questions to ask these inspiring women is what advice they would give to young females looking to work in the music industry. Eicher says to figure out who you are at your core and stay true to that, and certainly, don’t let this industry change who you are.“Trust and know at this moment you are exactly where you are supposed to be and if you continue to work with integrity and honesty, stay true to who you are, stand up for yourself and be good to people – there is nothing you can’t do.”
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