twenTY someone: Ashlee Arder

Hometown: Flint,MI

College: University of Michigan

Age: 24

Occupation: Owner of The Dirty Wolverine and shoe saleswoman on the side

1. Describe your job in three words: exhilarating, dynamic, rewarding!

2. What is Flint like? It’s a very small city. Everyone knows everyone. It’s rough around the edges, but houses a great history in regards to culture and art.

3. Did you grow up knowing you would go to U of M? Originally, I thought I wanted to go to an Ivy league. This was based on what I had heard in movies and on TV. When I got old enough to actually start thinking of applying to schools and taking college entrance exams, the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago were my top two. UMich won out in the end!

4. Finish the sentence. Art is… life.

5. Start talking about The Dirty Wolverine please. The Dirty Wolverine is a company I started in 2010 while living in Brooklyn,NY. It was birthed from not only my love for vintage Michigan clothing, but also other people’s responses to the clothing. I began selling vintage clothing at a massive and very popular flea market called the Brooklyn Flea. When I moved back to Michigan I launched a series of pop-up boutiques ( temporary shopping environments) in Ann Arbor. The community wholeheartedly embraced the idea of educating people about second hand clothing as a more Eco-friendly alternative! After the great success of Michigan pop-up boutiques, The Dirty Wolverine will begin curating events in other parts of the US. The first traveling boutique will be at Harvard University this spring.

6. What have you learned about yourself from this job? I’ve learned that I value community organizing and collaboration! I’ve worked at jobs or internships that were rewarding, but nothing is more rewarding than making your own dream into reality. I’m passionate about the work that I do, so it doesn’t really feel like work at all.

7. Some would say it’s ugly, but you find this intriguing: taxidermy.

8. You lived in Japan. Tell me about this experience.  I had a job as an English teacher. The unfortunate thing is that during my training for this job, I experienced the worst earthquake in Japanese history. Three days after packing up my life and moving to Japan, the country was in turmoil because of an earthquake, followed by a tsunami, and to top it off, nuclear issues. I was in Japan a total of 10 days, after which I decided to return to the US where I felt safer.

9. Delta just gave you a flight voucher. Where are you going? Hawaii! I’m intrigued by the beauty of such a place, and have wanted to go there for years.

10. In ten years you will be… Overseeing the successful operations of The Dirty Wolverine as it curates various artistic and community oriented events.

If you’re thinking…But, Robin! I want to learn more about The Dirty Wolverine. Click here: and here

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