It All Started with a Sticker Collection


Meet Ashley Tovar, CEO and Co-founder of gatherologie. She is a recent Cal Poly graduate on the move, and she’s ready to face the risks of starting her own company. 

How did your entrepreneurial journey begin?

It started in the third grade, when I began selling stickers out of my sticker collection at recess. Then, one day, the teacher pulled me aside and told me what I was doing was “illegal.” I was so scared, I thought it meant I could go to jail. That day, I sold the collection to another student in order to get rid of all the “evidence.”

Then, in fifth grade, I started a business with my best friend who lived down the street. Our “clients” were our neighbors, and we did things like laundry, gardening, and organizing paperwork. We only charged $5 an hour, but it was exhilarating to be able to go shopping with my parents and buy them or myself something with my own money. 

What inspired gatherologie?

I was a wedding planner for several years, and that experience made me think about how I wanted my "someday wedding" to be. My dream wedding is a simple backyard wedding. Even with having experience planning weddings, I knew it would be difficult to find the space I wanted, because I don't own a home, let alone a home with a beautiful backyard. I just want everyone to be able to find the unique spaces and services they are looking for.

Did you ever dream about your wedding growing up?

Yes, but it has definitely changed as I’ve gotten older. When I was a young teen, I imagined myself planning a lavish wedding, but as I got older I started to realize what I can actually afford. Plus, I would rather invest the money into a house or retirement fund.  

Would you rather have a band or DJ at your wedding?

I don’t know. I could see both sides! If I went with a band, I would want it to be acoustic and jazzy like Haley Reinhart—she has the perfect wedding voice. But I also want a ton of dancing music. I want to get down and dance till the night ends!

What is your favorite show to binge on?

I’m a sucker for The Bachelor. I’ll watch it as soon as it comes on Hulu. I have been watching it since the first season.

What were you like in high school?  

Part of me was driven and involved in everything from sports to philanthropy, but then there was that struggling teen girl. It was rough. If I could go back and give myself advice I would say, “Always be kind, be a good friend, and don’t let your insecurities get the best of you." 

If you could open up any type of store, what would it be?

I love the idea of a cute bar boutique, because I love to drink and shop at the same time. I also dream of creating an online website that has all Mr. & Mr. or Mrs. & Mrs. decor.

What are the three emojis that you use the most?


What is your favorite book?

Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov. It’s really about loving yourself first. It’s so funny and relatable. The first time I read it, I realized how awful my standards were. Even though I have a girlfriend, the same information applies, so don't be fooled by the title! 

(P.S.: Yes, I prefer to call my girlfriend, my "girlfriend" and not my "partner." In my opinion, a partner is someone you work with on a school assignment or own a business with, not someone you date.)