“The teacher appears when the student is ready.” This old adage held much truth for Ashley, as she learned the power of mindfulness and yogic practice as powerful tools to handle life’s stressors. During the times of self-doubt and anxiety, Ashley was able to translate lessons learned on the mat to everyday life. After experiencing the impactful benefits of yoga, Ashley earned her 200 hour teacher certification with the intention of helping other souls find their peace and purpose in a busy world. Her fitness apparel company ZenGem was born from her love of physical health and spiritual wealth.
Ashley Darby got her first taste of hospitality at the age of 14, working as a food runner and busser at a neighborhood restaurant, and thus her love for creating a memorable dining experience began. After working in various establishments in the DC area and learning meaningful lessons along the way, Ashley and her husband Michael opened Oz Restaurant and Bar. Inspired by the blue skies and delicious meat pies of Michael’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia, Oz’s cuisine allows each element to be appreciated for its true flavor. A list of handcrafted cocktails and cold beers is on hand to wash down each bite, while wines are offered from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Miss DC 2011
While sharing her life with the world on Bravo’s hit Real Housewives of Potomac has proven to be quite thrilling, Ashley has had quite a few life changing experiences. In addition to free falling 13,500 feet from an airplane and ascending the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Ashley represented the nation’s capital in the iconic Miss America Pageant. She was awarded the first John Curran Interview Award for her public speaking skills by the panel of esteemed judges. Serving as Miss District of Columbia 2011 instilled the principles of philanthropy, personal style, and internal confidence, which Ashley continues to build upon. Ever grateful for the opportunities afforded to her, Ashley currently serves as a board member for the Miss District of Columbia scholarship organization.