Meet a member: Ashley Z.

We’re continuing our series on the people who make what we do possible — our lovely members. ❤️ Next up, from the Conway area, it’s Ashley Zehel.

Where in town might people run into you? I work at Valencia’s East Campus, I go to church by Lake Eola, and I (and my 2 yo, Molly) play at all the toddler hot spots like the Science Center, Crayola Experience, and local parks and libraries. It’s also fun to visit and explore all the different themed resorts, so we will go visit the tourist corridor every now and then.

What made you decide to become a member of Pulptown? I decided to become a member during the membership drive, but I’ve always been a loyal daily reader. I love that I’m in the know with local news and events because I’m also seeking out free family-friendly things to do around town. Pulptown has helped me recognize awesome places in the community I passed every day but never noticed. I’ll be driving and say to my husband, “Hey, they featured that place in Pulptown, let’s stop in!” It has made us want to dive deeper into what makes up Orlando.

What’s something you’re working on — in big ways or small — that you could use help with? My husband and I are renovating an RV and the outdoor space surrounding it. Part of that includes painting the exterior to make it more visually appealing. We’re collecting pallets for a deck, blue barrels, and wood to build a dock, and plants to decorate the landscaping and to eat. To add to a more sustainable way of living, we’re saving up for solar so it can be totally off-grid (it already has an incinerator toilet so it requires no septic).

What local business do you think deserves a shoutout (and why)? I’m a big fan of zero waste and circular economies. Liz Doerr of Orlandough deserves a huge shout out not only for her doughnut biz but also for organizing the Shwop Drop a few times a year at The Heavy. Basically, everyone brings in their unwanted, but still perfectly good, clothes and we shop amongst everyone’s clothes. It’s awesome and sustainable.

What’s a local event you went to recently that you loved? We recently went to Light Up Sodo and loved getting to see kids perform, getting to know local businesses and taste their food!

What’s a recent story you’ve read about Orlando that you wish more people cared about (and why)? I’ve been following the affordable housing series, and as we work to live tiny and off-grid, I’m especially interested in alternative housing. Our family values time more than money, so we work less to invest more time in each other and live tiny to support that. Accessory Dwelling Units are a great way to provide a family with more freedom like that.

Got suggestions for living off-the-grid or family-friendly events you think Ashley will love? Hit reply to let us know and we’ll connect you. Want to join her in supporting Pulptown with a membership? Join here today for just $8 a month.