Ashley Althoff works from her office in Dyersville.

Artist Ashley Althoff recently started a new creative consulting business in Dyersville. An Upper Iowa University graduate with a degree in Art, Althoff has become a sort of creative Swiss army knife for the businesses she works with. Handling different duties for different area businesses like event planning, marketing, websites, communications and more, she finds herself very busy, but loves what she’s doing.

Before starting her business, she worked a few different jobs, including working as the head of economic development for the city of Elkader, but realized that she wanted to be able to impact the community more through what she loves and is passionate about. Althoff deeply values community and sustainability and looks for companies that share the same values. Having the freedom to do her own thing and focus on assisting businesses that are important to the area is something she finds fulfilling and loves the opportunity to connect with members of the community through her work.

One of her first projects was starting up the website for Brew & Brew in Dyersville and, after completing it in about a week, she realized she made the right decision to work for herself. “It felt so good to follow my passion, I love doing anything with design and creativity like that,” she said. Althoff also said that Brew & Brew already had a good following online and it made it that much more fulfilling to be able to help improve a business the community loves. Although she’s willing to work with anyone, she loves working with businesses that inspire her as well.

Starting a business is no easy feat, but Althoff said she never doubted herself. “It’s scary to start your business, but I just believed and thought ‘well I’m doing something that I love and something good has to come out of that,’” she said.

She credits her friends in Dyersville and Elkader for helping her believe in herself and giving her the confidence to start her business. “Surrounding yourself with good people makes a world of a difference,” she said, which is another reason why she loves helping out the community because she feels the community has helped her immensely.

Still in the early stages of her business, Althoff has many goals in mind. As an artist, Althoff wants to use her business to help improve the art community in Dyersville and hopes to bring a gallery to town and have more murals painted on buildings. She wants to use her business to help grow and sustain other area businesses. Getting to work with members and businesses of the community in that capacity is both fulfilling and fun for her, and she hopes to continue her trend of positive work.