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Ashley Rousseau

2023 Fellow

Founder, Beenybud

Kingston, Jamaica

Ashley Rousseau is the head of Beenybud, which was first established by her mother in 1972 in Ashley’s birthplace of Gordon Town, Jamaica. Beenybud partners with artisans and community groups around the island to produce a wide range of personal and home items made from locally sourced and sustainable natural fibers. These products are handmade by primarily rural women who specialize in traditional weaving methods and integrate a modern design approach to create innovative handbags, gifts, home décor, and fiber art.

Ashley holds a bachelor’s in English from Boston University, a post-graduate Diploma in Education from the University of the West Indies, and studied Creative Writing in the Lesley University MFA program. Before re-starting Beenybud in 2018, she worked in the fields of publishing, marketing, and education in Jamaica. She sits on the boards of two local schools and a Catholic charity run by the Sisters of Mercy in the inner city of Kingston.

Ashley is the co-author with Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of the children’s book, I Am a Promise, and her short stories have been published in Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts & Letters and Small Axe.