Ashley Wainscott of Simply Home shares her secrets to redefining traditional processes 

Simply Home is 11 years old this year, but I rarely have time to pause and reflect, so our conversation is a great opportunity for me to reflect on the journey that has led to our current position,” opens Ashley Wainscott, founder and CEO of Simply Home, an award-winning residential remodeling company based in Austin, Texas.  

Founded in 2013, Simply Home has completed more than 1700 renovations to date including kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, main living spaces, patios, and home additions. With a focus on planning and guidance, the company successfully manages projects from beginning to end, ensuring a renovation that prioritizes well-being and exceeds customer expectations.    

Career considerations 

Ashley Wainscott
Ashley Wainscott
Photo courtesy of Simply Home

As a female business owner in a typically male-dominated industry, Ashley has transformed the home renovation process, eliminating surprises for homeowners by emphasizing quality and accountability. In recognition, Ashley was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award from St Edward’s University in 2018 and was recently named a ‘Woman to Watch’ by Austin Woman magazine.  

“Initially, we started off as a make-ready company, then known as Simply Sold, to solve a problem for homeowners and realtors by ensuring the home was ready to be listed,” Ashley explains. “I entered the industry with minimal experience, but as a reliable individual, I managed all sorts of jobs and maintenance to make the home look beautiful and ultimately drive the best offers.  

“I was unhappily working in event planning with the goal of being a wedding planner, and although it may sound strange, my previous role prepared me for starting a remodeling business, as I learned how to manage projects, costs, and vendors. After speaking with several real estate agents, I saw an opportunity to solve the industry’s make-ready problem.  

“There wasn’t a particular reason for the career change other than a genuine passion for home interiors; I felt a magnetic pull to the industry and was determined to give it a go, reassuring myself that I could fall back on my previous job if needed. However, it was an instant success, and we were extremely profitable from our very first year in business.” 

Building a positive reputation, Simply Home shortly began to experience demand outside of Ashley’s comfort zone. “Although we started off as a make-ready company, we quickly launched into kitchen and bathroom renovations,” she narrates. “We then found that homeowners were requesting work on their new homes; customers who used our service to sell their homes were asking us to complete renovations on their newly purchased property.  

“I taught myself along the way by listening to experts in the industry, networking at events, and learning from my own experiences. As we gained confidence in kitchen and bathroom remodels, we started completing bigger renovations, including entire homes, as well as more custom elements that require careful consideration and planning.  

A transformative approach  

“Around 2019, we decided to rebrand, as the name ‘Simply Sold’ no longer reflected our portfolio. Rebranding was a huge project that gave us the opportunity to refocus our marketing strategy, add services to our offering, and ensure that our overall structure was not only effective but also efficient.” 

Turning to day-to-day operations, Ashley explains: “The company is divided into three departments: sales, project management, and operations, with an executive leadership team to oversee activities. We can complete just about anything, but the budget is key; we’re often capable of carrying out customer requests, but they must have the budget required to achieve the desired outcome. Photos act as great inspiration, but people can often be stuck on an idea seen online. However, through strong communication, we can manage or set expectations that focus on delivering positive experiences throughout our eight-step process.  

“In the construction industry, things can often feel like a chaotic rush. It doesn’t have to be this way; we have completely transformed our ways of working by emphasizing planning and development. Although this was a difficult concept to introduce, people now understand that this fosters greater creativity, and we only work with clients, referral partners, realtors, and designers who embrace our approach. 

“Across the team, we spend around six weeks intentionally moving through the steps with a goal to limit construction time. We onboard clients, review designs, lay out timelines, discuss budgets and construction processes, conduct home inspections, and examine all material specifications before we arrive on site. While there are inevitably unforeseen issues, we assess potential problems and ultimately spend less time in our clients’ homes due to a more thorough pre-construction process.   

Photo courtesy of Cate Black
Photo courtesy of Cate Black

“As humans, we often demand instant gratification, but I have learned that real innovation and creativity stems from time spent in the design and planning stages. My best advice to anyone embarking on a remodel or renovation is firstly, not to rush, and secondly, to choose a reliable company that will advocate for you.” 

Having completed countless renovations, Ashley is never short of inspiration, but when it comes to her own home, we’re keen to hear how she decides which features to incorporate. “My preferences have changed over the course of the business, and I no longer want trendy designs, but something unique that makes the room feel like my own,” Ashley proposes. “I’ve come to appreciate custom pieces, not necessarily expensive items but rather things that no one else is doing. I’m about to begin a remodel of my primary bathroom, for instance, which is entirely unique to my home.” 

Being a woman-owned and operated business plays an integral role in Simply Home’s success. “Women in general seek us out; whether it’s partners, referrals, vendors, or clients, many people are motivated to work with us because we’re led and managed by women,” Ashley explains. “There is a strong historical connection that moves women to support one another, and we recruit or trade with other women-owned businesses where possible.   

Championing women  

“Many women report that a lack of experience prevents them from achieving their career ambitions. My advice is to learn as much as possible: start a ‘side hustle’, teach yourself about an industry, and network with others to make yourself a plausible candidate. 

“It is important to me that everyone in the company feels heard and seen, and we operate a strong culture that listens to and empowers employees with opportunities for growth. We also support local trade programs to secure the industry’s future with a new generation.   

“This idea was part of the motivation behind launching our own podcast, Ladies Who Build, as there are very few podcasts with women sharing their perspectives on construction,” she continues. “We focus on educating the public about what to expect during a remodel, as well as sharing setbacks, project wins, and lessons learned with our audience of homeowners and industry professionals. 

“We’re monitoring our environmental impact, and we have plans in place to bolster our sustainability efforts,” Ashley concludes. “We’re also focusing on homeowner wellness by considering the use of chemicals and systems in our projects. On top of boosting our capabilities with additional products and services, we will strive to support and encourage young people to join the industry.” 

From our conversation with Ashley, it is clear to see that her passion and genuine care shines through every aspect of the business. With such a determined and considerate leader at its helm, Simply Home will continue to deliver renovations and remodels that go beyond customers’ dreams.