44: Ashley Harder
When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives.
Ashley Harder grew up around old buildings in Boston, and says she learned a lot from her sister, who currently redevelops big-city structures and neighborhood buildings in their hometown.
In 2005, she landed in Arizona (for the second time, but more on that later) with a cosmetics gig and a social life in Scottsdale. But after she started driving Downtown and becoming involved in the arts and business scene, she decided to ditch the cosmetics industry and start investing in the infrastructure in the heart of the city.
In 2011, the local arts advocate started her own business, Harder Development, and transformed the 3,000 square-foot space at 335 W. McDowell Road into a multi-use retail spot that's hosted gallery shows, community meetings, and will soon be home to a handful of local retail businesses (and a pretty sweet mural going up this weekend).