Abish Media began in 2014 when Tresa Edmunds got mad.
Over her career as a content creator she was plenty used to hearing the word “no,” but what made her angry enough to start something was witnessing a trend. Over and over again her female writer friends were rejected by publishers while men got contracts. Over and over again she’d watch as publishers and producers would claim to address inequality by taking advantage of female creatives and their audience. She’d listen to her friends beg for decent reading lists or shows to watch that didn’t require them to set aside their convictions for a little entertainment. She’d be in pitch meetings with old school media people and have to explain – over and over again – what a blog was and why a Youtube channel mattered, and to beg producers and publishers to observe how many women were out there waiting for content that earnestly reflected them. After one too many examples that showed traditional media wasn’t getting it, she knew something had to change. She had an idea, and needed help executing it, so she did what always worked in the past. She went to her crew of female friends.
Meanwhile, after years of working with small businesses and startups, Meredith was tired of working with people who wanted to chase dollars instead of solve problems. She was tired of seeing companies crash and burn because they were stuck in their ways and weren't listening to what their customers needed. She was sick of trying to convince people that they didn't have to choose between making money and making a difference. And she was fed up with seeing women's professional groups feature motivational speakers and image consultants month after month - instead of providing real resources and addressing the real problems facing women and their work. Meredith was hungry for something that would do that, and knew she could be the one to make it happen.
Tresa put the call out asking if anyone knew a business plan expert who could help her start a small publishing house, and through an old college friend she was connected to Meredith, who happened to know a whole lot more than just how to put together a business plan. As Tresa and Meredith talked and researched and tested, and then dared each other to dream bigger, it became clear that a small publishing house wasn’t going to change anything. What was needed was a radical new approach to content distribution. A mission statement that was about promoting and protecting, not exploiting, creatives. And content that met the needs of people being ignored by traditional media. Together, Tresa and Meredith formed Abish Media to help women of conviction and deep belief live lives that reflect their values.
When people ask Tresa what she does, she struggles to explain it all, and then just sighs and says, “I’m a content creator.” Like so many creatives, over the course of her career she has gone where the work is, which means she’s done everything from writing for the Guardian UK to appearing as a product representative on QVC. She is a writer, performer, designer, and activist, and she uses those skills to explore how creativity can change the world, and herself, as she becomes the kind of person she wants to be.
For over a decade Tresa has written the popular lifestyle blog ReeseDixon.com where she stubbornly refuses SEO standards and Pinterest trends to write what is authentic to her. She is known for her raw and witty approach to life and regularly writes about living with mental illness, infertility, raising a son with a disability, faith and justice, right alongside dinner recipes and craft tutorials. She believes that life is complicated, and media should reflect that.
Tresa is an award winning activist, in-demand speaker and storyteller, and her words and thoughts have been featured everywhere from Bitch Magazine to Better Homes and Gardens. She was a long time blogger at FeministMormonHousewives.org where she wrestles with religion and social justice, and she runs a Youtube channel where she counsels people on how to help friends in need or teaches them how to decorate sugar cookies to look like BB-8.
Tresa lives in Northern California with her husband, son, niece, and their three spoiled cats. If you entered her home she would feed you and then show you her latest creation. She has creative energy to burn.
Meredith Hutchison Hartley, CQIA
Meredith is a business nerd and crisis solving junkie. She first realized she was good at unraveling problems by directing local theatre productions in Washington, D.C.., and has since racked up accomplishments and gone on to co-found Hutchison Solutions and Me2 Solutions, a consulting firm and website where she helps businesses, non-profits, and individuals make work easier, less risky, and more rewarding. You could call her an executive-level janitor and corporate firefighter – cleaning up messes and putting out fires for organizations large and small.
Meredith is the youngest person ever to receive a certification from the American Society for Quality as a Certified Quality Improvement Associate. She is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute, a FINRA fellowship recipient specializing in military readiness programs and financial counseling, one of only a dozen people in the world trained in the SIRTI process, President of the Board of Trustees for SpokaneFAVS (a national-award winning journalism organization specializing in religion reporting, hyperlocal social journalism, & digital startups), and one of Spokane’s 20 Under 40 business award winners. She is active in organizations that support women, military families and veterans, civil rights, and interfaith dialogue, and is the co-host and co-creator of “Oh Crap! The Crisis Management Podcast” and “The Hidden History of Business” podcast.
Health issues are a passion – and a necessity – for Mer. She lives with a severe form of Raynaud’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder that makes her hands freezing cold, her cheeks bright red, and her body unable to regulate body temperature normally. As a survivor of PTSD and HELLP syndrome – a rare and often fatal pregnancy complication that she and Tresa just happen to have in common – she advocates for better understanding and access to health resources. Since her husband and children were diagnosed with more than 36 combined food allergies, she’s worked to educate others about food allergies and Celiac Disease.
Meredith lives in Eastern Washington with her husband, two children, two dogs, two turtles, a hammock, and a lot of books. She likes her chocolate dark, her music loud, and her Pad Thai with extra fish sauce