Hi! My name is Ashley and I started Sophie back in 2007, although it really came to life while I was in college a few years earlier. As a kid I always loved fashion and even dabbled in designing and making clothes. I always knew I wanted to do something in the fashion industry.
While in college I began working at Express which is where I found a love for sharing my passion for fashion with others. I discovered how something so materialistic could at times brighten someone’s mood or transform how they felt about themselves. As I earned my degree I knew owning my own store, where I could do things my way, was what I ultimately wanted to do. I wanted to create a “Cheers” type of atmosphere, where we knew our customers by name and often even shoe size. A place where ladies would come to let us help them look and feel as beautiful as they are. I chose shoes in the beginning because aside from the fact that I’ve always been a shoe addict, I loved that no matter what clothing size someone was 9 times out of 10 they would fit within the standard range of sizes in shoes. This way I could cater to a more inclusive group of women, because let’s face it even when I’m having a bad clothes day I can put on my favorite pair of shoes and instantly feel better about how I looked!
Over the years we’ve added clothing of all kinds and although some sizing doesn’t work for all of our ladies the goal is still the same, to make you look and feel beautiful in what you wear. The best part of my job is having a customer come in that maybe isn’t into fashion or doesn’t dress up much, come in and say I need help finding something for an event. Playing “dress up” with them and helping them find the perfect look, then seeing their attitude go from stress or even angst go to excitement and feeling great about themselves and how they look is the best feeling in the world!
Yes, ultimately I want to sell great clothes and to build something my family can be proud of. Something that I can pass on to my daughter and be a pillar of the community. But the connections that I’ve made along the way with some of the most amazing women, have made the stress, the time I’ve spent working vs focused on my family as much as I should be make it all worth it!
Being a small business owner and now mother of 2, is one of the hardest things to balance. It takes a lot out of you physically and mentally, and lets be real for most of us doesn’t make us rich by any means, but I can’t imagine doing anything else! Being in my store with my customers is where I feel at home, where I thrive, it’s almost even my escape. It’s where I feel the most comfortable socially and where I know I’m meant to be. I just hope I can continue to grow as a business and an owner so that I can to give back to the community that has supported my dream for so long.