Name: Ashley Clark
How long have you been in Greenville? Since June 2013
Most interesting fact about you: I do not miss an opportunity to send a handwritten thank you note, ever.
Your background: When I was 22-years old, I was living at home in North Carolina, with my parents and my Clemson degree, working a job I'd had since I was 15-years old.
Counting the number of times he'd been to a Kilwins on one hand, my Dad made a suggestion out of the blue: "Why don't you open a Kilwins in downtown Greenville?" That was October 2012. My husband and I opened a Kilwins Chocolates, Fudge & Ice Cream franchise downtown Greenville on Friday, September 27, 2013, on North Main Street.
Since then, we have worked together to build a successful business with the mission of creating enjoyment and making people happy. We thought we were getting into the ice cream business, but we are actually in the people business. One of my absolute favorite things about owning my own business is raising up the next generation.
I teach my team to show up on time, deliver on promises, and be better communicators. When I say you better not be late, you better not be late. I have really high expectations and want everyone to be their best self. If I had a magic wand, I'd use it to sprinkle self-confidence all over my team members, especially the girls—so many young people today have so much potential and they don't even see it.
In 2018, I was selected as the South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. I am the proud granddaughter of a second generation dairy farmer and a long agricultural heritage.
As a pre-teen and teenager, I developed leadership skills and met my husband through my involvement in 4-H and FFA — that's a win win!
Kilwins is super fun, but my lifelong dream is to own a working farm in the lower part of South Carolina that's a wedding venue, bed and breakfast, event venue, and has its own merchandise line of all things Southern — and one day I'll make it happen!
Currently reading or watching: The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse
Hobby: Cycling with Wally Bishop
Tagline / Motto: Fortune favors the brave
Who do you work for? Self-employed business owner at Kilwins Greenville
What is your day-to-day on the job? Dip Oreo cookies in chocolate, package cookies, answer emails, answer phone, take team member to lunch, cook 27 pounds of caramel in copper pot, dip apples in caramel, spend time with guests who come in to see me, source gift basket ribbon, snap photo for Kilwins Instagram, wait for FedEx to bring what we forget to order on delivery truck, interview new potential team member, create work schedule, sweep floor, restock candy cases, and spend 30 minutes "getting ready to leave" because I have 10 more things I need to squeeze in today.
How do you think Greenville would describe you in one word? Ambitious
How would you describe Greenville in one word? Lovely
Besides residence, where is your favorite Greenville morning hangout? Swamp Rabbit Trail
Besides residence, where is your favorite Greenville evening hangout? Trio Brick Oven Cafe