Photography by Jamison Mosley
Fellow Arkansans – neighbors, colleagues and friends – are sharing a light of peace, kindness and generosity that makes The Natural State a little brighter. Inviting Arkansas and Methodist Family Health celebrate individuals who illuminate our community with goodness. Nominate someone today for a future feature that SHINES.
Ashley Ann Jones Sullivan begins each day at 5:30 in the morning with prayer, meditation and exercise. Her golden rule – no calls before 10; then mid-morning rolls around and the to-do list begins. As owner of Ashley Ann’s Event Planning and Ashley Ann Speaks!, Ashley keeps a stacked schedule. In the afternoon, she takes calls and broadcasts on social platforms. She explains, “I simulcast on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram. I try to create four pieces for TikTok, three to six posts for Instagram and aim to respond to 500 comments a day.” As many of her peers with work, Ashley often speaks at evening lectures or visits with international clients.
When asked how her days became so dense, she reflects on her journey as an entrepreneur and business owner. Established in 2009, Ashley Ann’s Event Planning started as a side hustle and passion project. She jokes, “I’ve been decorating, I don’t know, my whole life? I was always my mom’s assistant.” It was after she helped her cousin with design work that she realized her talents were legit. “Referrals began to roll in. It was the first time I thought I could make a living off something I actually want to do!”
While attending the University of Central Arkansas in pursuit of a master’s degree, Ashley was encouraged by a professor to implement a business model she produced for class. She took the leap of faith and opened Ashley Ann’s Event Planning. Her innate ability to create unique designs with an eye for detail, Ashley quickly gained momentum in the industry. Her services include the Little Rock and Dallas metro area coordinating weddings, baby and bridal showers, corporate dinners, galas, balls and everything in between.
Ashley utilized strategic marketing to promote Ashley Ann’s Event Planning with impressive results. She was booking projects through social media and teaching others to do the same. “I thought everyone else could do it, but when I realized I had this knack and things changed.” Ashley Ann Speaks! offers comprehensive social media planning, techniques for building a business and ideals for prosperity over popularity. Alongside local and international clients, Ashley watched companies grow as she encouraged consistency, engagement and relationship building.
To date, Ashley has assisted more than 15,000 business owners. Of these, 806 are six-figure earners, 171 have profited one million in under a year, and four generate over ten million a year. “Be stubborn,” Ashley emphasizes. “Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about the methods. Blessings will come in unexpected ways.” She follows her own advice and continues to experience great success.
Ashley’s community service is evident in the relationships she has built and continues to build. She helps those in need through contributions of her time and energy as well as financial support. Ashley explains an opportunity she had to purchase groceries for individuals in her area. “It was shocking to see so many people surprised that a stranger cared about them and didn’t want anything in return. People came into the grocery store with their last $20 and walked out with food for a month.”
This month, Ashley celebrates a new warehouse in North Little Rock. The location will serve as a showroom for displays, inventory and onsite meetings. Ashley’s commitment to Arkansas is not only a passion but also a necessity. “We’re dated in how we do business here. Let’s get more nonprofit, for profit, side hustler in the conversation and in a position to earn more.”
Sponsored by Methodist Family Health | Nominations accepted at Foundation@MethodistFamily.org
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