VALDOSTA – Ashley Cook has always been passionate about fashion. People always complimented her on her style, but she never expected to pursue her passion.
Cook has a degree in business administration and became an instructor in business administration at Wiregrass.
One of the classes she taught included a workshop on small business development, where she started entertaining ideas, she said.
In 2020, Cook launched her own online boutique, Oshee Fancy Boutique.
She kept all inventory in her garage, packed orders, and shipped them from her home using an online storefront.
Her eldest daughter, 16-year-old Laila, helped order the packages.
In 2021, Cook was due to open its first store in Valdosta.
I never imagined my house would catch fire on the morning of the grand opening.
Cook said he remembered the day vividly.
“After Thanksgiving at my mom’s house, I started getting the store ready for the grand opening on Black Friday. I got home from the store the next morning. I was only home for a few hours.; 2 am. I fell asleep around 30:00.”
She continued, “Interestingly, my house had a floor plan, so my room was on the other side of my daughter’s room. I lay across the bed in the guest room and was awakened by the sound of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and jumped up to find my back porch on fire.”
Cook said he quickly ran out the front door to pick up his daughters, Laila, Lauren, 13, and Landry, 8. After stepping out of her front door, she and her daughters found that Macy, the dog, was trapped inside.
Cook said, “It was horrible to sit in my neighbor’s yard and watch the house burn down. I was heartbroken and I couldn’t believe it… there were so many emotions.”
Due to the fire, Cook did not plan to have a grand opening on Black Friday the following day, but he received words of encouragement from his mother and the support of friends and family.
Her mother and her best friend took action to put the store together and prepare everything for the grand opening.
“Everyone came together to help me. It was an outpouring of love from the community…many people prayed for me, donated, bought for me,” Cook said. rice field. “It was destiny. God really made what the devil sent to destroy me work. I was able to push through… I don’t know how, but I’m grateful.”
“My boutique is my ministry…From the moment I helped my customers, I’ve made many connections that can help women feel beautiful.”
This April, Ohh She Fancee Boutique donated to Chanel’s Beautiful Creations to give young women the prom of their dreams. Through this opportunity, Cook found a way to do business and give back to the community.
“I want to let women know that they can be ‘fancy’ while starting their lives over,” Cook said. “I want to teach women empowerment through credits, budgets, interviews, and life skills.”
She’s partnering with women’s shelters, churches, and others to donate old inventory and start nonprofits that help women feel inspired.
“That fire had to happen,” Cook said.
Ohh She Fancee Botique can be found at 1723 Norman Drive or online at www.ohhshefancee.com.