Name: Ashley Thompson
Name of Company: Pressed - A Creative Space
Year Started: 2015
Based In: Fayetteville, NC
Military Affiliation: Husband is in the Army
First, tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand/company.
The PRESSED Story started in 2011 when I moved to North Carolina to begin my journey as a military spouse. A creative spirit and a passion for design led me to begin to a design company while my husband was deployed overseas. Then in 2015, I took my love for design, creative marketing experience and retail background and opened PRESSED - A Creative Space. I wanted to create a place for people to be inspired through design. Where people can find unique treasures, meet like-minded friends and discover what drives their creativity. Now located at 120 Hay Street, PRESSED is a retail store that features uniquely curated, beautifully crafted and well designed products. PRESSED also hosts events and creative workshops where you can learn a new creative skill or just hang out with friends in an inspiring space!
As we all know, starting a business takes a lot of time and dedication. What drives you to keep going? What inspires you about the work that you do?
I love traveling and finding unique places to visit. When my husband and I travel we try to find the local gems, that is the best part of exploring a new place. We find the local coffee shops, restaurants, stores and absorb all the stories they have to tell about the community and the people who live there. My biggest fear is the growth of cookie cutter communities that strip an area of it’s personality because it is full of chain stores and restaurants. We love telling our unique story and creating a unique experience for every person who comes into our store or shops our website. So I am driven by how important I feel it is for communities to have places like our store. We work very hard every day to deliver a truly unique experience that people will never forget. We want every person who crosses our path to leave more inspired and with a story to tell.
Do you ever get stuck creatively? What do you do when that happens?
All the time. Owning your own business means you always have a fire to put out, someone to email or a phone call to make. It gets so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day operations and lose yourself creatively. When I start to do that I set aside time to just work on creative projects, with no phone, email, tv or social media. It also helps to get into a new space, whether it’s outside at a park or at a coffee shop. The change of scenery can help spark your creative energy.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that I have the opportunity to make an impact on so many people. Through my business I get to be involved with and have a positive impact on the community. I get to watch the small businesses who work with us grow into these amazing brands. We have an amazing team and I love watching them all grow creatively and professionally. Also we have so many amazing customers who make us a part of their journey and we are so happy they are a part of ours!
Who are some of your entrepreneurial heroes?
I love Johnny Cupcakes. I heard him at a conference in 2013 and have followed his brand ever since. I recently had the chance to visit his store in Boston, MA and it was such an amazing experience. I love how he handles his brand and offers such a unique experience to his customers.
What is one of the most proud achievements of your career this far?
We recently were awarded Mayor’s Small Business of the Year for the Fayetteville area. We were so honored and humbled to be selected for the award!
We are so excited with how our first 18 months in business have gone and we are planning for lots of growth for Pressed - A Creative Space. We want to make a visit to our store a truly unforgettable experience. We also want to impact every single person who engages with our brand and have them leave in a better place than when they first heard of our brand. We want to do this through supporting our local vendors and artists, finding products that enhance our customers lives, telling stories that impact everyone who hears them and supporting the community we work and live in.