BY OLIVIA CAMERON – A day in retail is rewarding when a customer finds the perfect pair of jeans.
Fabrics of all shades and textures can be combined to create a unique style that reflects someone’s personality, whether that represents their morning demeanor or the expectations they set for themselves. Whichever way they dress to impress, Aqua Boutique Manager Ashli Price has an eye for bringing their best qualities out in their clothes.
Ashli, a born-and-raised Florida girl, couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. She has carried out her six-year career on the island with a confident approach. Selling retail off-island would be no match for her managerial position in the heart of Boca Grande, for which she has the store owner to thank.
After graduating from Lemon Bay High School, Ashli plucked herself from her academics and into a managerial position at a local Starbucks. “The job was emotionally and physically draining.
“I saw customers throw coffee on my employees, which they didn’t get paid enough for,” said Ashli.
When a friend left her position at Aqua Boutique, Ashli walked away from her work that went underappreciated. Emily Wheeler, owner of Aqua, hired Ashli on the spot. However, when Ashli found that Aqua closed their doors each September due to a lack of sales, she was forced to return to Starbucks.
“Emily proceeded to call me every day for a year in the hope that I would return to Aqua,” said Ashli. Eventually she was given an offer she couldn’t refuse and returned with the responsibilities of shop manager.
“Coming back was the best decision I could have made. It came down to my happiness, and I’d rather work as part of Emily’s team than make twice as much doing something else.”
Her commitment to her position on island has been nothing short of rewarding. Ashli has felt at home since the day she set foot in the shop, and she plans to extend and enhance her retail career. She plans to expand her knowledge of high-end fashion and become a personal shopper. Prior to her position at Aqua, Ashli rarely frequented high-end stores. In fact, she was coming up with ways to exude style on a budget. When she landed the job, a pair of saggy jeans was all it took to fi nd the way to a customer’s heart.
“At first, I didn’t know anything about the jeans we carried. I researched, learned about the inseam, understood the difference between a high-rise and a mid-rise pair of pants, and I found that nobody should wear low-rise jeans,” said Ashli.
A material that sags throughout the day results in an ill-fitting pair of pants. The right pair of jeans completes the variety in one’s wardrobe.
“If you can find a woman the perfect pair of jeans, she will always come back to you,” she said.