From Morning Coffee to Lights Out: A Day in the Life of Ashley Childers

Ashley Childers is the CEO and creative director of one of Little Rock’s finest home interiors companies, Emporium Home Wholesale.

6 a.m.
Hop out of bed and immediately walk to the kitchen. Nothing can happen before I have a cup of coffee in my hand, and lately I must say I am a bit heavy-handed on the cream. Oh well, yum!
6:05 a.m.
I get settled in my light-flooded front living room and start my quiet time. I am the only one up and the house is silent. I spend the first hour of my day reading, praying, responding to emails and sorting out the day’s agenda.
7:15 a.m.

Head to the back of the house to get ready, and remember that I just bought a sweet new midi dress that I haven’t worn yet. Score!

My husband Garrett and I scramble some eggs for the kids, and I am out the door headed to the Emporium Home headquarters — with a second cup of coffee in hand, of course.

8 a.m.
I walk into the office and am greeted by my amazing staff (they are a dream team). We get settled for our morning staff meeting and go over production schedules, product development, collaborations and marketing opportunities. We call our meetings “parties.” It’s so much more fun that way.
10 a.m.
I may or may not be making another cup of coffee (I can’t help myself).
10:05 a.m.
I shut the door to my office, spread out my renderings, laptop and Prismacolors and start sketching product designs for launch next summer. I am designing a house with Cape Dutch influences, and I am totally inspired by the beauty of Cape Town, South Africa. Its vibe is magical, and from the looks of the collection, I seem to be a bit obsessed.
I head out the door with my husband Garrett, who is president of Emporium Home, to grab a quick lunch and have one-on-one time to talk through the morning’s events. Halfway through our soup, a new lighting design pops in my head and I reach in my purse, pull out my sketch book and scribble an outline of the idea before I forget it.

12:45 p.m.
Back at the office, and it’s time to review images and pricing of new developments sent from our factories. “This new console table is literally going to blow people’s minds.” SQUEAL!
2 p.m.
The warehouse is humming with shipments and deliveries, and I head out back to check on packing and fulfillment, and joke around with my hysterical warehouse staff while “Delta,” our warehouse cat, keeps tabs on everyone.
3 p.m.
Calls from our West Coast buyers are coming one after the other. Final decisions on fabrics and color palettes are made and I quickly hop on the phone to discuss a new licensing partnership for a furniture and accessory line.
3:30 p.m.
I’m finally back at the eight-foot oval table that is my desk – now covered in folders, sketches, and markers. I grab a Sharpie and start a detailed sketch of the new chandelier design that I thought of at lunch. This is my happy place. I LOVE MY JOB!
4:30 p.m.
I head out the door, and make a quick stop at the gym to jump on the elliptical for 30 minutes, telling myself that I really do enjoy working out, but secretly thinking of the million other things I could be getting done in 30 minutes.
5 p.m.
Hallelujah, it’s over. Now out of the gym and off to the house to talk dinner with the fam. Cade, my 12-year-old, wants pizza. Brighton, who is 17, prefers sushi. Garrett is leaning toward a burger, and honestly at this point, I’m dreaming of a margarita.
6:30 p.m.
Mom wins; our fave local Mexican joint it is. Chips and salsa, here I come!
8 p.m.
Back at the house and time to catch up on a few emails that came in late in the afternoon, while, of course, processing the laundry, unloading the dishwasher, deadheading the roses and tidying up the family room. (I think somewhere it is scientifically proven that moms corner the market on multitasking. It’s just what we do.)
9 p.m.
I finally get the kiddos settled and check emails one last time. This is the time of day that my inbox gets filled with questions from our factories on the other side of the world. I quickly respond so I know they have answers to the questions about our new developments.
10 p.m.
I head to bed to rest and recharge, so I can do it all again tomorrow!

Plan B:

I was a dancer and choreographer for 13 years before starting Emporium Home. So I guess that is what I always thought I would do with my life. However, I’ve always loved interior and product design. When I was in high school and all my friends were reading Seventeen, I was buying Southern Living.

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