Ashley College Tour: The Story Of Ashley Stewart, Brought To CAU

HerCampus CAU had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Ashley College Tour conference presented by the clothing brand Ashley Stewart. Representatives from the brand will be stopping at a total of seven universities this spring.  On Wednesday, April 11th, James Rhee, the executive chairman and CEO of Ashley Stewart made his stop at Clark Atlanta University to give a session that detailed how he accomplished bringing success to the clothing brand after the company filed for bankruptcy twice. He also gave important workshops on life and money and different ways to find success.  

Before everyone learned about the tools for success James Rhee told us the story of Ashley Stewart. This plus size women’s clothing brand was founded in 1991.The brand found its popularity by opening stores in various neighborhoods around the United States. They also found store managers and employers in the neighborhoods surrounding these various stores. Although the brand has been around for a long time the company never made money in the last twenty-two years

Just before James Rhee took over as CEO in 2013 the company had been struggling and had to close a lot of stores as well as file for bankruptcy twice. He even told everyone about the upsetting conditions within the headquarters when he arrived to begin working for the company (the company headquarters did not have wifi or computers). We then learned about James Rhee and how he became CEO of a clothing company without having any prior experience. Mr. Rhee is a first generation Korean American. After graduating from Harvard University in 1993 he began to work various jobs. He was a teacher for three years. Following that he began working as an investment professional. 

After giving history to the brand and his life, the sessions began. The event was split into three sessions. The first session was over life and business. During this session, he gave everyone a rundown on his life as well as giving everyone some important tools to succeed in both life as well as business. He discussed different ways success is measured and the different rules one can follow to reach success. 

The second session was all about the guidelines everyone should take in life dealing with business as well our collegiate careers. The three main points during this session were; risk-return, leverage, and goodwill. He spoke to the attendees in detail about his experience with each point and talked about the importance of each. The final session was about how to apply the rules we learned during each session into our everyday life. After the final session, we were told about the success Ashley Stewart has now.

Today Ashley Stewart has a noticeable social media platform with sales approaching $200M! As well as having over 80 stores in the US. This workshop was not only inspirational it was also motivating. It was a pleasure to hear about the rags to riches success story and how we can apply these lessons to our own lives. Be sure to follow Ashley Stewart online so you can stay updated on the wonderful things this brand has in store.