In an "Establishing Fashion Business" course at Missouri State, Ashley Wakefield took her first steps to starting Sophie. During the school year, she was able to focus on future plans, researching banks and potential locations for a Sophie that was still "to be". Ashley attributes this class for her ability to start Sophie, being able to develop and polish a business plan.
In December 2006, Ashley graduated from college and ran with that business plan. She opened Sophie in July 2007--less than a year later. Sophie started in a 900 square foot office space selling shoes, bags, and accessories on the east side of Joplin, Missouri. The first year went amazingly well. And then the recession hit. 2008 and 2009 were tough, really tough. But as Ashley puts it, she just "made it work, dude."
2010 brought better sales, another location, and the addition of dresses and denim. Business continued to improve so Ashley moved Sophie to downtown Joplin in May of 2014. Here, on the corner of Main and 6th Street, Sophie is now a "full-blown" clothing store. For the future, Ashley hopes to expand the online store--enabling Sophie to grow larger and more successful.