Ashley Cox

HR PARTNER / LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT EXPERT - SPROUT HR

I'm a dual-certified HR professional with over 12 years of leadership and Human Resources experience. I've hired and trained leaders for companies on the Fortune 25 list to small businesses alike. I'm passionate about helping people develop the skills they need to become confident, effective and successful leaders!

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

- I'm a member of both the national and my local chapters of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
- I'm an active member of several local networking groups and am well-known as someone who's highly invested in her community and the go-to person when you need to get connected.
- I was a member of the committee that helped to bring the Small Business Festival to our area this May that originated in Austin, TX.
- I'm a facilitator of the CO.STARTERS program, a 9-week business development program for new entrepreneurs, where I've been part of and have seen the most inspiring businesses take off locally.
- I'm a huge proponent of local small businesses, shopping small and promoting them on my social media platforms frequently (even though my primary audience is national).
- Hobbies include reading, traveling, and exploring new things and places.

What’s something you do at your business that’s "weird" and not commonly done?

HR for creative businesses?! Haha! There's not many of us out there doing what I'm doing. I'm told all the time that I have the coolest business and that it's so needed in our space. And I'm doing it all in a way that connects with creatives - and isn't full of a bunch of jargon-y HR speak.

What inspired you to start your business?

I'm a creative person to the core. I've been on stage singing, dancing and acting since I was 3 years old. I've been an avid writer of poems, songs and short stories for most of my life, as well. I love small businesses, their owners and their families. I love the stories behind how and why someone does the thing they're so passionate about. I especially love the way they light up when they talk about their craft, with that little sparkle in their eye that's pure magic.

I started my business because I saw a need I could fill - a place I could help these creatives, these small business owners. Where I could offer guidance and support, as well as cheer them on along their journey. An opportunity to help them save time, frustration and big mistakes that could cost them a little - or cost them everything. I saw an opportunity to work with creatives in a space that didn't provide them with a lot of options - in a way that catered best to them, because we're very much the same.