Your Neighbor: Meet Ashli Nicks
By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier
Ashli Nicks has called Lewisville home for most of her life. The oldest of three girls in her family, she and her sisters admired their mom Rosie’s talent for singing from a young age. “We wanted to be just like her and tried it too,” laughs Nicks. “Although, we didn’t quite have her talent.” Nicks did find her talents in other areas. Nicks enjoyed dancing, participating in her church’s youth group, and cheerleading; she attended Mount Tabor High School.
It was during high school, Ashli would meet her future husband, Gregg. “We went to rival high schools, he went to West Forsyth and we met at a basketball game.” The two dated off and on starting her junior year of high school. For college, Nicks decided she wanted to try a new adventure. “I always knew that I would come back and work for Slate Marketing, our family’s business. My best friend who didn’t live here called me and said she was going to visit Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. I had never even heard of it, but decided to check it out too. I loved it when I visited the campus and liked the idea of being in a big city,” reflects Nicks.
Nicks’ adventure at SMU was just the right fit for her. She studied economics and finance. “Although, I knew my long-term career goals would be communications focused, I recognized that both my dad and Robert Hall at Slate Marketing would allow me to really get exceptional mentoring,” explains Nicks.
After completing her degree, Nicks went to briefly work in the news business in Myrtle Beach. Nicks didn’t plan to make it long term, but enjoyed the brief stint in the industry. “I headed back home to Lewisville and bought a house. I was ready to really immerse myself at Slate Marketing,” recalls Nicks. Around that time, Ashli’s sister ran into Ashli’s off-and-on boyfriend, Gregg Nicks. “The brief run-in really spurred us starting to talk again, and the rest was history.” Gregg and Ashli married two years later.
As things were falling into place both professionally and personally, Gregg and Ashli decided to add children to their family. With two children, a daughter, 12, and son, 9, Nicks has relished raising her kids in the community she enjoyed as a child. “I always say it’s a small big town. The community is very close-knit. I absolutely love it,” says Nicks. She has really appreciated the school community at Forsyth Country Day School. “For my son, who had an auditory issue, the teachers and staff identified it quickly. It could have easily been dismissed as a boy who didn’t want to pay attention or acted up, but they got us the resources we needed and quickly. Now he doesn’t even need assistance or help because of it. We are very grateful.”
Nicks’ family appreciated the same tight-knit community that rallied around them when her mother, Rosie, passed away suddenly six years ago to cancer. “My mom was larger than life. She was so sweet and caring. Everyone who knew her felt like they were her best friend. When she passed, we wanted a way to carry her kindness and warmth on. We started hashtags with ‘Make Life Rosie’ to have a way to embody her spirit and say her name daily,” describes Nicks. Thus, the charity Make Life Rosie empowered other mother’s in the community. “We started partnering with Brenner’s Children’s Hospital. Our big event that we do every year is called Make a Mother’s Day where we fill up bags and provide items to mothers whose children are staying at the hospital. We give them things they need for their stay and also things that give the moms self care. Even if it’s just for one day, we want to know the moms deserve it,” explains Nicks. Hip Chics in Clemmons has already agreed to donate bags for all mothers whose children will be staying at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital this Mother’s Day.
As Nicks continues to keep her mother’s legacy of love and kindness alive, she relishes her own journey that brought her right back to where she started her life. She lives Randy Pausch’s sentiments from “The Last Lecture,” which would make her mother proud. “When we’re connected to others, we become better people.”
If you would like to participate in this year’s “Make a Mother’s Day” at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital with the Make Life Rosie team, reach out to the charity at https://www.makeliferosiefoundation.com/contact.