Aislinn with daughter Samantha.
Today I would like to introduce you to Aislinn, an amazing woman who is truly an inspiration for many, including my very own daughters.
Aislinn’s family owned a small business, an environmental laboratory in Hyde Park, NY, and by the age of 11 she was working for her mother doing office work, cleaning lab dishes and other tasks.
At 16, Aislinn decided to start her own business and partnered with a high school friend to open the Hyde Park Dance Arts. That earned her the Johnson & Wales University’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which came with a four year scholarship to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, where she graduated summa cum laude with an A.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management and a B.S. in Health Care Administration, specializing in Gerontology.
After graduation, Aislinn became licensed as a Nursing Home Administrator and worked in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
It was while working at a nursing home in Massachusetts that she was introduced to Edible Arrangements® when the director of nursing for the facility purchased an arrangement for the residents. Aislinn still had an entrepreneurial spirit within her and after seeing the reaction to the arrangement, she decided to research the company.
In 2005, Aislinn purchased her first Edible Arrangements franchise. She returned to her hometown and in July opened the first Edible Arrangements in the Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Two years later she opened her second Edible Arrangements location in Kingston, NY. That same year, I presented her with the highly coveted President’s Award at our annual convention. In addition, the Poughkeepsie store was awarded the company’s Northeast Region Pineapple Star Award for exceeding customer expectations and providing superior product quality. Aislinn also received the Always There Making A Difference Award in 2012 for the passionate work she has done in Ulster and Dutchess Counties.
Aislinn and her daughter, Samantha, live in Rhinebeck, NY, with their rescue dog, Honey Bear, and rescue cat, Pookie. If running a business and raising a daughter wasn’t tough enough, she is also active in the Girl Scouts, where she is a Gold Award recipient, a troop leader and also volunteers to teach troops about healthy eating, nutrition, food service and Edible Arrangements. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the local Chapter of the American Red Cross and the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is also an active volunteer and supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse and the SPCA.
When she does find a little spare time, she enjoys hiking, gardening, ballet and painting.
How does she do it all?
Aislinn says she is fortunate to have a dedicated group of individuals working with her. Many of her team members in the Poughkeepsie store, for example, have been with her since 2006, including Lead Designer, Marcelo, and Lead Prep Assistant, Bryan.
Aislinn encourages her team to have fun and bring happiness to the local community. She often pushes the Driver Supervisor, Josh, to entertain as the store “Banana Man” at community events. Jordan, a Fruit Expert, is also involved in the store’s social media efforts and store supervisor Kayla Welz, who started with the Poughkeepsie store in 2012, has played the role of the “Strawberry Princess” or “Fruity the Elf”.
Oh yes, her favorite arrangement is the Mango Kiwi Blossom with the Tropical Sampler add-on. However, she will never refuse a pineapple fruit truffle!
When I hear her story, I am reminded how blessed we are to have franchisees like Aislinn and many others like her as part of the Edible Arrangements family.