We’ve known Phillip Ashley Rix since he began his designer chocolate company, Phillip Ashley Chocolates. Previously known as Chocistry (to explain the chemistry that takes place when chocolate and artistry collide), his business has swelled over the past 12 months to become the primary source for high quality, visually astounding chocolate. Rix has mastered the art of blending operations, branding, and philanthropy to create a nationally-recognized line of delectable chocolates. Check out this Memphis-based entrepreneur in this week’s edition of #LoveWhatYouDo.
ding!: It’s safe to assume that you love chocolate and LOVE experimenting with unique flavors. What made you decide to turn it into a business?
Phillip: I honestly went into it from the very beginning with the goal of making it a business. The main reason I went into chocolate was because I saw an opportunity to do something wildly different. I knew that if done well, this would become an amazing business.
D: Did you struggle with meeting the back-office demands of running a business (operations, advertising, etc.)?
P: In running any business, there are challenges. In the beginning, there wasn’t very much in the way of back-office demands; but as it has grown, yes, maintaining balance is a daily task.
D: How do you incorporate social media into marketing your business?
P: I use it as an integral part of my business. It allows Phillip Ashley Chocolates to gain recognition in areas and with the speed that traditional marketing methods wouldn’t. Social media can be a very effective, cost-efficient, and powerful tool when used strategically. As with any marketing campaigns, consistency in the messaging is critical. Ultimately, it allows me to share our store and allows our fans and followers to connect with us.
D: What’s your favorite thing about your work day?
P: Waking up… Because I know I have the privilege of doing something totally cool every day.
D: Do you use any non-traditional marketing tactics to spread awareness about your business?
P: Yes. I use a number of methods and employ creative and innovative ways of reaching and communicating. I also use some print, some radio from time to time, etc. (Editorial Note: Phillip Ashley Chocolates has collaborated with several well-known brands over the past 12 months to host tastings, raise awareness of philanthropic initiatives, and support other new businesses. Additionally, the brand relies on social media to promote individuals, organizations, and businesses who are investing in the sweet treats from their Cooper Young store.)
D: Where do you see your business in 5 years?
P: Still growing and profitable. Phillip Ashley Chocolates will have boutiques in at least 7 other cities by then. Plus, [we’ll have] a well-established luxury hotel client portfolio and a strong international presence. In short, in 5 years we will be “the” chocolate company.
D: Why do you love what you do?
P: It never gets old… Any of it. The fact that I love what I do and when you love something, you take everything that comes with it. Being able to come in and create chocolates while knowing it will blow at least one person’s mind! I get to push the boundaries and truly be innovative in what I do from every aspect and meet incredible people along the way. It just doesn’t get better than that.
D: Does your business have a philanthropic initiative?
P: Yes. I am a giver by nature and supporting my hometown is of particular interest and importance to me. We try to work with as many organizations and causes as possible because so many need support to continue their great work. I am in the process of developing something that will allow me to give back on a larger scale and truly make a difference.
D: Where can people find you on the web?
D: Do you offer Memphians any special promotions on particular days, at specific times, or for certain services?
We do offer the Memphis Police Officers and Shelby County Sheriffs 10% when they come in and purchase. Though rare, we also do promotions from time to time. We handcraft the best chocolate you will ever experience so we make sure to remind everyone that YOU DESERVE IT™.
Editorial Note: Phillip Ashley Chocolates has put together a Valentine’s Day Package that looks delicious. Register on their website to receive future updates to your email inbox. Check out the Vday Package HERE.