Teaching himself to become a chocolatier was filled with obstacles. “Discovering resources, references and information was tough because so much of this industry is protected or simply unpublished,” says Ashley. “Sourcing materials and ingredients was an immensely challenging feat because there was no one to tell me “look here” or “contact this person”. I had to develop all of that all on my own.”
Developing the skills necessary to succeed in this business without formally being educated in a field that demands extreme discipline is extremely unique. For Ashley, the lengthy study and having growing success is in of itself an accomplishment. “I am beyond passionate about my craft,” Ashley tells BE Modern Man. “I have developed an art form that surpasses what anyone has ever dreamt through the design of edible art and I am constantly dreaming up new fanciful creations to develop.”
In a world where we are bombarded with images showing us what we should look like and people telling us what we should be, it is easy to get lost. “Passion and authenticity are key ingredients in any endeavor, and when you truly love what you do you will be driven to achieve excellence and no one will have to force you to perform at the highest level. ” says Ashley. Ashley offers this advice to the younger generation BE Modern Man hopefuls- “know thyself, and seek what you’re meant to be. Once you’ve discovered it and are operating in it, take care to never get so comfortable with present success and continue to hunger and strive for greater.”
For Ashley, launching his own business and building a brand has been one of the most challenging and most rewarding experiences. Taking the leap of faith and transitioning from corporate america to entrepreneurship is always a very risky move but calling the shots and growing something bigger than yourself is the sweetest of rewards. “I am fiercely competitive and work not only to be the best in my industry but stand out as a leader in my community,” Ashley tells Be Modern Man. “Narratives are often one-sided, but African Americans are far from conventional. and while yes, I’m a black man, my accomplishments and impact on society transcend being defined simply by how I look.”
Defying conventional standards and going beyond setting mere trends, Ashely has set out to change the world. “A BE Modern Man means you are someone who doesn’t simply “bet on the come”,” says Ashley. “You see beyond the now and are savvy in obtaining what you want and need in the future.”
The BlackEnterprise.com team congratulates Chef Phillip Ashley for betting on himself and winning. Not only focused on developing creating delectable treats, Ashley founded The Rix Foundation to continue and amplify his numerous charitable efforts. Breaking the traditional rules, Ashley presents consumers with wild creations, while remaining true to his art and that is why he is a BE Modern Man. Check him out at the Memphis Masquerade, where he will honor charitable organizations doing incredible work in the areas of health, youth and outreach.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.