Communication Alumna and Entrepreneur

ashley bolling pic original

Ashley Bolling (center) cuts the ribbon to her new boutique in downtown Orlando with Desiry Witherspoon (left), Production Coordinator at iHeart Media, and Tony Jenkins (right), Market President at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida.

UCF Nicholson School of Communication alumna and former athlete, Ashley Bolling, ’12, has found herself a part of downtown Orlando’s business scene with the grand opening of her boutique.

From what started as a budding online retail website, her business Closet Freekz’s rapid two year growth can be accredited to its mission of providing “unique and high-quality items” as well as convenient shopping services such as style assessments, personal shopping, and special ordering. Located in downtown Orlando on 420 E. Church Street, the grand opening of the store was celebrated on Friday, May 20 with a media power hour and ribbon cutting ceremony.

The brick and mortar store offers a curated selection of vintage and modern apparel for both men and women. “Closet Freekz motto has always been ‘Style + Music + Conversation.’ This new location offers [us] the chance to combine all of these elements into a real life, physical experience for our clients,” stated Bolling.

Bolling attributes her success with Closet Freekz to the fundamental communication tools she acquired while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal/Organizational Communication at UCF.

“My degree is put to use literally on an everyday basis,” Bolling explained. “Understanding how to communicate effectively with varying groups of people is how you become elite in leadership, networking, and problem solving; all three being the core keys it takes to start, own and operate your own business.”

In addition to her commitment to her studies, Ashley was devoted to her athletics, competing on the UCF Women’s Track and Field Team in which she won 5 out of 8 conference championships during her four year scholarship.

As a proud alumna, Bolling remains actively involved with UCF through her business endeavors by providing opportunities for students.

“I host an internship program for UCF students with my retail business,” said Bolling. “My program was proud to mentor and employ three UCF students each semester for three semesters. I am also still heavily involved with UCF athletics, Women’s Track, UCF Football and UCF Basketball as a supporter.”

On top of her successful business endeavors with Closet Freekz, Bolling is currently finishing up her time serving as a Soldier Readiness Processing Deployment Specialist for the U.S. Army at a local reservist command in Orlando. The entrepreneur offers this piece of advice to current students and UCF alumni:

“School is not just for the education, it’s for the experience. It’s a common misconception by young people today that it doesn’t take a degree to be successful nowadays. Although yes, all professions don’t necessarily require one, they all require expertise and experience in something. And that’s what my time at UCF gave me. To other alumni, I would always say to give back. Remember your experiences and journey and give back to those looking for opportunity and mentorship as much as possible.”


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