17-year-old opens business in Craven County during the pandemic


ASKIN, N.C. (WNCT) — Just off Hwy. 17 in Askin is an old gas station, where everything old can be new again.

It’s the home of Askins Pickin’ and Grinnin’, owned by 17-year-old Molly Isley.

“I look for things that I like and then weird things,” said Isley.

The store is a vendor market, a space for people to sell antiques, collectibles and what Isley calls cool stuff.

“I had my ups and downs about it,” said Isley. “I never thought I would have the support that I have from the community that I have.”

Isley loves searching for hidden gems in thrift stores, second-hand shops and estate sales. She opened her shop in December of 2020 while doing the things normal high schoolers do.

“I was very fortunate that my teachers let me do what I was able to do this year. Because there were times where I was putting my business over school, but they understood,” said Isley.

She runs every part of her business. She even rolled up her sleeves and did the work to refurbish the building she’s in now.

“I was in here stripping the walls, painting them and stuff like that, and I knew at that point that this is what I wanted to do,” said Isley.

Despite opening during a pandemic, business has been good.

“I never would have expected to see people I never thought I would see again, and people that are my regulars that come in every Saturday just to speak with me,” said Isley.

She has plans for the future but says she’s happy where she’s at right now.

“I have thought about expanding a little bit, but I don’t think I’m ready for that right now,” said Isley. “I think it will be a little while before I do anything like that.”

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