The Second Act: Emily Ascolillo

A Second Act is defined as something, whether it is a hobby, new career, or lifestyle, that a person devotes their life to, usually after a former occupation or career. We find their stories are fascinating, and think they make some of the best clients. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to individuals starting, or in the midst of their second acts, how they got there, and why they are on the brink of something really special.

So without further ado, we would like to introduce you to…

Name: Emily Ascolillo

Education/Training: BA in Human Behavior, MA in Clinical Psychology

First Job/Career: Trauma Therapist with Children affected by Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse

From our conversations about your previous career, we have been able to piece together you were quite accomplished in your field. Can you share some of your achievements from your First Act?

I worked in the field of mental health for about 20 years so this question sparks many memories of small accomplishments and achievements over the years.  While it may be obvious to answer with “helping children feel better and over come their symptoms of PTSD” there were so many other opportunities I was granted to spark change.  I think the greatest achievements came in the later part of my career when I could take what I had learned through experience and education and pass that onto others who were either just entering the field or a colleague in one of the various systems who was now in a position  to influence change. One of the last opportunities I remember being most proud of is speaking to the Lt. Governor and the lobbyists and activists working to maintain the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). Being given the opportunity to discuss victim impact and how their work in the state house & the allowance of certain funding’s trickled down and had a huge positive impact on the lives of victims I personally worked with felt like a huge achievement.  When you start your career at $4.25 an hour working third shift in a hospital and end advocating for children and families with the Lt. Governor it’s a good feeling.

When did you decide it was time to leave your full-time job to pursue Quite Fetching?

I had been at morning network event for Quite Fetching and found myself feeling excited and energized by what was happening in the room and the people I was speaking with.  A feeling I used to have when I started in the field of mental health. I was excited and motivated and had a million ideas in my head for Quite Fetching. Then I noticed the time and realized I had to cut conversations short because I had to go into work.  I had to prioritize someone else’s business (I was working for a private practice at the time) over my own. I called my husband on the drive from the networking event into work and said, its one or the other and I can’t do this [psychology] anymore. That was it.  I gave my families and the practice a 60 day notice I was leaving to focus on Quite Fetching full time.

Have you found any similarities between the 9 to 5 and retail?

The similarities between my two acts is the people.  I know my words and actions have impact and I keep that in the forefront of everything I do with Quite Fetching.  

If it makes you happy, if it’s what motivates you when you wake up, pursue it! And pursue it with all you’ve got.  Tomorrow is promised to no one, and things can change in a second.
— Emily Ascolillo, Founder, Quite Fetching

How is business going so far? What are you most proud of?

Business is good!  I’m proud of all of it.  Running your own business is so much work.  Nothing validates the hard work more than when I see the humans leash their pups up at the barkery because it’s time to go and the dogs lay down and freeze because they don’t want to leave.  Dogs make life better, and dog/animal people are good people. So I guess I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve created a place where both the pups and the humans who love them choose to spend part of their day with me.

If you could go back in time, would you pursue Quite Fetching from the start?

No.  My life and my experiences all led me to Quite Fetching at the right time, allowing me to create something because of who I am from what I’ve learned.  You can follow a business plan, you can create a retail formula but for me, Quite Fetching is my second home throughout the week, and the older, wiser me is the one who needs to be there.  I feel very fortunate to have learned from every experience I’ve had. Now I get to use those experiences to shape my business in any direction I chose.

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of pursuing their "Second Act”?

Do it.  If it makes you happy, if it’s what motivates you when you wake up, pursue it! And pursue it with all you’ve got.  Tomorrow is promised to no one, and things can change in a second. You’ll get back what you give in ways you may have never imagined.  It’s your life. It’s your one life. You’re worth it. Do it.