Ashley Ost and Grace Peck didn’t realize what would transpire from a casual happy hour chat over margaritas at Pica’s Taqueria a little over two years ago. But the realization of their aligning passions and career ambitions sparker a fire that quickly spread. Why not use their love of art and creativity, along with their collective business savvy, to start their own business?
Shortly after their cocktail meet-up, Ost happened to walk down Glenwood Street and saw a vacant space. Less than three months later, in September 2015, Roam opened its doors, inviting shoppers to explore something a bit different from the typical Jackson store.
Inside the small boutique off Town Square, shoppers are welcomed into a space that embodies serenity. The displays are whimsical, with soft colors coupled with eclectic décor dotting the walls and elegant jewelry on nearby tables. Candles, ceramic bowls, purses, baby booties, bibs, greeting cards, and more line the shelves.
“We knew there was room in Jackson for this,” Ost says. “We knew we could bring artists and things you couldn’t find here. We wanted to be more feminine than the rest of Jackson.”
Originally, Peck moved to Jackson to work at a nearby dude ranch, but she was always pursuing her love of art and creating.
Ost spent her days creating custom cakes and desserts for special occasions. Both shared the same love of creativity and artistry.
And if you pop into Roam, you might notice a cake or two, or a bride sampling some freshly baked cupcakes. A trained baker, Ost fills the remainder of her time with Everything But The Dress, her custom cake and dessert business. For nearly 15 years, she has created custom wedding cakes, cupcakes, and desserts for couples’ big days and special occasions.
“It is so wonderful for me to be a part of their special day and help make it even more unique and customized by creating a cake that reflects that person or couple,” she says.
Ost calls her two companies, which share a storefront, sister businesses. Brides head to Roam for cake tastings and consultations and to peruse the shop for bridal party gifts, favors, and other finds.
On any given day at Roam, visitors are welcomed by Ost and Peck. Their warm smiles and obvious love of the store are infectious. Peck tackles the buying and large-scale vision of the shop, while Ost is the details guru, designing displays and merchandising. The pair balances each other naturally.
It’s safe to say, however, that these partners wear many hats throughout their days. Both 29 years old, the past year has brought exciting new chapters like adding “mom” to their repertoire.
“It is so nice to have someone who is in the same boat as you,” Ost says. “We were new moms to a store, and now we are new moms to little babes. We can relate to everything the other feels.”
With each new chapter, the pair leans on one another and their passions sparked from that happy hour three years ago. Their advice for any young entrepreneur hoping to set out on their own? “Just jump in and do it,” they say, almost in unison.
“It’s so nice to have young women come in, enjoy the store, and show them that yes, we can do it all,” Ost says. “If we can do this, anyone can do this.”