By Keysha Drexel
A company started by a Hoover couple now has its wares in several Over the Mountain shops.
Asher Riley, a needlepoint company started by husband and wife team Virden and Elle Hargrove, now has its products available at Hollywood Pet Feed in Cahaba Heights and The Pants Store in Mountain Brook.
The company creates hand-stitched items ranging from men’s belts to dog collars that are designed by Virden.
“It was just a hobby at first,” Elle said. “But then as Virdin wore his belts in public, he began receiving requests for specialty designs.”
The couple started Asher Riley as an online company in March 2012, just to test the market, Elle said.
“We quickly found that needlepoint belts are very popular,” she said. “Our prices are competitive, and our designs are original. We embrace the quintessential Southern preppy style in every design.”
When it came to choosing a name for the company, the couple knew they wanted it to have special meaning, so they named the company after their youngest son.
Virden is using his previous experience in sales to help grow the company. Asher Riley recently became licensed to sell Greek fraternity items, including coasters, pillow cushions and leather sandals.
Elle balances her responsibilities as a dental hygienist in Birmingham with helping the family’s company expand.
“Hopefully in five years, Asher Riley will have more needlepoint items specifically for men,” she said.
The couple said the best part of their jobs as business owners is being able to make items that are truly personalized for their customers.
“Putting patterns and pictures together to represent a particular personality is special,” Elle said. “The finished product is really like a piece of personalized art.”
When they are not busy running their company, the Hargroves said they like to go to their son’s sporting events and take walks with their two Golden Retrievers.
For more information on Asher Riley, visit www.asherriley.com.