Biz Buzz: Askins Pickin’ and Grinnin’

Molly Isley of Askins Pickin’ and Grinnin’
Molly Isley of Askins Pickin’ and Grinnin’

“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” – Mandy Hale

Molly Isley bucked all norms when she opened her business, Askins Pickin’ and Grinnin’, on December 1, 2020. Sure, some of my fellow entrepreneurs started businesses during COVID and a lot have succeeded. How many of them were 16 years old? Molly’s 17 now. She’s the only teenage business owner that I know with a storefront. She’s got the grit and determination to thrive!

She has years of experience and knowledge selling goods by renting booths. She said, “When COVID hit, I was putting out more money than I was bringing in. I saved up enough money to rent the store and got a bunch of vendors together. Ever since, I kept on going.”

I’m in awe of her gumption and business knowledge at her age. We often hear the expression when someone talks about a young person when they say, “they are going places” or “they will be someone someday”. Someday has come for Molly and she is that someone! She had a vision, made a plan, chose a perfect location, took action, and followed through! I’m beyond impressed.

What teenager does this? Seriously, if you know of gifted teenagers, let me know and we would love to promote their efforts!

Molly said, “I’m really surprised that I’ve had the support from the community like I have had”.

I met Molly once and although I’m not a shopper, I will be back because I love her story…and the cool things in her shop!


Charlie McCarthy Dummy Ventriloquist Doll
Charlie McCarthy Dummy Ventriloquist Doll and other collectibles

Askins Pickin’ and Grinnin’ is home to thirteen vendors who offer a variety of items from clothes to knickknacks, antiques, collectibles, windows, vinyl records, dishes, home décor, repurposed wares, furniture, vintage magazines, clothes, handmade arts and crafts, tools, and so much more! Molly added “and like my sign says, ‘Cool stuff’.”

I asked Molly if there was anything that she wanted the public to know and she said, “I always try to talk with my customers because I wouldn’t be where I am, without them.”

Askins Pickin' and Grinnin'
Askins Pickin’ and Grinnin’ – Shop and Greeting Place

It’s also a great place to catch up with old friends! I ran into my friend Kathy who lives in Historic Downtown New Bern. I live in the Western New Bern area. We both met at this unique place. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year. We were both vaccinated, looked at each other, and decided to go for it…a much-needed hug!

We highly recommend you stop by and check it out! They’re also pet friendly.

If you’re a vendor, contact Molly to check on space availability. On Saturdays, you can set up in the parking lot for an small fee per spot.

Molly buys things and also accepts donations. Please think about donating things so others can reuse/repurpose instead of dumping them into the landfill.

Visit Askins Pickin’ and Grinnin’ located at 4358 Hwy 17 (at the corner of Aurora Rd.) beside the Mallard Gas Station in Ernul. They are open Wednesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Find out more here.

This is a must visit, one of a kind store and it’s a great success story!

By Wendy Card*