CONCORD, N.C. – With more than 600 team members in the organization, there are stories all across the Hendrick Motorsports campus.
With that in mind, we’re taking the chance to give fans a glimpse at all of the many sides of Hendrick Motorsports.
Below, you’ll hear from Amy Walsh Stock, manager of communications.
What is your role at Hendrick Motorsports?
“I work with Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team, managing the communications efforts with our new partner Ally and work closely with Jimmie’s brand and social team to create opportunities for content and publicity. Day-to-day I manage all the media requests that come in and also do my fair share of pitching story ideas about Jimmie that could introduce him to new fans and media outlets.”
When did you first join Hendrick Motorsports and what other roles have you held?
“Dec. 8, 2004. I’ve had a few roles in my tenure at Hendrick Motorsports. I’ve been able to work as a media relations representative for both Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Then at the end of the 2008 season I moved over to an account executive position on the No. 48 team, working directly with Jimmie, Chad Knaus and Lowe’s from 2008 to 2012. I was also given the opportunity to manage Hendrick Motorsports’ digital content for two years before I came back to the media relations side, and now I’m manager of communications, kind of overseeing all the media relations representatives for the Nos. 9, 24 and 88 teams and handle the No. 48 team PR.”
What is it about Hendrick Motorsports that has kept you here?
“The people. It’s that simple.”
In addition to your job here, you also are a small business owner – what is that business?
“Charlotte Candle Company. I co-own the company with my husband Travis, who also travels the NASCAR circuit as a mechanic on another team. We make all-natural soy wax candles and fragrance diffusers. We make the candles at night and on our days off and sell them mostly online and in retail outlets throughout the Charlotte area.”
How did your business start?
“Back in 2016, someone gave me a really nice candle for a gift. I loved it, burned it all the time and when I burned through it I wanted another one. I was really surprised at how much it cost. Then I just got curious about why this candle is so much more expensive than other candles – what’s so special about it? I began researching and Googling everything there was to know about candles.
“I had hip surgery over the offseason after Jimmie won his seventh championship and wasn’t allowed to walk for six weeks. I was on crutches, bored and on the couch, so I had a lot of time to Google search. I learned how to make candles on You Tube and realized that there is way more to it than I originally thought. I knew nothing about candles, websites or e-commerce, so I had to learn all of that. We tested our candles for more than nine months before we sold one. We still test all of our candles no matter how long we have been doing them. We asked our friends and family to burn our candles and give us honest feedback. Once we had a product we were proud of, we had to get a company name, a business license and a tax ID. We had a graphic designer come up with a logo and then shot photography of our candles. I built the website and we had to open bank accounts. You wouldn’t believe all the things that go into starting and running a business. We launchedon Sept. 4, 2017.”
What challenges do you face with running your own business and working a full-time job?
“I basically have two full-time jobs. I come into the office during the week and travel on the weekends – and sometimes during the week – with the team. I make time during the week at night to put time into the business, and Travis does the same. On our days off, which are usually Mondays and Thursdays during the season, we focus on the candles. Sometimes we work until early hours in the morning but we want to make this business successful, so we do what it takes. We also teach candle workshops.”
How much time a week do you both spend on your business?
“We work on it about 20 hours a week and sometimes that can be a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, Travis and I have the same travel schedule. During the offseason we can do pop-ups on the weekends and go to certain events in the Charlotte area.”
A post shared by Charlotte Candle Company, LLC. (@charlottecandlecompany) on
What is your favorite thing about working for both Hendrick Motorsports and owning your own business with Charlotte Candle Company?
“Working with Jimmie and the No. 48 team has been awesome. He is an incredible ambassador for the sport and he understands the meaning and power of media relations. We work very well together and he does a great job representing his sponsors and teams. He’s probably one of the greatest race car drivers of all time and off the track understands the role of the media and how important they are to our sport. Being able to pitch a driver who has so much respect – not only in NASCAR, but in the mainstream media -- is an opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve always been kind of a creative person and it’s fun to be able to have an outlet outside of my day job to fall back on. Charlotte Candle Company allows me to take my mind off some work stress that I might have. It’s a physical product you can look at and see and be proud of, and it’s something you’ve made with your own hands. Seeing it grow piece by piece is very satisfying – and they smell really good.”
Where do you see your business going in the future?
“We actually just finished renovating a space in our house to be a workshop two weeks ago. I’d like to, of course, like any business, have it grow and be bigger. Maybe see it as a bigger company in the Charlotte area, and maybe someday we will have to hire people to work with us. Growing has its share of stresses, but that’s a good problem to have when you are in business.
“Personally, I’d like to learn to get better at graphic design to be able to do more of my own graphics and logos.”
Do you know a small business like Amy’s? You’ll be glad to know that Nationwide is the No. 1 total small business insurer with complimentary resources available to help grow your business. Visit www.nationwide.com/bizsolution... to learn more.