Jenny Fulton, Founder of Miss Jenny’s Pickles
April 22, 2014
The Ralph Ketner School of Business was proud to present Catawba College’s annual Distinguished CEO Lecture Series on Thursday, April 17, featuring Jenny Fulton, the founder of Miss Jenny’s Pickles. In his opening remarks, President Brien Lewis called her journey one exempla of the “head and gut working together,” and Dr. Phillip Frank of the Ketner School of Business said her drive is “contagious.”
Jenny Fulton was full of energy from the moment she stepped onto the stage in Hedrick Little Theatre, and she was eager and prepared (with a slideshow presentation) to share her story with Catawba students and faculty. Fulton was a stock broker who lost her job during the recession. She playfully blamed her husband for starting the whole thing, for he was the one who suggested she start making pickles using her Maw-Maw’s land. With the help of her friend, Ashley Furr, Fulton managed to persevere, learning from mistakes along the way, and create a successful business.
Fulton attributes a lot of her success to simply asking for what she wanted when she wanted it, and grasping for any chance of free publicity. She is grateful to have been able to travel to places like Hong Kong (where her pickles are exported), London, Germany, and more. She has met many famous faces, including Paula Deen and Joe Biden. She was even on MSNBC’s Your Business: Entrepreneurs.
One of the things that makes Jenny Fulton stick out as a business owner is how personable she is. Rather than having a business card, Fulton puts her contact information on every jar of pickles, and that includes her personal cell phone number. She even recalls a time where a woman in High Point who could not open her jar called the number, and Fulton sent Furr over right away to assist. Fulton has also done a lot for her community.
When she first began the business, they were making pickles in the kitchen of a Winston-Salem YMCA, which required her to convince Piedmont Natural Gas to donate over $10,000 in natural gas in order for the kitchen to function in the first place. Last Thanksgiving, Fulton says she received a call from the YMCA thanking her because they were able to use the kitchen to feed more than one hundred hungry families.
Jenny Fulton proved to be bubbly, funny, headstrong, and above all optimistic. She believes that if you have a dream, you can reach it if you have the guts to go after what you want and the courage to learn from your mistakes. She encourages anyone with an idea or question for her to call her and talk to her about it because she is always happy to help.