2023 Forty Under 40: Ashley Flowers

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(IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Founder and Chief Creative Officer | Audiochuck

Talk about turning your hobby into your career. Ashley Flowers worked in biomedical research and technology sales, but following stories of true crime was a passion. She launched podcast “Crime Junkie” in 2017, and it is now one of the most popular podcasts in the United States. How popular? The most recent gauge from Edison Research ranks the show at No. 2, between “The Joe Rogan Experience” at No. 1 and The New York Times’ “The Daily” at No. 3. Her company, Audiochuck, now produces 15 podcasts. We mentioned that Flowers had worked in biomedical research, right? “Even as a child, I was always intrigued by unsolved cases I would hear about in the news,” she said. “This job allows me to tell victims’ stories by shining a light on cases that would otherwise be forgotten and, in that way, do my part to bring about justice for families.”

Getting here: A biological research graduate, she expected to work in a lab where she could help solve cases through DNA testing. “At first, following true crime was something I did outside of my 9-to-5,” she said, “but I knew I wanted to do more to bring victims’ stories to light.”

First job: Cold Stone Creamery. “I’ve come a long way from singing for tips!”

Influential moment: “Rolling Stone” in 2018 named “Crime Junkie” one of the best true-crime podcasts of the year.

Givebacks: In 2020, she founded Season of Justice, a not-for-profit focused on advocating for crime victims and providing financial resources to help solve cold cases. She said Season of Justice has assisted with 120 cases and donated nearly $1 million. She also said Audiochuck over the past two years has donated $1 million to Coburn Place, a transitional housing provider for survivors of domestic violence, and Gennesaret Free Clinics, which provides free health care to people who are homeless or lack insurance.

Advice: “Sometimes you have to try things that are outside of your comfort zone, things that may scare you, but try it regardless. You just might surprise yourself!”•

Check out more Forty Under 40 honorees.

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