Here at Lockaway Storage, we know our success is due to our wonderful team. The care they give our renters is unparalleled and we want to highlight their milestones along the way. Below is an interview with San Antonio team member Ashley Wagster who is celebrating her 1-year anniversary with Lockaway Storage this week. All interviews are performed by Peter Soto.
You can find Ashley at
Peter: Hey Ashley, your one year anniversary is coming up this week. How did you get started in self storage?
Ashley: I had been in food service for about 3 years and I kind of just applied to anything and everything for about a week. When they called to interview me, I interviewed with Misty and Thomas and I just liked it. I like the atmosphere, I like the people, the way they presented themselves. It seemed like something I could do. I love people and I’ve always been in a customer service job, so interacting with customers wasn’t a big deal. I was a manager before, so I know how to work alone or work with people. It was a really big change though, because it was something I’d never done before, but I’m really glad that I did it, because it’s been a blast.
Peter: Tell us a little about your role with Lockaway.
Ashley: I’m an assistant manager, but I do travel to four properties.
Peter: Dang, four properties! You must get to see a lot of different characters storing a lot of different stuff. Sounds like you’ve got a lot going on.
Ashley: Oh, big time. Sometimes it gets kind of hard when I can’t follow through with something and I have to pass it along to someone else to do it. I’m the type of person who wants to take care of things myself, but sometimes I can’t, because I don’t get an answer the same day, you know? Sometimes that’s hard for me, but I like to be busy and I love to help and I’m helping big time, let me tell you.
Peter: It sounds like you really enjoy working for Lockaway Storage.
Ashley: I do.
Peter: We talked earlier about how self storage is different than what you were doing before. Have you learned anything here that you think you wouldn’t have if you’d stuck with food service?
Ashley: What I learned working with Lockaway is that their commitment to treat others how they want to be treated is not something you would see in the food industry. It’s known as, “the customer is always right.”, but sometimes that’s not the case. Also, I don’t like to be micro managed, because I don’t think anybody can work under that kind of pressure. I’m able to excel more when I’m not being micromanaged, because I can go my own speed. At my other jobs, I was required to do certain things and, like I said, I was a manager when I worked in the food industry, and so it was really hard, because I want to get in there and help people and I was told I wasn’t allowed to and, so, that’s not something I’m ok with. I wasn’t going to be the type to just stand there and watch while people suffered. One of the things I learned is that people come to storage because of so many different aspects of their life, I can’t even tell you all the stories I’ve heard or sob stories or people that were just infuriated. Pretty much everything that could happen has happened. I like it though. I like hearing people’s stories and I don’t think you can really have those kind of personal relationships with people in the food industry, because there are just too many people coming in and out.
Peter: Yeah, that’s a good point. I hadn’t thought about it like that. It sounds like you enjoy that Lockaway Storage gives you ownership over your own facility to run it the way you want at your own pace. Am I on the right track there?
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. That’s definitely right.
Peter: Do you have any favorite stories from the past year?
Ashley: Oh, gosh. Yeah. I’ve met some really crazy people. I met a guy who actually met Donald Trump before he was the president and went to a ball last week for him, so that was kind of crazy. It was like, small world!
Peter: Oh, wow.
Ashley: Another one, this guy was a medical examiner for about ten years and two of the patients he had to examine were Ted Bundy’s victims.
Ashley: They didn’t know that until after Ted Bundy was obviously caught, but when they went back through and everything those were two of his victims.
Peter: Ah, that’s crazy! That’s so creepy!
Ashley: It was very creepy! There are just so many different people. I was talking to a guy the other day who is so filthy rich it is not even funny, but he doesn’t portray himself like that. He works really hard. He said that when he was younger he worked in coal mines and then farming and then, I mean, he did everything. Then helped teenagers by being a mentor to them. He also owns a couple townhomes. It’s just crazy the type of people that you meet. It just blows me away.
Peter: Yep. Everybody uses self storage. You really do get all types.
Ashley: Oh, yeah.
Peter: So do you live in the San Antonio area?
Ashley: I actually do live in San Antonio and I live in one of our [apartment] properties.
Peter: How long have you been here?
Ashley: I’ve lived in San Antonio four years this May.
Peter: Nice. What brought you down here originally?
Ashley: I’ve always loved Texas and San Antonio is one of the cheaper areas to live in, but it’s also huge and I’m from New Mexico, so there’s not a whole lot of life. It’s a great place to retire, but it’s not a great place to be from like 20 to 35, because there’s not a whole lot to do besides outdoor stuff and I lived there forever, so I’ve already done all of that.
Peter: So you moved to San Antonio mostly for the social aspect of the big city?
Ashley: Yeah, but San Antonio is so different too, because it doesn’t feel like a big city when you drive 20 minutes in one direction and it feels like you’re in the country, which is insane. I also love that there are small cities and towns close by that I can just go to on a day trip. I love Fredericksburg. It’s a great place to go visit.
Peter: Oh, yeah? What’s in Fredericksburg?
Ashley: You know, you just go window shopping, to wineries… my favorite wine is actually from there.
Peter: What’s the name of your favorite wine?
Ashley: It’s actually made in Georgetown, Texas, but it’s a peach wine. They’re actually known for their peaches down in Fredericksburg, so I load up on peach stuff, like, twice a year.
Peter: That’s cool. I did not know that. Next time I’m in San Antonio, I’ll have to stop on down in Fredericksburg and try some peach wine.
Ashley: There are actually a lot of wineries in San Antonio, but over there a lot of shops will let you sample without paying a service charge. It’s just so much fun and the people are nice. I like it.
Peter: Something I’ve been seeing as far as self storage goes in regard to wine is people doing wine storage. Have you ever had anybody inquire about anything like that?
Ashley: No, not that I’ve heard.
Peter: Over at the California facilities, I’ve seen some people do it. They’ll buy a few cases at a time and set aside space in their unit for that.
Ashley: That’s awesome. Really cool.
Peter: And it makes climate control that much more important.
Ashley: Yeah, most definitely.
Peter: You’ve been in San Antonio for about four years now. If I said to you, “Ashley, I want to have the authentic San Antonio experience.” what would you recommend to me?
Peter: Haha, why?
Ashley: I grew up in a town where there’s nothing professional. It’s all college, so it’s a different atmosphere here.
Peter: Well, we’ve made it through all of my questions. Do you want to give a shout out to anybody at Lockaway or Strat Prop in general?
Ashley: Misty and Don. Misty is my DM and I’ve learned so much from her, because she trained me. Working on her team has been really fun and she always helps me out, like if I need extra hours, but I always ask her if she needs help with anything extra. Then Don, he is just a great person to work for and I love that he knows everyone and remembers everyone and knows everyone’s individual situation. It baffles me, because there are so many owners and managers and other people. He’s a one of a kind man, let me tell you.