Meet Ashton Gilbert, an Autistic Entrepreneur Who Is Inspiring Others in Tennessee With His Business Savvy

Ashton has clients who pay him to take away and recycle their cardboard. And his mom's business that sparked the idea.

Ashton Gilbert’s out-of-the-box thinking is proving success has no boundaries. The 20-year-old autistic entrepreneur has started a company called UnBoxed in Tennessee.

“When we did it, it was like ‘Oh whoa.’ And now it’s like ‘holey-moley,’” Ashton said. “We have people ask for us to pick up boxes and stuff, and then we go to their houses either break them down, or they’ve already been broken down.”

"Job opportunities for those with unique differences is very challenging, and COVID really put a damper on that,” Ashton’s mother, Ashley York, pointed out. "The community has just really wrapped their arms around him and been excited about his business venture, and it’s expanding pretty quick.” 

Ashton has about 15 clients who pay him to take away and recycle their cardboard. Mom is behind the wheel, and it's her business that sparked the idea.

“I own a small business and had way too many boxes that had to be carted off,” she explained.

Ashton lives on his own and is learning how to manage money and pay bills. Down the line, his mother said, Ashton’s venture could lead to employment opportunities for young adults with disabilities.

He hopes to inspire others to unbox their potential too.

Related Stories