Shevy Rosendorff Ashman couldn’t wait any longer to follow her dream, even if that meant taking a calculated gamble. Laid off from her 9-to-5 job of more than 10 years in the summer of 2015, the divorced mother of two decided to earn her real estate license.
“It was either living on the street or making something happen,” Ashman said. “For years, going into real estate was something I always wanted to do. Losing my job really kicked me in the butt.”
She said she could have gone to work in the family business — her father, Gary, owns and operates Rosendorff’s Bakery — but she wanted to try her hand at selling homes.
Since then, Ashman, 35, has not looked back. Currently employed by Pickwick Realty, she earned the local Keller Williams Realty Rookie of the Year Award in 2016 after completing more than 40 transactions.
Overcoming life hurdles is nothing new for Ashman, who resides in Pikesville with her sons, Ami, 12, and Shai, 7, both Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School students. In high school, she moved to Baltimore from Jerusalem with her parents and six siblings and did not speak a bit of English. She quickly picked up the language and went on to graduate from Bais Yaakov School for Girls.
Why real estate?
I had to find something. I didn’t have a choice. I came across a lot of people who said, “Well, what if it doesn’t work for you? What if you don’t make money?” I had to make this work. So that’s what I did — I just made it work. Four months after I got my realty license, I was considering doing something else. I interviewed for other positions because I was so scared.
What scared you?
I get paid commission when I close a deal. Otherwise, I’m not getting paid. As a single mother with two kids in private school, I need to come up with tuition and a way to pay my bills. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, and I didn’t know if real estate was the most responsible thing to do. Deep down, I knew it would work out because I was just going to make it happen.
How much do your kids drive your success?
My kids are my only motivation. I want my kids to see how hard I work and to know what it means to work hard. They are watching their mom work hard to make a living, which is so important for them as they grow up and realize what it means to make a dollar. When they want me to buy them something, I’ll say, “I want you guys to realize how hard mommy works.” They see that, and they know directly how that happens.
Was that work-hard attitude instilled in you at a young age?
When I moved to America with my parents, my dad was 40 years old. He came from the bottom, so he started baking challah. I watched my father for years literally come from nothing — similar to my situation — no training, no culinary school, nothing. He just had a recipe for bread, and that was it. He just went with it, bought a place, started his business and now employs most of my siblings.
Did you consider joining the family business?
It’s hard when it’s a family-run business. Everyone gets along really well, and we’re all very close. I could have done that. I talked to my dad, and he said I could have done sales if I wanted to. But when you see successful people — and I never noticed it until now — they were all in a situation, like, “Holy s—, what do I do?” My dad is by far my biggest cheerleader, and I would say my family is proudest of my success. I don’t brag to the rest of the world, but to my family, I do.