Since early childhood, Tony Pope was certain of a future career as a businessman—stirred by the entrepreneurial example of his grandfather.
“I worked in my grandfather’s store growing up. That inspired me to be a small businessman,” he said.
To help reach his adolescent dream, after high school Pope graduated from the University of South Carolina at Columbia, gaining the business background and well-rounded education needed to one day run his own gig.
It wasn’t long after Pope’s collegiate exit that he got his foot in the door of the professional world, starting work with State Farm Insurance as an agent’s team member in 1986.
The position propelled Pope into the arena he had always envisioned joining.
His success seemed to surface overnight, and after three short years, Pope found himself celebrating the opening of his first State Farm Agency.
The operation opened in Summerville in July 1990. Pope expanded into Mt. Pleasant, adding a second location to his name in 2012.
Over the years, the Pope name has become a hometown staple in the Lowcountry. But the local businessman is more than just a friendly face on marketing materials; Pope is part of his community, actively engaging in events and issues that affect residents’ daily life.
Because of his freedom to set his own hours—part of the perks of owning his own business—Pope can make time for others, both in the community and at home.
Whether it’s selling insurance to a neighbor, brainstorming vocational goals with co-workers, or simply showing the best parts of Flowertown to a stranger, Pope is committed to living out the State Farm motto of being “like a good neighbor.”
It’s also a mantra his office counterparts embody and what Pope said he strongly believes sets his business apart from others. He can count on his team to meet customers’ needs fully and immediately.
“Our team gives outstanding service. You should never have to ask twice to have a need taken care of,” Pope said.
Pope can also decide when family comes first and keep his money-making duties from overlapping what matters most to him. Outside the office, Pope enjoys dabbling in a variety of hobbies, from family and “giving back to our community,” to even entertaining his competitive spirit. It’s not uncommon for him to garner Gamecock colors and attend a sporting event where he can cheer on his Palmetto State alma mater.
But Pope also makes time to improve his resume and skill set. He said it’s a top priority for him to enroll in new courses pertaining to his business.
Pope currently boasts licenses in life insurance, health and disability insurance, property and casualty insurance—which allows him to write car insurance, homeowners, renters and small business insurance, as well as insurance for boats, motorcycles and more.
Now, more than three decades into his career, Pope is a seasoned business owner and State Farm leader.
His success in following his grandfather’s footsteps is proof that long-held dreams do really come true with the right vision and work ethic.