Ciara Stockeland, Founder of BTQ Box
Emerging Business Finalist
To better highlight the impressive members of the small business community, we sat down with the 2019 Dream Big Award finalists to learn more about their startup stories, the challenges they have faced, and what the future of business looks like to them. To kick off, we chatted with Ciara Stockeland, founder of North Dakota-based, btqBOX, a subscription service for boutique owners across the country. Here is what she had to say (what follows has been lightly edited for length and clarity):
Q: What inspired the creation of your business? What problem does it help to solve?
After being in boutique retail for many years, I could see that the landscape of how boutiques found inventory was changing. They no longer attended markets like they used to. I started to contemplate what it would be like if I could bring vendors directly to boutique buyers through a subscription box model. And so, I created btqBOX.
Q: What impact do you hope your business has on society as it grows?
I really want to be a support system through what we do – for boutique businesses all around the country. Whether it be through product supply or education, btqBOX is a one-stop-shop for boutique owners to come and find community and resources to help them grow their own small business.
Q: If selected as the winner of the Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award, how will you invest the $25,000 grand prize?
If selected as the winner, the grand prize money would be invested back into the company to ramp up our small business education programs.
Q: What words of advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Surround yourself with others smarter than you! Ask for advice! Seek council and keep learning.
Q: In your experience, what do you think the future of business looks like for the next generation?
I think while it looks very different in terms of marketing and speaking to customers because of social media, the basic principles of putting in the time, effort and resources and being willing to take a leap and try, will remain the same.
To learn more about the 2019 Dream Big Award finalists, click here.