Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Bunch.
Hi Laura, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started out working promotional events in New York after undergrad where I quickly realized I wanted to live in a more up and coming, smaller city and on the side of events that was more creative. I moved to Kansas City where I managed a really unique venue downtown that specialized in weddings and corporate events. I actually met my husband at that space! He was the best man for his brother’s wedding which took place at the venue I managed (lol) and was my constant go-to throughout the night with questions. We totally hit it off and fast forward, three years were married! We knew we wanted to start a venue since we saw such a need for an untraditional space that felt unique, comfortable and inspiring. St Louis was closer to home since I am one of six kids, three of which live in STL and the need for this type of space was there. We searched through at least 40 buildings figuring out the right vibe and neighborhood. Searching outside of downtown was a priority for us since we wanted to highlight an STL neighborhood. We also wanted to live in the building (and did so up until a few months ago!). I wanted a space where I could bring together all of my interests and experiences (decor, music, working with people) and found that in this building we turned into Wild Carrot. I pitched my idea to countless lenders who repeatedly told me I was young, needed a better business plan, didn’t understand the creative vision and how it would work well in this city until finally one took a chance on me! We paired up with a contractor who not only totally got what we were doing but was super excited to make it happen and saw something in the idea and in us as owners.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not but I think that is expected as an entrepreneur and something I find exciting/challenging! I constantly faced being “too young” or being told the ideas wouldn’t work in STL but I kept going and pushing towards something I knew would be exciting for people. Financially this is a huge struggle and something I think keeps a lot of young people held back on. Taking a risk like this is financially scary especially when you have a tiny fear in the back of your head that maybe this idea of yours is crazy! Stress of construction, figuring out the designs, staffing your team, marketing your business, networking in a new city: all of these are hurdles along the way but struggles you have to be able to conquer in order to do this so every single experience has made me better and stronger as a business owner. And the struggles will always be there but that is what keeps it exciting!
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I would say I am known for my creative ideas not only in decor/furniture but in the event world. Working with people is something I have also always had a knack for. I love collaborating on projects and ideas. I love thinking of a new thing to try for events to set us apart and inspire. I love leading a team and bringing all of our personalities together to put on a badass event. Our bartenders, barbacks, and event managers are all a part of what makes our space what it is and is compiled of some really cool and talented people. I try to always be on the forefront of a new trend or trying something I hope will become a trend! I think a business should have an eye on every detail including music, art, furniture, staff, marketing, customer service, communication and creativity. Nothing is unimportant and everything should be thought through with intention. It takes a while to feel good about how you conduct business and why you do what you do. It takes a while to feel confident in yourself as the leader of a project and something I have realized is you never 100% get there… but that is what keeps your business so good! Learning and growing and perfecting constantly.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Just being a cool, honest and hard-working person is what I look for when collaborating! Someone that is trying something new for themselves but with the interest in other people as well and what it does for the whole. I am a very energetic person so I love another who is excited and bursting with ideas! Passion and energy and not settling for something being “ok”.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: wildcarrotstl.com
- Instagram: wildcarrot.stl
Jacob Loafman Aaron Bunse Maddie Stringfellow