New city, new business, new baby: Entrepreneur Kristen Brown recalls her big leap



When an opportunity arose to move back to her hometown of Columbia, Kristen Brown was inspired to take the leap and start a business.

Soon after launching Hoot Design Co., a women-led branding and design agency, Brown admits that she felt a little overwhelmed by running a business.

“I would say in the beginning it was pretty intimidating, and I think it felt like a very slow process towards success,” Brown said.

Brown navigated the challenges of moving, starting a company and having a child in a short time span. She has grown Hoot Design Co. into a business that has about 10 employees and lists offices in Columbia and Chicago, but she says aspiring entrepreneurs should brace themselves for what’s ahead.

“They should really be prepared for what an investment of time and energy it’s going to be,” she said, “and then also really try to test their idea in a way that allows them to see if people are really willing to open their pocketbooks and pay for either their services or their products.”


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