SUU Senior Builds Successful Business Before Graduation

Published: February 25, 2021 | Author: Lyndsey Nelson | Read Time: 2 minutes

kiana StokerBefore graduating from Southern Utah University in December, Kiana Stoker built and managed a successful business, Reece & Co. What began as a creative outlet for Stoker is now a thriving business that grossed more than $100,000 in sales last year.

“So far we are off to a great start and have many new products launching this year,” said Stoker. “As the business continues to grow, we are focused on building great relationships with our current followers. With that in mind, we have slowed down our giveaways and are working more with influencers to build our community.”

Founded in 2018, Reece & Co is an accessory shop with a focus on making accessories that women want to wear. Beginning with an Instagram post, Stoker received hundreds of orders in the first weeks. As Reece & Co continues to grow, Stoker was able to hire her first employees last year and now works with her team on a daily basis.

With the encouragement of Dr. Tyler Stillman and SUU’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Stoker has had the opportunity to learn while building her business. From business plans to avenues for financial support, the center has provided solutions to the challenges Stoker faced.

Along with plenty of work, Stoker has supported and grown her business by participating in business competitions across the state. Last year, through the Opportunity Quest Business Model Competition, Stoker earned a total of $6,000 in prize money, and the People’s Choice at the Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge. She was also awarded a prize of $5000 at the S4 Competition and has received the $2000 Alan Hall Outstanding Salesperson Scholarship.

Most recently, Stoker took first place in the State Bank of Southern Utah Speed Pitch Competition during the Utah Rural Summit. Seven finalists were narrowed down from more than 60 submissions, and Kiana took home the Governor’s Choice Award and the Audience Choice Award.

Stoker graduated in December 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in family life and human development.

SUU’s Larry H. & Gail Miller Center for Entrepreneurship is housed within the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business. The program is designed to benefit students from all majors across campus and teaches students how to run, start, and exit a business through experiential learning and mentorship.

Tags: Entrepreneurship School of Business College of Education and Human Development Family Life and Human Development

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