• Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

    • The POEM Design brand focuses on empowering individuals to curate meaningful spaces in their homes and lives. POEM Design regularly updates and expands its home decor collection to showcase meaningful, timely, and diverse perspectives that fit any home.
  • Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

    • I’ve been a part of POEM since the beginning in the 1990s. What originally
  • What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

    • POEM Design came about because we were looking for a creative outlet for members of the team. We had plenty of experience with our manufacturing capabilities and machines but much of work we produce are things that most people never see in their daily lives. So these products gave us an opportunity to flex our creative muscles and create something that we can be proud to show our family and friends.
  • What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

    • Stick with it and trust your instincts. You often don’t know where success is going to come from.
  • What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

    • Communication and listening
    • Collaboration
    • Persistence and flexibility
  • How many hours do you work a day on average?

    • It varies, but between 8 and 10.
  • To what do you most attribute your success?

    • How creative, innovative, and persistent the team that we’ve built is. We constantly reflect on what we’ve learned and discuss how we can be better going forward.
  • How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

    • Amazon has been the most successful way that we’ve gone to market. At one point we were recognized by Amazon as the fastest growing seller in North Dakota. We are actively developing the rest of our web presence though across social media and our website.
  • Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

    • We’re a tribally owned company and privately held.
  • What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

    • Constant innovation and relentlessly pursuing creativity. You can’t stand still and just hope that people will show up.
  • Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

    • POEM continues to grow and develop. We’re constantly developing new products, services, and adding capabilities.
  • Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

    • Amazon started as a company selling books online and they’ve become one of the most influential companies in the world. Big things start with simple ideas.

Recommended Questions

  • How important have good employees been to your success?

    • Very important. They are where most of the creativity comes from in this organization. People pushing the limits of what these machines can do and combining them in new and interesting ways.
  • How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

    • As long as it stays in my head.
  • What motivates you?

    • The prospect of bringing something new to the public that they haven’t seen before. Enhancing the functionality of usefulness of everyday items so that people can get more out of their home.
  • What are your ideals?

    • Live fairly, always explore new ideas, and don’t be afraid to take creative risks.
  • How do you generate new ideas?

    • Iterate, iterate, iterate. Ideation isn’t a random path forward, it takes structured thought and then pursuing any angle that opens up in front of you.
  • How do you define success?

    • continuing to grow at the same pace we have been. Developing new products and fostering more creativity. Bringing in new partners and helping everyone grow.
  • How do you build a successful customer base?

    • By giving customers both what they want, and something new to the market.
  • What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

    • The ability to find partnerships with other companies and individuals. Watching those relationships grow and be mutually beneficial has been very satisfying.
  • What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

    • Every time we as a company grow because we followed a process that brought us to a new level of success, or released a new product and it immediately found an audience. Putting in the work ahead of time to understand what people are looking for and how we can elaborate on that in a way that they will enjoy is always very satisfying.
  • What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

    • The ability to control your own time, processes, and direction. When you have the leeway to flex your own creative muscles and create something new, with designs that people haven’t seen before.
  • What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

    • Ideas are welcome from anyone. Experimentation and new ideas are always encouraged and welcomed. We focus more on education around materials, processes, and tools so that people have the ability to execute their vision when a new idea comes to them.
  • In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

    • Accelerating

Optional Questions

  • How did you decide on the location for your business?

    • It had to be in Minot because this is where we are. Our tribe Is here, our community is here, and so it just made sense to work within our own community.
  • Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

    • Forming partnerships at every turn. Being willing to experiment with new ideas and chase them down.