We are highlighting our student entrepreneurs who are members of the Accelerator program. The Accelerator is for any Belmont undergraduate student who is launching or running a business. This program is for students who are dedicated to learning and growing a business. Membership includes dedicated office space, consistent time with our Entrepreneur in Residence Shawn Glinter, and resources and opportunities to take your business to the next level!
Kendall Warren is a Senior journalism and entrepreneurship major from New Braunfels, Texas. She is the founder of Gift Box Drop.
What does your business do?
Gift Box Drop will be an online retail store offering a unique gifting experience that will enhance the ability to give quality gifts. Each box will be filled with a variety of items, allowing customers to pick the box that fits the event, such as weddings, new babies, Father’s day, etc. We will offer a fast and simple service by allowing people to place the order online and ship the gift directly to the recipient. The company will offer one-time gift boxes while also offering the unique experience to give one-year subscription gifts. We also plan to target the corporate market and partner with companies to provide them with boxes to gift to clients/sponsors. We would like Gift Box Drop to be an experience for our customers and ease the gift giving process.
How long have you been working on this business?
Did you always know you wanted to start a business? If not, when did you realize it?
My father was an entrepreneur, so from an early age I was surrounded by the atmosphere and challenges. He used to drive my sister and I around with him to each of his stores and give us ‘mini’ business quizzes pertaining to all kinds of topics concerning that store. I remember always wanting to own my own companies like my father but I had no idea what kind.
Where do you hope your business will be at the end of the year in The Accelerator?
I hope my company will be ready to launch or already launched.
Favorite class ever?
My favorite class ever at Belmont was Entrepreneurial Financial Management taught by Jose Gonzalez. At first, I was intimidated by what I had heard from past students and by Jose. However, I quickly realized I loved the process of laying out the business plan and the research. I do not think I have ever put that much time into one class, but I loved it.
Did you have any crazy business ideas as a kid?
I always wanted to own a firework stand or a business where you could dive with sharks. From a young age I was obsessed with those two things.
Who is your biggest inspiration in business?
My grandfather is my biggest inspiration in business. He has grown his construction company in the last 30 years to incorporate many different companies. He always found a way to balance work and his personal life while always trying to do the right thing. His company is known for the customer service and integrity.
What business or product do you wish had been your idea?
This is a hard question because I feel so many businesses I see I think, “Wow, what a great idea!” I have always wanted to open a company selling quality casual clothing like Athleta. I wish I would have opened Athleta and capitalized on the trends of casual clothing. I still hope one day to open a business similar to Athleta but vastly different in a few areas.
Advice for other student entrepreneurs?
The biggest piece of advice I would tell other student entrepreneurs is to not be afraid to ask for help and talk to as many people as you can. What I’ve realized when trying to figure out problems I run into is that most people are willing and want to help. I have met extraordinary people along the way so far and am excited to see where else it leads me. I also would tell student entrepreneurs to surround themselves with people who are going to challenge them and try to push them beyond their comfort level. Finally, I would stress the importance of just doing it. Don’t over think it. Just execute and do it.
Find Gift Box Drop online: