Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carole Skinner, Co-Owner of The Flicks Theatre, located in Boise, ID, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Since 1984, The Flicks has been showing independent, foreign, and art films, plus select Hollywood movies. There are four screens, plus Rick's Cafe Americain serving house-made soups, salads, entrees, and dessert for dinner every night and weekend lunch. We serve beer, wine, and espresso drinks in addition to regular Movie Concession items. We also have a DVD rental shop with the same kind of films that we show in our theaters. Our customers are educated adults.
Tell us about yourself
I moved from Seattle to Boise in 1982 and missed that independent movie scene. I met my future husband, and he already had the blueprints for The Flicks in his car trunk. He was part of a club called "Films That Don't Come to Boise," and they were showing films on a 16mm projector in places like the YWCA. We jumped in feet first and started The Flicks a short time after we got married. What motivates me every day is that I still love to work with film distributors, and I enjoy receiving all the love from our customers and staff.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
- Staying in business for almost 39 years.
- Receiving the Mayor's Award for Excellence in The Arts.
- Winning Best Movie Theater from Boise Weekly for so many years in a row that they got rid of the category.
- Winning Most Gay-Friendly Business in Boise many times.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
In the beginning, there was so much to learn in a short time. We lost money for the first 7 years. Luckily my husband continued with his law practice while I ran The Flicks. Creating relationships with film distributors, learning effective marketing strategies, and hiring dependable staff were the major skills I learned. Then we got lucky as Boise started to grow, Boise State University expanded, Micron and HP set up headquarters, and more educated people moved to our city.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be sure you have enough capital to weather some lean years.
- Find a way to work for or with someone that has a comparable business.
- Be sure the demographic you will serve is actually there.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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