Student Entrepreneur: Carlynne Folkstad
By: Alyssa Schrull
We often hear these dramatized stories of successful businesses starting in garages, but have you heard of any starting in a dorm room? That’s exactly what Carlynne Folkstad has done. She began Poppy’s Clothing Co. this last year in her dorm room. The website describes the company as:
“Poppy’s Clothing Co. is your go-to source for styles influenced by the latest fashions with an added flair. We aim to inspire our customers to be the best version of themselves and to be confident in their own skin – and of course, their outfits.
Our vision is fast-paced, forward-thinking and fashion-centered at its core, and all of our products reflect these ideals. We invite you to browse our site to find just what you have been looking for. Look good, feel good, shop Poppy’s Clothing Co.“
Carlynne started the company because she wanted to bring affordable and cute clothing to women. She finds joy in helping women and wants to make sure that every person that comes to her company is happy in their skin. She enjoys being able to connect with customers all over the country, but being a business owner isn’t always easy. Carlynne has to work hard to compete with other companies.
She said that the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur is “competing with all the different companies out there and making yours unique.” The job is a lot to juggle. As we were talking she had to take a phone call to deal with some business matters.
Her day-to-day responsibilities as a business owner include managing an inventory, getting orders, preparing the packages, keeping track of financial statements, sending out packages, and adding new products to the website. Most peoples dorm rooms are scattered with old microwave diners, dirty clothes, and maybe some homework. In contrast, Carlynne’s room is strewn with products and inventory. She said, “I keep my inventory in my dorm room closet”.
Her room triples as a home, an office, and a warehouse. When I came over her kitchen table had shoes, shipping labels, boxes, and tape on it. Carlynne apologized for the mess and explained that she was getting ready to ship out some orders.
But beyond all the responsibilities of being the business owner of Poppy’s Clothing Co., Carlynne Folkstad is also a student majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing and industrial management, and minoring in criminal justice, leadership, and honors. She is the president of the Jimmie Janes, captain of the trap shooting team, ARD of Kroeze, a Jimmie Ambassador, a member of the entrepreneurship club, a marketing specialist for Wittheur Financial Group, and works as a server at a restaurant in town. Alright you can take a deep breath now.
Carlynne is tackling a lot but she wouldn’t be able to do it without her Grandfather’s influence. The company is actually named after her grandfather, Poppy, who has inspired her and encouraged her to put her heart into what she does. This influence explains her ambitious and determined personality. Her grandfather is a military veteran, and because of that, she donates ten percent of all sales to military veterans.
Carlynne encourages us to “support small businesses (because) you’re giving someone the opportunity to fulfill their dream”. She teasingly adds, “Come buy clothes from me”.
You can find her website at http://www.poppysclothingco.com and her Instagram under @poppysclothingco