Stacy Wellborn is a true entrepreneur who loves challenging herself with new ventures. She is the Founder and Chief Strategist at Wellborn Strategies and a Founder and Yard Boss at the Container Yard. Along with this, she consistently takes on new ventures to benefit her community and develop her professional skills.
Stacy has been in marketing for over 20 years and enjoys the challenge of engaging with an audience with effective communication. Three years ago, she took these skills and opened The Container Yard with three other partners. The Container Yard is a co-working space that allows anyone to work in a space to get out of the house, host client meetings, or to operate their business. Their goal is to foster the entrepreneurial spirit through building a culture of commerce, creativity, and collaboration.
Stacy had previously done some work with another co-working space in Mobile when Taylor Atchison approached her with the idea of opening one of her own. She, naturally, said “Sure, let’s talk about it.” They then took a quick 24-hour trip to Atlanta to tour 10 to 15 co-working spaces there.
“We came back and decided that we wanted something that’s a creative, collaborative, more community-based model. Four of us put in some money and it grew organically. We’ve changed things and added more features as our members requested them,” Stacy said.
After growing the business for three years, they were beginning to max out the space in their building. They decided to move into a bigger space in order to grow The Container Yard.
“This is such an amazing model of work, and the market is here,” Stacy said. The new space is three times the size of the old one, and it gives them the opportunity to grow the creative, collaborative community they originally set out for. The biggest misperception of the space, Stacy thinks, is that people don’t understand what co-working is. “I guess people might think it’s too loud. But when people work here, they work. It’s a totally professional, productive atmosphere.”
Stacy is excited for the future of The Container Yard, and is always open to new ventures. “I guess you could say I’m a serial entrepreneur,” she said. What comes with this mindset is her biggest challenge of saying no, because she likes to do it all. If she hears of a good idea, she wants to either pursue it or put it out into the world for someone else to do.
She struggles to create a balance and find time to rest herself and recharge. One thing she does to focus her mind is a morning routine. She follows Julia Cameron and her book The Artist’s Way. She teaches a method of doing “morning pages” where you write three pages of “blah” every morning. Whether it be list-making, complaints, fear, or random thoughts, it helps clear your mind before going about your day. She also suggests “refilling the well” by doing something quiet by yourself once a week to refill your creative well. Stacy has been practicing these methods for 15 years off and on, and she always go back to it when she needs to clear her mind.
Even though Stacy is an established businesswoman, she still faces challenges. Her advice is to find your voice and not be afraid of it. “Sometimes as women, we tend to not speak up and use our full voice, literally. We need to have that confidence in our voice. Find that chest voice instead of that head voice and really use it,” she said.
“We need to have that confidence in our voice. Find that chest voice instead of that head voice and really use it.”
Stacy has personal experience with this, and it’s the reason she became an entrepreneur. “I was working at an ad agency many years ago. I did all the research for a project I was working on and I made all the proposals. Right before my boss gave me the go-ahead to do it, he hired his best friend to do the job. I just thought to myself that I have no control…if I stay in this type of environment, then I have no control over my future. So, that’s when I decided to become an entrepreneur. I want to control my own destiny. It’s not an easy path to take. It’s a rollercoaster ride. I’ve started several businesses and closed them, but I own all my wins and losses. Nothing is ever really a failure if you learn from it,” Stacy said.
Stacy got involved with Focus Women’s Conference early on in its planning stage. “Devin mentioned that she was working on this project and I just said, ‘How can I help and get involved? I want to be a part of this.’ One thing I’ve seen here in Mobile is that there hasn’t been a good community of women business leaders. So, I’m glad to see women in this community come together at Focus to find their voice.”