Owner: Bryant Hawkins
Name: Dixie Reserve
Location: Owensboro, Kentucky
Website: Dixie Reserve
“I had this dream for years,” says Bryant Hawkins, owner of Dixie Reserve. He grew up in the south, Kentucky to be exact, where the deep roots in horses and bourbon inspired him. He let the, “southern state of mind,” carry him in his business adventures, and influence him to the point of making his dreams become reality.
One Semester At The University Of Kentucky
Bryant was in a design business seminar while in graduate school at The University of Kentucky. For his thesis project he developed a clothing company. “When I proposed the project to a Shark Tank style panel, there were several people willing to write me a check to be a part of the business. That was the moment I realized God was telling me that this dream had to become a reality.”
Bryant shares his philosophy with us, “Sometimes a man doesn’t know where he is from until he leaves.” This is a powerful statement coming from someone who tried and tested the theory. “Some years ago, I left my home, in the south, for a short time to find myself. It wasn’t until I left the historically rich land of Dixie that I found out who I was: A Southerner.” Southerners are not defined by where they were born; they are defined by their way of life. “It’s where you wave to a stranger and they wave back with a smile, a place where sweet tea and bourbon are served in mason jars, and the melody of an old country song can connect itself with more than just a memory. Saturdays mean college football, and Sundays are hymns from old church pews—We want you to carry that, ‘southern state of mind’ with you.”
Fighting For The Dream
Starting a business and reaching for your dreams, while half way through graduate school can be a bit complicated. “Like most grad students, I maybe had enough money to buy a couple of beers once bills were paid.” This required Bryant to spread himself thin if he were going to obtain his dreams, he ended up working a full time job through school, and saving every extra penny he could. Putting his Master’s degree in Architectural Design to work, alongside his sales experience has let him “…use both the right and left side of [his] brain,” ultimately helping him lift his dream off the ground.
Business Owner Benefits
Owning a business isn’t all fun and games, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome. There are plenty of experiences unique to business owners. For Bryant, one of the biggest benefits of owning his own business is the breathing room it gives him. “All designers need to breathe. Sometimes working for ‘the man’ doesn’t allow you the freedom that the right side of your brain desires. Every day that I walk into my office, I get to breathe. My right brain thanks me.”
Entrepreneurial Advice From Bryant
“I’m the kind of guy that thanks God at the end of every day for both the good and the bad that has happened to me. If not for both I wouldn’t be where I am.” Take it for what it’s worth, because gratitude in all aspects is a sure fire way to keep yourself positive. He keeps this mindset not only in his daily life, but also in his life as a business owner. “I have the same mindset with my business. When good things happen, we celebrate. When bad things happen, we also celebrate. Each is just a piece of the puzzle. You couldn’t have the whole picture in the end without both the good and the bad.” Bryant finished with this last advice, “Follow your dreams until they become a reality, and most importantly, be willing to work 100 hours a week for a while, in order to avoid working 40 hours a week for the rest of your life!”