Project description

Business Owner: Elaine Thornton
Business: The Gilded Branch
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Meet Elaine Thornton
Elaine Thornton is 100% entrepreneur at heart. She started The Gilded Branch as a temporary pop-up store, but then decided to keep it open. Now, her business is going on to its second year. Elaine has previous experience running a business, “I have really only owned my own businesses.” said Elaine. While she was living in Washington State, she ran a business for 16 years.

About The Gilded Branch
Elaine is not only an entrepreneur, but also a builder and designer by nature.  This is something that has helped her be successful as she started this business. Elaine was making prototype wreaths for retail stores, so they could send them out to be manufactured. It left her with all sorts of prototypes lying around, so she decided to sell them by opening up a pop-up store . “When we went to open we thought, ‘Let’s bring out the wreaths too. They’re cute, and we will see if we can get rid of some of them’ before the doors were even officially opened we had sold all of the wreaths.” This left Elaine up all night trying to make more wreaths to sell on opening day. “Now we do a lot of custom wreaths for homes, and we have gotten more and more into clothes and jewelry.”

Elaine’s Biggest Win
Elaine’s biggest win is that she never had to work for someone else.  “I worked for someone in marketing right out of school, but went straight to building houses after that. When I was living in Washington State, I really enjoyed exercising but I didn’t have a place to go, so I started a health club and had it for 16 years. During that time I would build 1 – 2 custom homes a year. Here in Utah I just continued to do that while running this store.”

Elaine’s advice is to be careful with your money. “I am really big on not spending money you don’t have, and not running faster than you can. I think you can enjoy your business if there is extra money there” She continues,”If a customer returns something, I don’t have to freak out, because I haven’t already spent the money, which means I don’t have to frantically try to make sales. I make wiser decisions based on the fact that I am not relying on money that I don’t have.”