Morgan Henson presentation

Chamber members presenting a check to Morgan Henson arew, from left, Nathan Brandon, Jim Dema, Executive Director Mitchell Ponder, Henson, Jessica Adams, Leslie Taylor, Wes McGregor and Stephanie Donohoo.

Each year, the Kentucky Lake Chamber of Commerce awards a $1000 scholarship to a local high school student, with hopes of benefiting a potential future business leader in our community. This year, the Chamber is excited to announce Morgan Henson as the winner of this scholarship.

On top of an outstanding academic resume and community involvement, Henson is also the co-owner of a boutique with her sister. Henson is interested in furthering her business knowledge and will be attending Murray State University to pursue a degree in Business Administration. She is the daughter of Jason Henson and Misty Green.

In the last few months, the Chamber has had the opportunity to tell the stories of different women in our local business community through a series of interviews, titled “Women in Business Wednesday”. With Henson’s interest in owning her own business, our chamber wanted to share an interview with her that explores her interest in business, what she has learned so far from owning a business, and where she would like to go from here.

When looking at all the potential career routes after high school, what was it about owning a small business one day that appealed to you?

“Throughout my childhood, my mom was a teacher and my dad was an architect — two careers I would consider nowadays very ordinary. As I went through school, it seemed like those two careers made up the majority of the options for me. Most schools didn’t talk about what all was out there; and to be honest, it’s probably impossible to mention every career that’s available for the students after college. However, I have always had an interest in doing something “different.” I didn’t want to go sit in an office everyday and live for my job. I wanted to meet people, help people, and most importantly, I wanted to spread the love of God. In my opinion, a small business is an amazing way to be on the frontline and really be involved with your community. I have also always loved fashion and expressing yourself through what you wear. Needless to say, owning a boutique in my hometown was something I knew I was going to set my mind on and make happen.”

What is your favorite aspect of working in the business field with your boutique or something about business in general that excites you?

“When talking specifically about the business side of things, I love the challenges. That may sound strange, but I truly love problem-solving. My sister and I own our business together. We are very close, and we love doing pretty much anything together! Before opening our online boutique, we had never worked with each other. As soon as we got started, we knew we made a good team. She picks up where I fail, and I’m able to step in where she fails. Madeline, my sister, is more on the clothing side of things. She loves researching and finding the trends, while I budget and plan for each week. Some of my favorite times were when we were just starting. We were sitting on our couch and I was trying to manage a starting budget, while she was picking which clothes we would order first. We love it! I get super excited when I know that we have stuck to our budget for the whole month. But when unexpected costs come, I also love problem solving and figuring out what changes we have to make.”

What is one piece of advice you have picked up on that you live by as a business leader or in your everyday life?

“One quote that encouraged my sister and I to finally hit the ground running with our business is one by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She says, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” Now, I have this hanging in my room where I can see it each morning. This makes me push myself out of my comfort zone and take chances that may scare me, but in the end could make me happier than ever. I think everyone needs to live by this quote. It’s so important to push yourself to do things that might seem scary; but in all reality, if you work hard enough, you can make anything possible. I think this would be my best advice, especially to someone who wants to start their own business.”

As you continue your education, what knowledge and skills are you most excited to unlock for your future career?

“As I continue my education at Murray State University, I would love to improve my marketing skills. There are so many ways to market what you are selling these days, especially with the help of technology. SophiaLaine boutique is only online right now. Our end goal is to have a location somewhere near here so that our customers can come in and visit with us and try on their clothes! In order to grow, we need more marketing skills so we can eventually get the money to build or buy a building. Other than marketing skills, I would like to learn more about the ins and outs of technology in business and all things finance. I have always been a person that loves getting organized and always having a plan, I think that will benefit me and my business.”