In Conversation with Heather Kunen of Beam St.
Describe your business in a few words?
Modern, affordable, innovative, chic.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
My partners and I recognized a void in the dental market and the need for a new, modern and affordable dental model.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No! This all evolved naturally.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
We are self-funded and didn’t have a big budget. My strategy was to reach my own demographic in a way that I myself would find appealing. I reached out to my favorite NYC bloggers and local businesses to start our promotion.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
Each day is a new journey. I learned to be flexible and to stop keeping a rigid model of how I wanted the business to evolve.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
My orthodontic degree.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
It’s all about attitude! I always ask someone I’m hiring what they’re looking for out of the position and if they’re willing to grow with the team. My best employees are those with a good attitude and have fun with the job.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We had to close our office for 11 weeks, which was a big hit. We have actually been quite busy since reopening.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We are expanding and looking to open locations across the country and maybe the globe! We opened a second location in Hoboken, and are hoping to open more in the tristate area in the coming year.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Be adaptable. Life is unpredictable and you have to learn to roll with the punches and pivot to the given situation.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Don’t be so sensitive! Between running the business, staff, and overseeing patients, I was super sensitive to everyone’s needs and it drained me a lot at first. Now I have a tougher skin and have learned to somewhat separate personal emotion from business.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
By staying focused! Our first year was a gradual progression off the ground. Now that our business is steadily doing well, I am focused to keep it that way.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Absolutely! Most of the time, I have a rule that I put business aside on the weekends or for nights out with my friends. It’s really important to set aside personal time for yourself.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a twin! She’s a lawyer and is much more business savvy than I am. She has taught me a lot
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
1. Create a concrete list of 2-3 things to accomplish that day. 2. Get enough sleep! 3. Be mindful not to allow yourself to become overly stressed about anything- there is always a solution.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
An ambitious woman who leads with intention and purpose.