Hillary Folkvord grew up in a family of Montana entrepreneurs.
“One of my first businesses, when I was 5, was selling vegetables outside my parents’ deli,” Folkvord said. “When we were 10 we started a business called Wheat Bouquets. My claim to fame was Martha Stewart bought 10 bouquets.”
Folkvord’s entrepreneurial spirit has continued to grow as the manager of two boutique hotels in Gallatin County.
While Folkvord’s parents have grown the Wheat Montana farms to fame, the eldest Folkvord and her sister, Haylee, have embraced the hospitality industry. Their most recent project was the RSVP Motel in Bozeman which includes a cafe called The Farmer’s’ Daughter. Folkvord said it’s in a new area of town that they’re banking on being developed as the city continues to grow.
A Family of Montana Entrepreneurs
Over the years, Folkvord has learned the ins-and-outs of working with family.
“A family business is challenging, but the most rewarding experience,” she said. “We have our moments and can be honest with each other. When we’re all working toward the same goals, great things happen.”
Folkvord said her family is invested in making Montana a great place to do business.
“We’re completely invested in Montana,” Folkvord said. “Not only in our business but giving back. Montana is a great climate to start a business. There are so many opportunities, and Montana is like a little small town where everyone knows everyone. There is more collaboration over competition. That’s one of the things that makes Montana really unique.”
Folkvord attended Montana State University on a golf scholarship and attended business school at the University of Denver. As she approached graduation, Folkvord’s parents were approached about the Sacajawea Hotel, a landmark in the Three Forks community that had fallen into disrepair.
“We opened the doors in 2010 with no prior experience in hospitality,” she said. “We went in there pretty blind. The first three years were tough. We ended up loving the hospitality industry, and we now take our experiences when we travel and share them with our guests.”
With two boutique hotels under their belt, Folkvord is just getting started. She said their dream is to have 10 boutique hotels over the next 10 years. Folkvord said they’ve got two with the Sacajawea and RSVP, and they’re looking in Montana and beyond.
When Folkvord isn’t interacting with guests in Bozeman or Three Forks, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. Folkvord said the three of them, her husband and daughter, Olivia, love to golf and travel. Their favorite country of the moment is Italy.
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