Barbara Wells, owner/operator of Cactus Threads and Montana Dress Co.

Barbara Wells, owner/operator of Cactus Threads and Montana Dress Co.

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and every business plays a critical role in keeping Montana’s towns vibrant. The Treasure State consistently ranks in top five in reports from the Kauffman Foundation in rates of business ownership and business sustainability.

In our Q and A series, we’ll introduce you to some of Montana’s brightest and best entrepreneurs from all corners of the state. These businesses are involved in a variety of industries including hospitality, retail, and food.

Join us we travel out east to Billings to meet Barbara Wells!

1. What is the name of your business?

Montana Dress Co. and Cactus Threads

2. Are you a native of Montana? If you are, where is your hometown and why do you love it? If not, why did you decide to make Montana home?

I am not a native of Montana. We moved here because my husband had a job opportunity in Montana.

3. How long has your business been in operation? What does your business do?

Montana Dress Co. was opened in 2016 and is a retail dress shop. Cactus Threads was opened in 2001 and does embroidery, screen printing, and promo products.

4. What has surprised you about owning your own business?

Challenges to please, appease people. We compete against online shopping. I love what we do, and the people we encounter can be challenging, but then you have customers that turn into friends.

5. Why should an entrepreneur start a business in Montana?

Do what you love. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, create a solution. Don’t like a service? Start your own.

6. Why did you decide to start your business?

I started Cactus Threads because of my love of sewing. Later, I started the Montana Dress Co. to fulfill a need in our community and region.

7. What are three pieces of advice you would give someone about starting a company in Montana?

  1. Think things through. Don’t jump into something without thinking.
  2. Save money. Don’t go into debt. Don’t ask others for money such as crowd funding.
  3. Form partnerships. Work with your competitors. I believe in referring my competition. In the end it is about keeping people from shopping online.

Do you know a local business that should be highlighted on our Q +A feature? Fill out the following questionnaire here and we will consider featuring your business!

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