Bryan House thriving under owners Frank & Ariel King
MISSION, TX – January 25, 2018 — Ariel King really wanted the Bryan House. The self-admitted history buff didn’t know how much she would need to invest or how long it would take to restore, but she knew she wanted to save it. King set up an appointment with the 1909 home’s realtor in 2014 and got to the William Jennings Bryan House early while another potential buyer was walking through the home with the agent. King didn’t want to lose the house on Mile 2 Rd.
After touring the home, the realtor and the other buyer exited to view the property’s grounds and got in King’s line of sight. And there was King’s husband Frank already trying to work out a deal! Both leveraged that passion for preservation to restore the old home. A Nebraskan, Bryan was a three-time presidential candidate and U.S. Secretary of State in the early 1900s.
Now fully restored, the Bryan House is a charming bed and breakfast – decorated with historic photos and maps – and busy events center hosting weddings, business retreats and family get-togethers. It attracts visitors from around the country. We’re beaming proud of King. We should be. She went through the Mission EDC’s Ruby Red Ventures entrepreneurship program, built a solid plan to support her idea and earned funding in 2016. Her business has hit a good stride and continues to grow.
Q: What advice would have for young entrepreneurs who want to start a business?
A: The most important thing is that you have a vision. While that may evolve organically, you have to have a strong vision of what you
want your business to be, and you have to be willing to put in the hours of hard work. You have to have the drive.
Q: What role has technology played in your business?
A: Technology has been crucial for me when it comes to networking. Technology has helped me network with all sorts of social media, and finding people, too, that I can work with. A large amount of my customer base is from outside the Valley…They are finding me because of technology.
Q: Who have you looked to for inspiration and why?
A: There is a woman who has a similar business model in Wimberley, Texas except her business sits on a large ranch. And every time I’m in a position where I feel I don’t I have the answers, I will go spend time with her at the ranch and talk to her about what’s working and what’s not.
Q: What has been your toughest day-to-day challenge as a small business owner?
A: Not knowing who’s going to call you to use your facility. Whether it be the Bed & Breakfast, whether it’s the photography or an event, not knowing when that money is going to come in has been difficult – especially in that first year.
Q: What’s next for you and your business?
A: I would like to expand on the idea of a retreat. The weekend getaway. The glamping business. Where women get together but not to camp. They call it glamping. I’d like to have additional things for people to do when they stay here so that it really does give you the feel of personal attention, customer service in a unique atmosphere.