IDEA Works Success Story: Modern Lantern

"We wouldn't be where we are now if not for IDEA Works," says Carrie Fitzwater of Modern Lantern.

What she means: Modern Lantern office'd out of IDEA Works/BAC on East Rosedale, and also participated in BAC's Business Plan Competition twice. (Alas, they never won.) 

"The whole experience of being there provided a quick snapshot of how to run our business the way we do now," says Carrie.

An example: at the beginning, they were running their business -- an e-retailer focusing on high-end cordless lamps -- from home. Now they have two warehouses in Fort Worth: one is for shipping, and they office out of the other (which is located on the north side of town). 

"The advice from advisers and other entrepreneurs is tremendous," admits Carrie.

An additional example: as they were developing their business plan, they were predominantly B2C. The plan was guided with help from BAC and IDEA Works professionals. As they grew, they decided to try more B2B -- such as selling to hotels -- and still leaned on advice garnered during their time in the incubator. 

They're doing well, too: they've grown revenue roughly 30% every year since inception. In fact, when they participated in the Business Plan Competition, they had five-year projections set. They've already exceeded those -- within five years.

"If you don't really know where to start or go, I'd definitely recommend the Business Plan Competition as one idea," says Carrie. "It's a good way to see if your idea is validated."

The bottom line for her and her current employees (two full-time and three part-time): "Honestly, without IDEA Works and BAC, we'd probably still be running Modern Lantern in our pajamas somewhere."

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