Kimberly Ross, co-founder of RCK Monuments, launched the company after someone else suggested she faced an opportunity in her local market. Now, Ross is set to launch her third company this year.
"In 2003, my sister passed away and we decided to get a headstone for her," Ross said. "We had a very difficult time finding a company to help us. I had friend in Atlanta who connected us with a company up there that was a headstone wholesaler that made an exception for us and sold us a headstone. The owner recommended we start our own business if we were having such a hard time in our area. Later in 2006, I reached out to her. We drove up to Georgia where she educated us on the industry. We started from there."
RCK Monuments designs and installs headstones and grave markers. "We're a little more personable than others," Ross explained. "I'm a social worker by degree and it's not about the sales for us. It's about making sure the family gets what they want at an inexpensive cost."
The company prides itself on working together with each customer. "There was one family who purchased a headstone and couldn't get it installed," she said. "It was too large for the plot so we communicated with the county office and stone maker and solved that problem for them. We are committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals."
Ross's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to stay the course during hard times. "Stick it out no matter how hard it gets," she said. "Don't let it always be about the money. Business is about resources, but don’t let it always be about money because you'll close the business during the times you're not doing well. Always remember why you got in the business. If it's your passion, stick it out and things will turn around."