Where Are They Now? - Q&A's With Notable Jenks Grads
Bailee Howard - Founder and CEO of GoGetters
You might say Bailee Howard has been a real “go-getter” since graduating from Jenks High School in 2005. The former Trojan Pom girl and subject of this week’s “Where Are They Now? Wednesday,” recognized a need in the Tulsa marketplace and started her own business to effectively fill a void and serve her community. Howard is the CEO and Founder of GoGetters, a personal errand service for senior citizens or anyone else who might not have the time or resources to run to the grocery store or grab the dry-cleaning.
What are your fondest memories of attending Jenks High School?
Howard: I have so many great memories when I think back to my time at Jenks. I made amazing friends that I still keep in touch with today and had great teachers that prepared me for college and life in general. I was also a member of the pom squad throughout my entire high school career, so I have many memories of Friday nights on the football field cheering on our Trojans.
Was there one particular teacher or principal who inspired you or made a lasting impact in your life?
Howard: It would definitely be Mrs. McCord, my Spanish teacher for a couple years. She was able to help us learn a foreign language in an easy way, while also making it fun. She was also a friend to my family, and always had great advice for college and my future.
How did Jenks’ schools help prepare you for a career in marketing, advertising, and business?
Howard: One of the things I loved about Jenks was that it offered a variety of courses for multiple interests, which helped me become well-rounded in many different areas. Jenks also has great English and writing classes, which is important in the advertising and business world. I had great teachers that helped prep me for college papers and business communications.
How did you come up with the idea to create a business around running people’s personal errands?
Howard: I started GoGetters based on a personal experience. My grandmother is in a memory care facility, and I constantly saw my mom and dad battle spending time with her versus trying to run all her errands. They both also work full time jobs, so they were juggling that on top of everything else. One day they said “I wish someone could run these errands for us” – then it popped into my head. Why don’t I run these errands for my grandma, and also for everyone else around Tulsa that’s not able to or doesn’t have time? That’s how GoGetters was born.
Many people dream of owning and operating their own business. How were you able to turn that dream into a reality?
Howard: I watched my parents own and grow their own business when I was growing up, and I also worked for a marketing firm that branded new businesses, so I had a good idea of the work it entailed. I also have amazing parents who have invested in my company to see my dreams of owning a business becoming a reality. After that, it just took courage to quit my full time job to pursue GoGetters full time.
What steps have you taken to grow and expand your business?
Howard: Starting your own business is definitely a lot of work, but if you’re passionate about it, it’s worth it. I’m starting from scratch, and that includes making cold calls, passing out brochures, social media campaigns and more. I’ve also had some wonderful people in my life who have helped get me on the radio and in the Tulsa World, which has created great buzz about the company. And on top of all that, networking has been a key to starting GoGetters.
What is the typical response from someone who takes advantage of GoGetters service and convenience?
Howard: I have had such a positive response about starting GoGetters. So many people have told me it’s a blessing to have a service like this in Tulsa. There are many people out who would rather spend more time with their families instead of worrying about their weekly errands, or people who have loved ones in assisted living centers that now have peace of mind knowing he or she has everything they need every month. The positive impact GoGetters has had on people’s lives is exactly why I started it.
What advice would you give to other small business owners and entrepreneurs?
Howard: I asked myself two questions when starting GoGetters: is there a need for it in the area and am I passionate about it? I did research for a while before launching the GoGetters brand because I wanted to ensure it was something residents in the Tulsa metro needed and would use. And with a successful business comes passion – if you don’t believe in it, you won’t be able to sell it. I believe GoGetters solves a lot of problems for people, so once I answered both of these questions, it was full steam ahead.
What is the long-term vision for your company? Would you like to set up GoGetters in other cities or states?
Howard: Once GoGetters grows locally, I absolutely see it spreading into other cities and states. It’s a business that could succeed in many different areas because it is a service that isn’t just built for Tulsa, it’s a service that appeals to people all over the nation. It would be my dream for it to spread throughout the U.S.
How do you stay connected to Jenks?
Howard: I stay connected to Jenks Public Schools and Jenks High School on social media. Also, both of my nephews attend Jenks, so I still go to all the local parades and football games. Although I no longer attend school here, I always support the activities and athletics of the Trojans!
What is next for you both personally and professionally?
Howard: I will be working hard to grow GoGetters within the Tulsa area and beyond. I turn 30 next year, and I hope to have multiple employees within the company and be serving new locations by then. I hear people say they hated to turn 30, but I’m absolutely excited for this new chapter in my life.