“My goal is to help all women feel confident in their appearance with an affordable professional wardrobe and not worry about that aspect of their job,” said Stephanie Carroll of her inspiration for the creation of Executive by Stephanie. Living in Sidney, Montana, Carroll found the struggle of finding well-fitting and affordable professional clothing in her previous career as a chemist and chemical engineer. In response, Carroll created a line of women’s clothing of professional staple pieces in classic styles and colors. The line currently consists of a blazer, two styles of pants, a pencil skirt, and three blouses.
Officially launching her line at the end of 2021, Carroll was intrigued by advertisements for the Montana Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Prospera’s 56Strong mentorship program. This program matches women entrepreneurs with other woman-owned businesses in each of the 56 counties in Montana. While Carroll and her mentor Erica Mackey run very different businesses, they quickly came to discover that they had a lot in common in both their chemical engineering backgrounds and navigating running their own businesses while also balancing young families at home.
“The WBC did a really good job at interviewing both mentees and mentors and screening. They hit it out of the park. They really took their time to make sure it was the right fit,” said Carroll.
Carroll was awarded as the 56Strong mentee of the year for 2022. “Stephanie is an incredible person and entrepreneur. I feel lucky to have been able to make a friend and to have been able to contribute to her inevitable success. I was inspired by Stephanie’s commitment to constant, incremental improvement. She leaned into change with enthusiasm, followed through with every network connection I made, and saw almost immediate results,” said Mackey.
Of her experience working with Prospera, Carroll said, “With the help of Prospera and Mackey, I was able to get a clear vision of where my business needs to go.” Carroll is planning and designing the second run of professional staple pieces for women. These affordable pieces by Executive by Stephanie are currently found in ten communities across Montana as well as through direct-to-customer options online.