Springfield, MO

2015 40 Under 40 Honoree: Arianna Russell

Posted online
Arianna Russell founded two companies, has been featured on the national news, landed as a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made contest and met FUBU founder Daymond John of “Shark Tank” fame.

And she’s 27 years old.

As a high school junior, Russell launched Super Mobile Auto Detailing out of the trunk of her car, thriving in a male-dominated environment and growing into a business with eight employees.

Next up: Bodacious Cases LLC.

On July 4, 2011, Russell thought her phone had fallen into a hot tub. It was a false alarm, but she started thinking about how helpful a water-resistant cover would be. She doesn’t carry a purse, so how about a place for some plastic and cash, too? Russell wanted a sleek, American-made case she could color customize.

Russell went seeking but did not find. So she designed one.

Fortunately, Russell was motivated by being told she was too young, her company was too tiny and her made-in-America mandate was impossible. It wasn’t easy to find American manufacturers; the price difference between the U.S. and China is substantial. But the daughter of a double Purple Heart Vietnam War veteran believes it honors him and everyone else who has fought for the U.S. by insisting on American made.

“This has been no small feat, as meeting with foreign manufacturers requires significant time commitment,” she says. “Turning down their cheaper prices at a time when manufacturing in the U.S. is exponentially more expensive has been a hard decision to make, but it is necessary to keep the Bodacious Cases’ mission of being 100 percent made in America and supporting the growth of our economy and domestic jobs.”

Russell considers being interviewed by ABC World News Tonight a highlight.

“It gave us the opportunity to share the importance of supporting our economy,” she says. “A large amount of people heard our message and now understand Bodacious Cases, (its) business mission, vision and values. I hope our commitment to made in America will inspire other companies.”

Another high point was meeting “Shark Tank’s” John at a trade show in Las Vegas and showing him her product. He later sent Russell a tweet saying she reminded him of how he hustled as a young entrepreneur 20 years ago.

Russell’s commitment to community includes donating one case to a local hero for every 12 sold; speaking to students about entrepreneurialism; and becoming Missouri’s new spokesperson for the Made in America Movement.

“Many other women my age are either not afforded the opportunity to start their own company or don’t have the tools to do so,” Russell says. “So far in my career, I have started two successful businesses, turning my dreams into a reality. ... I often work 16- to 18-hour days and stay positive knowing my hard work and dedication doing what I love will pay off.”[[In-content Ad]]


No comments on this story |
Please log in or register to add your comment
Editors' Pick

It Takes a Team: ‘The Hub,’ WOW selected for design and construction awards

Collaboration was prominent Nov. 9 at the 33rd annual Salute to Design and Construction Awards.

Most Read
SBJ Live logo
Mobile First World

“For marketers in this day and age, it’s so important to think about how you are engaging with customers and potential consumers on that mobile device,” says Erika Murray, Global Brand Manager …

App-titude - Tracking Projects with Trello “I like to think of it as a big white board where you can put post-it notes and track your progress on the different stages of a process,” says David Brazeal. Trello allows you to make a list, …
Realities of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits “Medical negligence or medical malpractice cases essentially are a platform for families to bring a lawsuit against a healthcare provider,” says Debbie Dodge, Managing Shareholder at Hall Ansley. …
Never Stop Learning “You’ll know that you’re a trusted adviser when your clients come to you before they make a business decision,” says Tom Jensen, with Connell Insurance, one of Springfield Business …
Beyond the Spotlight - Hinode “One big thing we tried to do was to make it more casual — into a fun family dining experience that everyone could enjoy,” says Cosmo Kwon, Co-Owner of Hinode in Nixa, Mo. The change worked. …