BrandHoot Founder Nate Nordstrom has built his company from the ground up. This Rochester-based, design-focused business was created in Nordstrom’s attic office five years ago. Now, the ten-person team is a finalist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Design Big Small Business of the Year Awards. BrandHoot continues to discover new ways to thrive in Rochester and beyond. Now, Nordstrom looks to other entrepreneurs to just “start something” in this city.
BrandHoot develops websites and apps through a “special blend of strategy, design, and engineering” to empower and advance business owners and healthcare leaders. In addition to website design, the team offers strategy and UX prototyping, design sprint, mobile app design, custom programming, inbound marketing, and accessibility testing services. BrandHoot has worked with clients like Mayo Clinic, Destination Medical Center, and the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. They also provide a website design service, called PixelPress, specifically for nonprofits and small businesses.
Additional BrandHoot products include the mobile apps Rochester Now, a one-stop shop to all events and resources in Rochester, and FanCoach, a Facebook marketing tool for restaurants.
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Nordstrom launched BrandHoot out of his own home attic office in January 2012, after leaving his full-time job and learning that he and his wife were expecting their first child. At the time, he had few connections in Rochester and no funding. He bootstrapped and grew the business over the next five years by providing unique value to his ever-growing customer base.
In 2015, the BrandHoot team of four moved out of Nordstrom’s basement into The Vault, a historic workplace above Grand Rounds Brew Pub, to accommodate business progression. In 2016, the group moved into their brand new, current office space in the Conley-Maass-Downs building, the first complex in the Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square District.
The BrandHoot team, now grown to ten members, celebrated their 2000th day of business this June.
To commemorate these days of growth in the Rochester community, BrandHoot is holding an open house in their new downtown office space on Friday, August 18th. The event will include hors d’oeuvres, local drinks, Legos, and fun on the BrandHoot indoor rock climbing wall.
Nordstrom said that hard work, vision, attention to quality and customer service, and a good team are essential components of BrandHoot’s success over the years.
“My wife, family, God, and the Rochester community always deserve my appreciation as well. Starting and growing a business is a very tough journey. But it’s all worth it, especially with great people by your side,” he explained.
BrandHoot’s success does not stop with the 2000+ day count. The business is among only seventeen finalists for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Dream Big Small Business of the Year Awards; BrandHoot is a finalist for the Community Excellence Award for their leadership and community engagement.
The award winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize and recognition at the 2017 Small Business Summit, held September 10th through the 13th, in Washington, D.C.
“It’s exciting to be able to celebrate five years of growth and success in Rochester. And being up for a national small business of the year award is an unexpected honor. We’ve worked so hard from day one, it’s nice to be able to spend a few moments to sit back, reflect, and celebrate,” Nordstrom noted.
To celebrate this accomplishment and involve the community, BrandHoot is holding a drawing to give away one free event ticket to the U.S. Chamber Dream Big Event, valued at $500. Click here to enter the drawing. A winner will be announced by Tuesday, August 15th.
BrandHoot has cut its teeth in Rochester. Now, Nordstrom wants to see more entrepreneurs in this city just start something. He’s happy to connect with entrepreneurs to bounce ideas or share lessons learned.
Nordstrom advises others to take risks, and above all else, to not give up when things get difficult.
“It’s going to be hard mentally, physically, and emotionally. Make sure you surround yourself with good people from all angles, to help keep you grounded and give you advice, even when you may not ask for it,” he advised.