Stephanie McCratic

Founder and CEO

Acorn: An Influence Co.

Bentonville

Age: 39


Stephanie McCratic

Stephanie McCratic turned a bout with boredom into a business.

McCratic moved to northwest Arkansas with her husband in 2008. She started a blog called Evolved Mommy, which grew popular and led to a meeting with Acumen Brands founder John James, who hired McCratic to help the company establish its social media presence.

“I didn’t know anybody up here and, frankly, I was about to lose my mind,” McCratic said. “My husband said, ‘You’re a creative person. Why don’t we start a blog?’ The more I put into it, the more I got out of it. I was building something out of nothing.”

She found similar success at Acumen, where the Country Outfitter store became a sensational success story. McCratic said that was a crash education course that gave her the confidence in 2014 to open Acorn, which uses social media influencers to build brand awareness.

“I felt like I was getting paid for an education,” she said. “We just tried a lot of stuff. That’s where I learned the skills I use at Acorn.”

The analogy that McCratic uses to describe Acorn is a single guy in a bar. If he talks about himself as a catch, it’s less effective as a dating tool than if his friends spread out through the bar and talk him up. Acorn does the same thing for its customers: find people to spread the word about the product, store, what have you — “influencer marketing.”