Howard Hurst


Tipton & Hurst

Little Rock

Howard Hurst

Howard Hurst doesn't know of any other family-owned business that has been in the same family for 110 years. His great-grandfather founded Tipton & Hurst in Little Rock in 1886; he took over the company's four stores in 1984, a generation after his father did the same thing.

Hurst married Stacey Johnson three years ago, and the couple has since had a son, Conley, who is now 1. The 38-year-old Hurst admits a desire to continue the tradition and pass the business on to his child.

"But I don't want to force anything on him," Hurst quickly adds.

Hurst started working in the flower shop as a child. He went on to get a business degree at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1980.

"I always wanted to follow in my father's footsteps," he says. "I always wanted to be the captain of my own ship."

Since he took over the business 12 years ago, the company has added a fifth store and a division called Tipton & Hurst Interior Plantscaping.

Hurst's wife recently left her job as a vice president with the Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation to take over the family business's marketing efforts.