Jackie Floyd (’07) accomplished a lot in her first few years after graduating from Truman with degrees in theatre and English. While spending a year as part of a music ministry team, she toured Southeast Asia and the western United States. She followed that up with time as a resident director at Rockhurst University while she earned a master’s degree in theatre from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After obtaining a teaching certificate from Avila University, she moved half-way around the world to teach high school English in the United Arab Emirates. A message from her sister, Kelli (Floyd) Kent (’05), would turn out to make her next few years just as busy.
“She told me she wanted to start a Smoothie King and asked if I wanted to be her business partner and the operating partner,” Floyd said. “She ended the text with ‘This is not a joke.’”
Within a month of that initial text message, the sisters had submitted an application for the Columbia/Jefferson City territory. Since opening their first store in Columbia, they have been rapidly building a Smoothie King empire, which now includes a food truck, along with stores in Jefferson City, West Des Moines and Waukee, Iowa, and their hometown of Kirksville.
“I was particularly excited to bring Smoothie King to Kirksville because I have friends and family from my childhood and collegiate years here,” Floyd said. “I am proud to say that our Kirksville opening day was the largest and most successful opening day we have had in any of our stores.”
Floyd and Kent show no signs of slowing down any time soon. They have plans to open 11 stores, and they are currently working on locations in Ankeny, Iowa, and another in Columbia.
“We love working together as a team, building a successful business that provides job opportunities for many people, as well as a great product to our guests,” Floyd said.
As a budding entrepreneur, Floyd still continues to stay connected to the arts. She is active in community theatre in the Columbia area and uses it as a way to make new friends. Even though her degrees are not directly associated with her current career path, she values the skills she picked up in the classroom.
“I believe some of the most important things I learned from my time at Truman were how to work with a team and effective communication skills,” she said. “The liberal arts degree allowed me to explore a variety of courses and collaborate with many people with different interests from my own. These experiences provided a strong foundation for me to start my own business and develop relationships with many people.”