James J. Hill Center Statement Regarding Current Closure

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Small start up with a BIG dream

Amanda Carlson is the Founder and CEO of Rookiework.  In celebration of Women’s History Month we had the opportunity to ask Amanda about her success so far.   

What is your business and how did your entrepreneurial journey begin?
Rookiework is unique as our entrepreneurial journey began with the dream and idea of a way to help other small business owners make their dreams a reality and a success.

Rookiework is a small start-up business, based in Minneapolis, MN, with a big dream: making small businesses competitive against large corporations. We believe in entrepreneurship and innovation, and we love small businesses and start-ups. Our contribution to the success of small businesses is to create a mutually beneficial relationship between them and talented students with complementing skills, and to give them the tools they need to succeed. We might just help some students pay for their education along the way.

What do you want people to know about you and your business and what sets it apart?
Rookiework is a very unique business where our success comes when we are able to help other small business owners affordably achieve their goals while helping college students.

Small businesses cannot afford the same luxuries as large corporations, and are often forced to perform non-core functions, such as web design or advertising, on their own. At the same time, talented students with these skills are struggling to pay for school and are forced to work in minimum-wage jobs. We believe talented students and small businesses can help each other. A student can provide services at a much lower cost that a consulting agency, and they would love to work with their talent and passion. Rookiework exists to create this partnership and help it succeed.

What or who has made the biggest impact on your entrepreneurial career so far?
To this point I would say the willingness of other small business owners that have overcome obstacles sharing their experiences and suggestions has made the biggest impact thus far. I believe networking in the small business community is the key to entrepreneurial success.

How does your entrepreneurial spirit contribute to the Twin Cities business ecosystem and community?
I believe our entrepreneurial spirit within Rookiework has and will continue to help grow the business community within the Twin Cities as we are here to help other businesses have access to an affordable tool to complete projects. We also help students within our community gain skills, experience, and funds. These are both beneficial to our local economy.

What has been the largest hurdle and/or success you have experienced as an entrepreneur?
The largest hurdle we have faced and we are actually working on still overcoming is getting our mission and name out into the community affordably. We are continuously brainstorming affordable ways to get our business known but as an entrepreneur it is a unique problem we face; to grow our business in an attainable manner. We continue to take leaps and strides to this hurdle and getting our name out there through perseverance.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs just getting out of gate?
I would say follow your dreams and work hard. Take all the advice you get and apply it in your own way to what you want to achieve. Being an entrepreneur is not easy and will take a lot of work no doubt, but every drop of sweat sleepless night is worth it.

What is it about Minnesota and how has it managed to keep you here?
We are very fortunate to be here. The Twin Cities in Minnesota is an extremely unique and successful economy with a vast array of opportunity. That is what drew Thomas to this market when he had the concept originally. I personally am a Northern Minnesota native and believe we have an endless list of benefits available to us here. We are Minnesota nice and helping others as a business and will continue to grow here to create more of these stories.

Amanda presented Rookiework at 1 Million Cups in 2016.  For more information on 1 Million Cups or to present your start up at the James J. Hill Center please visit jjhill.org or apply now.


Patrons with accessibility needs please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit.