Austin Business Journal hosts Liz Lambert for its Face 2 Face series

April 04, 2013

Bunkhouse Management grew into a hospitality firm through the vision and hard work of Liz Lambert. Find out how she became a small business owner.

Image “Liz Lambert” courtesy of The Austin Business Journal

Hiscox Small Business Insurance had the pleasure of co-sponsoring the March Face 2 Face series hosted by The Austin Business Journal. The Face 2 Face series gives the Austin business community an opportunity to hear the experiences of some of the best small business owners and entrepreneurs in the country.

Guest speaker, Liz Lambert is Chief Creative Officer of Bunkhouse Management, an Austin based hospitality firm that owns Hotel San Jose, Hotel Saint Cecilia, and Jo’s Hot Coffee Good Food. Liz shared how she turned her original vision of owning a single hotel into a chain of boutique hotels.

Liz began her career as an attorney, but her curiosity led her to gravitate towards the hospitality industry. During her frequent trips to the Continental Club, a well known music venue in Austin, TX, Liz would notice the modest hotel across the street from the venue. Immediately, her business savvy kicked in and Liz decided to purchase the hotel and cater to touring musicians.

Liz’s background is similar to many business owners, she didn’t have experience in the industry she wanted to go into, but had the guts and a vision to succeed anyway. She purchased Hotel San Jose 15 years ago from the owner who was eager to sell. And that’s how Liz’s life as a small business owner began. She spruced up the hotel, rented out rooms to pay the bills and dealt with a neighborhood that was not considered an ideal tourist attraction, but now has one of the highest occupancy rates in Austin at 95%.

Liz attributes her success to focusing on customers. She accommodates returning guests, regardless of occupancy and refuses to fall prey to exposing guests to bidding wars, though with the hotel’s popularity, she could.

To attract guests Liz primarily uses word-of-mouth and social media marketing. And while the company continues to expand, she makes sure to preserve the company culture. She realizes that staff can make or break a customer’s experience.

Do you have a story similar to Liz’s? Did you take a leap of faith, with your eyes wide open and launch a business? Leave a comment with your story.