Founder and president of Skyview Concessions, Inc., Apryl Stewart is a highly accomplished entrepreneur, acknowledged expert in the airport retail sector and skilled executive leader. Her specialties include business development, sales management, operations, marketing, human resources, merchandising and buying.
Still, she had never owned her own boutique. When the opportunity was presented to her at LAX airport earlier this year, Apryl didn’t want to say “no,” but had concerns due to the pandemic and travel uncertainty. One of her first instincts: contact SCORE.
Apryl met John Doyle long ago but found him again when he was teaching her financial class. A first-time entrepreneur, she immediately knew John would be the perfect SCORE mentor to help her open her first solo store. “I knew John could help me talk through financial statements, encourage me, help me think strategically and be my confidant. It’s been amazing! I’m grateful SCORE offers access to experts like John for free. His support has made a huge difference for my life and career,” she says.
Apryl’s vision to “grow flowers out of asphalt” came to life in November 2021 with the launch of her Vera Bradley store at LAX. It’s located in a perfect spot in one of the busiest airports in the United States, where three million passengers pass through annually. “It’s been very fun,” she says. Yet to get here, she had to choose what product to sell, design the store, remodel it and pick out the best profile for traveling passengers.
When she considers her path and how much she’s accomplished along the way, Apryl says, “I plan to give back and be a mentor for someone else someday – like John’s done for me. Definitely!”