Home decor entrepreneur plants roots of business without being rooted to location

Kim Nguyen

Mon, Mar 25, 2024 (2 a.m.)

Las Vegas local Kim Nguyen opened her business, Base Roots, as an online storefront on Amazon about six years ago. Since then, the home decor shop has virtually grown nonstop, giving shoppers the opportunity to make their home their own, using ceramic planters and vases, floating shelves and other whimsical but functional furnishings.

Vegas Inc sat down with Nguyen to learn more about Base Roots, how it’s grown and her goals for the future.

Can you walk me through establishing Base Roots?

I started Base Roots in 2018. I was living in California at the time. I was moving to different apartments, from San Francisco to LA. So it was every couple of years, and I was thinking versatile home decor could move along with me, no matter the new space. And the term Base Roots, it’s in essence like your home base—your foundation.

My first initial products were around indoor plants that make (it) feel more homey inside, and since then we’ve expanded.

How would you describe the store and its products to someone who doesn’t know anything about it?

The products range from smaller home decor, so … shelves, baskets, hanging decor, a lot of planters and vases. Every product includes natural elements whether it’s its design, so the sun or the moon, also the materials that we’re using. … We’re also really thoughtful about the packaging. We try to ship minimalistic, in offsetting our carbon footprint, which is a program through Amazon.

In what ways can an Amazon store be more beneficial than a brick-and-mortar outlet?

With Amazon, we started from the very, very beginning, and it’s grown tons because of the fulfillment, the warehouse, the customer service, as well as (the) platform’s customer searching on there. It’s made it really a lot easier than we thought possible. We do a little bit of wholesale, but it’s very, very minor … But over the years, it’s really mostly grown on Amazon. And after around two years, we expanded internationally to the UK and EU, and we grew over 70% just that year.

And then after, we launched in Canada, and that was all through the help of Amazon. We got account managers to help with the taxes and different laws around there and also the shipping and translation. So we’ve been really fortunate enough to work closely with a few different teams and programs within Amazon … so yeah, it’s been a really good partnership with them.

What has it been like to watch Base Roots grow over the years?

Because of COVID—where factories (and) businesses were closed down (and) a lot people (were stuck) at home … a lot more people were wanting to decorate their space, working from home as well. … And so, in being able to grow internationally, I think that internationally, people are more open to buying online versus I think they were more shopping at brick-and-mortar in the past, so it’s good to see that side as well.

How do you hope to grow the business going forward, or what may be on the horizon?

To grow the business, we are focusing on social media. And fortunately, we get a lot of really great content from our customers. Great reviews, great photos, great videos … and so we want to be able to partner with them, and push more of that content on our channels and see how we can grow in my way.

It’s Women’s History Month, and we just recently celebrated International Women’s Day. What would you say to other women business owners who may just be starting out?

It’s really important to connect with yourself and connect with others. I think it can be really challenging to manage a lot of moving parts—employees, your own schedule. So I try to take time to reflect and to think about my day, my week, my month, my quarter, my year—big picture, long term. … And, although they’re not alone, I think it can be quite lonely at times, especially starting off. And so reaching out to others, such as a like-minded community or an industry-specific group, I feel like there’s a lot more events and women business owners that want to connect with others as well. People love talking business and feeling that mutual support and passion for each other.

How has the community in Las Vegas fostered your entrepreneurial spirit or pushed your business forward?

The entrepreneurs here—it’s amazing. It’s been a wide range of types of businesses, and I feel like people here are very open-minded; they’re very friendly. They like to have fun. So, it’s been great to have that sense of community here, as well. I know a lot of people are moving into the space and wanting to explore and grow more as well, so it’s been really great to see and be a part of.

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This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.

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