We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtnie Owens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtnie, what do you attribute your success to?
While it’s hard to pinpoint just one factor for success at Smokehouse Cigars, I would have to say that it is simply “community”. Our business consists not only of our local cigar community, but our First Responder community as well. We take great pride and humility in honoring them/their service daily. Because my husband and business partner is a career firefighter of nearly 30 years with Atlanta Fire & Rescue Department, I personally make it my mission to show him and his colleagues that outside of the politics of local government, our brand and its patrons sincerely appreciate how selfless they are in placing their lives on the line for our safety and health every hour of every day.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
While my passion, and correlating business is in the cigar industry, I also have a professional career in public health. While the two appear to be contradictory in nature, I am most proud of completing my Doctoral degree over the next year and defending my dissertation on a topic that brings my passion for cigars and public health under one umbrella as a community engagement project. I currently hold an MBA in Management and Strategy and have used my education and professional experiences to cultivate my journey in both private and government sectors. The journey for me, as I suspect for many others, has not been easy, but I am respectful of all challenges and adversity because they have taught me to never accept “no” as a final answer, as there is always a work-around or method for accomplishing personal and professional goals without accepting that a dream or task can’t be completed. I have overcome many challenges by humbling my mind and mouth to seek the help or information required to move me forward. The most important lesson learned on my professional journey is simply this: always remain true to yourself and your brand by not allowing others and their opinions to alter your vision. Lastly, a final note to the world about Team Owens and the Smokehouse Cigars brand is that “we” are equally focused on growing our business through existing and new relationships that seek to provide a positive networking experience like-minded individuals.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Some of my favorite places to take someone for food and drinks while visiting Atlanta include Anna’s BBQ, and Dulce Vegan in the neighborhood of Kirkwood, Rose’s Seafood Market in the Municipal (Curb) Market on Edgewood Ave., and Savage Pizza in Little Five Points. Additionally, for a relaxed atmosphere and GREAT place to meet mature adults, I would of course bring them to Smokehouse Cigars, Mable House Barnes Amphitheater for a concert, High Museum of Art and Apex Museum and shopping at any of the minority-owned boutiques around the city. I think some of the best places to visit, frequent and spend time at are those places where there are diverse people, with great hospitality. There are many places like this around Atlanta, including but not limited to the places listed above.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The person who has MOST supported all of my dreams has been my husband, Capt. Andre Owens, so my initial shoutout goes to him for facilitating the evolution of many of my personal and professional ideals, and for being a phenomenal partner in every aspect. I would also like to shoutout my father, Retired Maj. Louis Boykin for being the first man to show me discipline, explain the importance of honesty and integrity, and keep reiterating that MY success takes hard work, commitment and good grades!