Student Spotlight: Meet Hayley Buell

Welcome to another installment of our student-propelled success stories.

Each installment highlights a current or past Stukent student and the cool things he, she or they are doing online. We hope this motivates you to see how other students from around the world are using their entrepreneurial and marketing skills to grow a company.

Meet Hayley Buell

For the last few years, Hayley and her Fiancé have been running an exotic car rally called the ( Ultimate Road Rally) which gives back to the community. This past memorial day Ultimate Road Rally raised over $85,000 for the Heritage Foundation which gives back to families of fallen police officers. Last year they raised $30,000 for Cal’s Angels which was a local pediatric cancer charity. During their next event, Cal’s Angels will bring out the kids that are well enough and the owners of the exotic cars (Lamborghini, Porsche, Ford GT and more) and will give the kids rides. Hayley says that most rewarding feeling in the world is being able to put smiles on kid’s faces.

We asked Hayley some questions about her company, The Ultimate Road Rally. You can read her interview below:

Hey, Hayley. Let’s start off with you telling us a little about yourself.

{Q} Where are you from?

Plainfield, IL

{Q} What university do you attend?

Aurora University

{Q} What did you study?

I earned a degree in marketing with a minor in sales management and business administration

{Q} Why did you want to study marketing?

I tried out many medical majors after realizing it just wasn’t for me. I knew I wanted to help people but did not realize that there are many other ways I could help people besides being involved in the medical field. Marketing for me is a way to help and understand people to find exactly what they need. It is matching people with honest products and services that they never knew about which make their life easier while building meaningful relationships.

 {Q} What are some of your hobbies?

When I am not engaged in brainstorming/ researching on how to make the rally better I like to; read, find new and interesting restaurants, play tennis, watch sci-fi movies & shows, map out the next trip, spoil my Boston terrier named Lily, and most recently I have picked up learning modern calligraphy which I have been quite excited about

Tell us about your cool venture

{Q} When/Why did you start?

We started the Ultimate Road Rally in the summer of 2010.

The Ultimate Road Rally started because we wanted to do more things with like-minded car enthusiasts besides driving our cars to a car show and sitting. We wanted to have a great time while engaging in something fulfilling like giving back to the community. In the past three years, we have raised over $155,000 for great causes.

{Q} What’s unique about what you do?

The Ultimate Road Rally is the only challenge orientated moving exotic car rally that gives back. What this means, is that we put together (for comparison) a scavenger hunt like event for people but they can do it all by going from place to place by car. For example, this past Memorial Day we planned a rally to give back to the Heritage Foundation which is a foundation that gives back to fallen officers families. We went through Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and then back to Illinois. Through those states, we made stops where they had to complete tasks. Each team accumulates points and whichever team has the most points at the end of the rally wins. We stopped at Tire rack, The Ark Encounter, Tail of the Dragon, Jack Daniels Distillery and then finished off at lunch in the State Capital where we presented the check to the Heritage Foundation and the governor came out to thank us.

{Q} What has been the hardest part working with your business?

I wouldn’t say there are any hard parts when you are doing something which feels intrinsically rewarding. Something challenging in this position is to keep coming up with new ideas for challenges for a broad range of people to enjoy. Timing the event so that we can fit all of the stops in the time limit we have can also be a challenge especially when the best stops are far apart from each other.

{Q} How are you marketing your business?

The majority of our marketing comes from WOM (word of mouth). My fiancé works at an exotic car dealership called Chicago Motor Cars. He will invite his clientele and when I use to work at Iron Gate Motor Condos in Naperville, which is the first automotive car community in Illinois I would spread the word to the unit owners there as well. When we tell our friends from both places they will tell their friends and so on. We also utilize the Facebook and Instagram platform. We have A TON of great pics from the rallies, so we always like to share.

Since it is an exclusive exotic car rally, for safety purposes we like to keep the rally around a hundred people. We do not need to do too much advertising. Without advertising, we will still have a waiting list for each rally. A hundred people may sound like a lot but before you know, people at the rally will know everyone’s name. I believe this is the key to keep people coming back every year too. The Ultimate Road Rally has become a bit like a family. We all enjoy seeing everyone every season.

The majority of our marketing really goes toward the charity we are supporting for that rally. Even if one does not own an exotic car to be in the rally one can always come out and support our charity events which entails a great exotic car show with food, music, games, and prizes. Cal’s Angels is the pediatric cancer charity of our choice. During one of our favorite charity events we do for Cal’s Angels, Cal’s will bring the kids out that want to go for rides in the cars and by the smile on the kids’ faces you would never even realize they were unwell.

{Q} What advice would you give to a college student looking to start down a similar path as yours?

Find your niche and make it better. There are more people like you than you think, and the internet makes it easier than ever to find them.

{Q} Do you have a favorite book, website, online tool/service that you’d like to recommend to Stukent nation?

In a world where everything is on the internet I still thoroughly enjoy magazines. I would recommend Inc. magazine, Fortune, and Money magazine. They have great tips for entrepreneurs and how to overcome the ever-evolving markets. I am also a member of AMA (American Marketing Association) and they send me updates on marketing trends and tools to utilize which I find to be helpful.

{Q} What Stukent product did you use, and how did your experience using it help you with this new venture?

For an Internet Marketing class, I was able to work with the Stukent simulation. This product was great for learning how to use AdWords. Before using Stukent I did not realize how important it was to use AdWords that are misspelled. It blew my mind seeing the traffic a misspelled word search attracted.

It looks like Hayley’s business is on the fast track! You can check out some of the cool things that The Ultimate Road Rally is doing here on their Facebook, Web page, and Instagram.

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