We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Millsap and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, every day, we talk about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
We are dome nerds! We have been fascinated with the idea of building monolithic domes for years. James and Wayne have always wanted to build a dome for their own families, but that hasn’t happened yet, next best thing…; build them for others to enjoy! Cindy and Jen have always wanted to own a B&B; So what did we do? We combined the dreams and created a unique boutique hotel, Country Dome Suites.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love our story! We are just your average people with an American dream. James has worked in the financial world as a financial planner and banker, Jen has chosen to stay at home with her children and educate them. Wayne has worked in construction, and as a Physical Therapy Assistant. Cindy has also chosen to be a homemaker and homeschool their children…We’ve had a dream, and have pushed ourselves to learn new things, get out of our comfort zones, and work as a team. There have been huge challenges to overcome, primarily when applying for permits, and in overcoming rumors about misconceived perceptions of what we were creating. Change is hard for people, and it’s especially hard when they aren’t getting accurate information. But there were some who understood our vision, and helped spread a positive message. It was our hope and faith in God that we were doing what He had inspired us to do, that kept us going. And now, Country Dome Suites has been built. What a blessing it has been to host so many guests, who bring us so much joy as they escape busy and revel in simple in our little country town… Kenney, Texas.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Country Dome Suites is perfectly situated just off highway 36 between Brenham and Bellville. We are roughly an hour and a half from Houston or Austin, and their airports. Our location is ideal… Imagine a few of many scenarios… After checking into your room at Country Dome Suites, open your refrigerator to nibble on the previously delivered charcuterie board you purchased from Graze and Peace. Did you see that your breakfast charcuterie was also in the refrigerator? Ready for you, when you are ready for it after a fabulous night’s rest on our amazing beds. But before bed, do you need to freshen up? Hop into one of the most unique showers you’ll ever experience, feel revived, and get your dancing shoes on, because it’s time to head down the road to The Kenney Store. Less than a mile from Country Dome Suites, enjoy a fun atmosphere, great food, live music and dancing. After you’ve had your fill of a good time, come on back to your dome, sit around a fire pit, enjoy the stars while sitting on the camping chairs provided in each suite, and experience simplicity… Ready for another day? ….Grab your breakfast charcuterie from the refrigerator and your hot drink of choice from your personal hot drink station, and sit outside and watch the morning begin. The beautiful rolling hills, the grazing cattle, the low morning mist, again…simplicity…Let’s head 10-15 minutes down the road to Bellville today! First things first, stop in at The Bellville Chamber of Commerce information center to be sure to learn about all of your options in the area. Peruse and support the adorable shops downtown like Farmacy Revolution, enjoy a spa treatment at The Retreat, or attend the wonderful Farmers Market or Market on the Square. Have y’all ever seen the TV show Forged in Fire? You’re in luck! One of the show’s former contestants, Cowboy, owns the blacksmith shop right in town where you can forge your own souvenir knife with Cowboy’s assistance. After forging your memory, head to Newman’s Bakery for lunch, and the appointment you had pre-scheduled to tour Newman’s Castle. That’s right! Bellville has a modern-day castle with a moat and even a drawbridge. The castle can only be seen by booking the tour, so don’t expect to find it on your own. As the day begins to wind down head over to 22 North Holland for some fine dining, then back to your suite for a quiet evening and a good book…. Did you say you are celebrating a special event? We’ve got you covered. You can purchase a romance package from our partner, Farmacy Revolution (link on our website). Before your arrival, Farmacy Revolution will set the scene with your choice of roses, chocolates, strewn rose petals, red wine, or sparkling cider. Get ready for a lovely dinner at Volares Fine Italian restaurant (gluten free options available) in Brenham (10-15 minutes north of CDS). After dinner enjoy your alone time in the privacy of your own dome, not sharing walls, floors, or ceilings with anyone else…To be honest, we could go on and on about all of the different things our guests could do while staying with us, but I don’t think we have room for that in the article. Let me just give you a taste of all of the options… Lavender farms in Chappell Hill (20-25 min.), goat yoga, winery and brewery trails, bbq trails, horseback riding, museums, small town shops, back road cycling, Bluebell ice cream tours, small churches trail, antique shopping galore in Round Top (25-30 minutes) at the famous Antique Shows held every Spring and Fall, Royers Pie Haven, and more! Y’all will just have to come discover. Brenham’s visitors center can help point you towards so many great things to do.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Building a small business includes so many more individuals than just the owners. First of all, God has been our strength, inspiration, and help and we know Country Dome Suites wouldn’t exist without His help. Second, our children have believed in us, picked up the slack at home, and even put on their work clothes, and then got busy on the job site. Third, Blinn’s Small Business Development Center was a huge help in creating our business plan, and guiding us in creating our website, and other advertising needs. Fourth, Citizens State Bank for believing in us, and giving us this opportunity to create this one-of-a-kind lodging experience. And lastly, other small business owners like Phenix Knives, Graze and Peace, and Farmacy Revolution, along with Bellville’s Chamber of Commerce director Tammy Bond, have been fundamental in our success. Only when working together are we able to succeed. We have supported, promoted, and and encouraged one another. They, among others, have been such a blessing.