Student Spotlight: Chloe Barbu, UNC ’23
How did you get involved with the Family Enterprise Center?
I got involved in the Family Enterprise Center through Lindsay and Caroline Harris. Lindsay is my roommate and her sister, Caroline, invited me to an interest meeting. I was hooked after the first Family Business Club meeting, and I couldn’t believe that a group like this existed. I am so thankful to have been introduced to the Family Enterprise Center as early as I was! To see more about the Harris sister’s family business, you can read Caroline’s recent student spotlight.
Will you tell us about your family business?
My family business is Stylecraft Ventures Custom Homes and Renovations. We are a boutique residential homebuilder based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. My father, Daniel Barbu, left his corporate job and boldly started Stylecraft Ventures in 2006, and since then we have proudly completed 130+ projects. Quality, service, integrity, and competitive pricing is at the foundation of what we do, and you can learn more about us at stylecrafthomesnc.com! From a young age my parents have always made it a point to instill values of hard work and keep me informed about what is going on in the business, but in the past couple of years I have grown into having a more defined role. I can truly say that I have discovered my passion within construction, and all that it entails. (I’m sure this was a relief to my dad after my two older sisters had no interest in building!) My most recent, and proudest, project has been heading the renovation of a beautiful 1950’s home in Charlotte. You can see more about that project here! I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to learn beside my father, and I look forward to fully embracing my roles this summer as I will be interning full-time with Stylecraft Ventures.
What is your favorite memory as a UNC student?
It is so hard to pick just one favorite memory as a UNC student, so I have to say sporting events overall are my favorite. It is so exciting to get to be part of a school that challenges me academically but is also highly competitive in all sports. I played volleyball all my life, and I have always been a naturally competitive person, so I love that there is always some sporting event to attend.
What else are you involved in at UNC?
In addition to being the Vice President of the Family Business Club, I am also an event coordinator for CHAARG, a girls workout club here on campus, and an active member of Carolina Women in Business. This year I headed the Marketing Committee for our annual fundraiser, Jewels of Hope.
What advice would you give to students who are from business owning families?
One piece of advice that I would give to students who come from family business owning families is to join the Family Business Club, obviously! The club offers amazing opportunities to get to know individuals who you can learn so much from, like my personal favorite, Women in Family Business Dinners. What is so special about this club is that each student comes from completely different businesses, but there are common feelings, emotions, and experiences that we all share. For example, this year I began to struggle with balancing my dreams and passions to peruse my family business with the pressure that comes from the “typical” business route of corporate internships, etc. At our most recent Women in Family Business dinner, I heard from women who had all experienced these same feelings, and they gave me the confidence to commit to Stylecraft Ventures this summer. Family businesses are so special, and to have the opportunity to build community and learn from others who understand this niche will change the game for you!
What makes you most proud to be from a business owning family?
I have an incredible respect for family businesses, and the opportunities and responsibility that they hold. Not everyone has the courage, and then the ability, to break the mold, take the risk, and start their own business. I am so grateful and proud that my father did because there is nothing I love more than getting to work with the people I love the most. Although it can present unique challenges, it makes work feel a little less like work, and more like a passion project. There are few things that match the moments of coming together with family and reflecting on the project that you created from the ground up, literally.