Brian Ferrell’s Success Factor
Working overtime to bring Oklahoma new ideas
Photo by Quit Nguyen
It was a little more than a decade ago that Brian Ferrell left his Kansas hometown of Topeka and headed south for Oklahoma City. He had earned a bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University, and at the age of 23, he was excited about seeing Topeka in his rearview mirror.
Starting a new life is what he had planned, and that new life just happened to be right in the heart of Oklahoma. Ferrell began working for a multimedia event company, where he gained valuable experience and began making a network of connections.
Eventually, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as the communications manager for the Future Business Leaders of America. He had been on the board of directors of the organization and served as its national president, but he never forgot his life in Oklahoma.
“One day I came home from work and my two roommates sat me down and said they were going to have an intervention,” Ferrell says with a laugh. “They began pouring the wine, and that night, factor 110 was created. They encouraged me to leave my job and follow my passion for planning events.
“They had created a business plan template and budget and were there to support me on this endeavor,” he says. “I had the opportunity to move anywhere to launch the company full time, but there was something special about Oklahoma City. I had a network base, and I saw the potential to build something great.”
Using the number from his old D.C. apartment – 110 – his new company was born. “We started in apartment 110,” Ferrell says, “but we wanted our name to mean something more than ‘studio 100’ or something like that. For us, it’s been about giving 110 percent and factoring in the difference.”
Ferrell started the company with himself and a couple of friends. Today, he has a staff of 20 full-time and 35 part-time employees, and has diversified his company into several different areas.
“It’s all in a day’s work, right?” he says. “We do anything from planning small events to large conferences, entertaining guests in our great city and rentals for all special occasions. Our company is very different, unique.
“The event management company is factor 110 – that manages all aspects of events. We also own the first and only destination management company in the state, called Destination Oklahoma, and four years ago, we launched 110 events, an event design and rental company. Now our inventory is available to many of the wonderful partners and planners we work with, and we have a 45,000-square-foot warehouse.”
This Christmas, Ferrell is branching out again into the retail business with a new online store dubbed Scissortail Gifts. It features many made-in-Oklahoma products, and will also have a pop-up boutique located downtown at the Winter Shoppes at Myriad Gardens during the holidays.
“Scissortail is one additional venue for us to express the love we have for this city and state,” Ferrell says. “We have commissioned, custom Oklahoma ornaments and hope to have one of the largest selections in the state. We also have made-in-Oklahoma gift baskets and products. It is going to be a great addition to the Winter Shoppes, and we are excited to share our products with the many patrons shopping downtown.”
Next February, Ferrell turns 35 and said, looking back, it is hard to believe he started his business at the age of 26.
“I have watched the business grow over the past eight years, and it is really an honor to do the work I do every day. We are a three-time Metro 50 winner, named as one of the 50 fastest growing companies in Oklahoma City.
“I want to remain a trendsetter and continue to try new things and bring new ideas, inventory and designs to our region,” Ferrell says. “There are some dreams in the pipeline that will change the way we see – and visitors see – Oklahoma City as a destination. I want to be the leader in bringing these new businesses to the city. I work with a talented staff and valuable clients in an incredible city, and that is something I value and cherish. ”