Rheagan Haynes’ Student Entrepreneurial Journey

The senior management major recently became a student entrepreneur when she purchased Lace & Glam Bridal from its previous owner

April 23, 2024

Everyone’s entrepreneurial journey is a unique, individualized experience. While some embark on the path through franchising, others find their niche in invention or innovation. For Knoxville native Rheagan Haynes, the gateway to entrepreneurship unfolded through acquisition.

A senior management major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Haslam College of Business, Haynes recently became a student entrepreneur when she purchased Lace & Glam Bridal in January 2024 from previous owner Sherry Hovan.

Haynes had worked at the shop for four years when Hovan approached her about purchasing the Farragut, Tennessee, business. “She suggested that I become the business owner, and I was excited about it,” said Haynes. “We started making plans for me to become the owner in August of 2023, and we had many hard and long working days to figure out how I could take what she’s done as the owner and make it my own business.”

Lace & Glam Bridal focuses on creating a positive, memorable gown-buying experience by prioritizing comfort and maintaining an in-depth knowledge of their bridal gowns. Haynes is also proud of the beautiful gowns her business offers to fit all budgets. “We pride ourselves in having luxury dresses at affordable prices,” she says.

Support from the University

Seeking more resources as she started the process of becoming a business owner, Haynes connected with the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

“The Anderson Center has helped me as a business owner by encouraging me to go to events like Vol Court and providing me the opportunity to speak at the Women in Business, Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit,” she says. 

Through these opportunities working with the Anderson Center, Haynes got out of her comfort zone and fine-tuned her pitch and story to communicate effectively about her business.

About the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a university-based resource for entrepreneurship in the region and the state of Tennessee. Its mission is to foster an entrepreneurial culture at UT and across the state by developing student skills, providing experiential learning opportunities, conducting meaningful entrepreneurial research and connecting students with mentors and resources that enable them to successfully start and grow new businesses.



Brennan Hullett, brennan@utk.edu