Patrick Carr is not afraid to fail. In fact, he’s done it a few times.
In the mid-2000s, Carr tried his hand with restaurants, and all of them went south. City Coffee Co. closed after six years. Spotz hotdogs was around for about one. And Scoops, an ice cream parlor, hemorrhaged money from the beginning and folded in six months.
“If you don’t try, you won’t succeed,” Carr said. “If you don’t fail, you won’t succeed. You roll with the punches and accept defeat with grace.”
But when he really needed to grind out a win, he did. Carr, the president and owner of Broadway Screen Printing and Embroidery in Siloam Springs, has doubled the company’s business since buying it 10 years ago. He has since moved the store out to U.S. Highway 412 from downtown, and increased the number of embroidery heads from four to seven.
With the apparel enterprise nourished by a steady diet of sports teams, special events, church groups and branding campaigns, Carr can focus more energy on becoming a Most Worshipful Grand Master in the Masonic Fraternity.
Already a Right Worshipful Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, Carr, 49, joined the Masons eight years ago. Grounded in esoteric study and community service, Carr said the Masons give him what he needs to be his best. He is also active as an adviser with the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic youth service organization.
“It takes a good man and makes him better,” he said of the fraternity. “I knew there was something more out there for personal development.”
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Carr moved to Northwest Arkansas in 1998, when he took the job as director of graphic arts services at John Brown University. He was still in that position in 2000 when he was named to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class.
In the 1990s, Carr lived in Atlanta, where he formed Integrated Solutions, a marketing and public relations firm that landed jobs with The Coca-Cola Co., IBM, BellSouth and American Megatrends Inc. He said he gave Integrated Solutions to an associate before moving to Arkansas.
A former member of the Siloam Springs City Council as well as the Siloam Springs Planning & Zoning Commission, Carr recently finished his second term as a justice of the peace on the Benton County Quorum Court. He gave it up to focus on the Masons. But another run in politics, perhaps in an office higher than justice of the peace, might not be out of the question.
“I’m not going to close the door,” he said.
His political mentor is the long-term former mayor of Siloam Springs, M.L. “Moose” Van Poucke. Years ago, the mayor gave him a piece of sage advice he will never forget.
“He said, ‘Half the people will hate you, and half the people will love you,’” Carr said. “‘If you can come home, kiss your wife, kiss your child and pet your dog and go to sleep, then you did the right thing.’”
By 2005, Carr was a known entity in Siloam Springs. So when tragedy struck and the city needed a serious shot of ingenuity, Carr got the call. He was asked to man the Hurricane Katrina relief center at the Arkansas Baptist Assembly. For about eight weeks, more than 350 evacuees were sheltered there. Carr, equipped with three cell phones that never stopped ringing, a legal pad and a work ethic, helped evacuees put their lives back together.
Housing, medical treatment, employment, relocation — Carr performed all manner of triage. He saw the good, a family reunited, and the bad, ne’er-do-wells uprooted from their New Orleans turf.
On the brink of quitting midway through the taxing effort, he received a phone call that convinced him to keep going. It was then-Gov. Mike Huckabee.
“He told me, ‘You don’t have the authority to quit,’” Carr said.
And he’s glad he didn’t.
“It was one of the greatest moments of my life,” he said. “It was very rewarding.”
Carr just took up jogging in an attempt to get back in shape. But other parts of his life are already in great order. He and wife Adriane celebrate their 25th anniversary this year. Daughter Rachel is a senior at the University of Arkansas, and daughter Rebecca is a music and opera instructor in California.
Looking ahead, Carr doesn’t see any more restaurant ventures in his future. It’s all about silk screening and embroidery.
“I don’t see anything else I want to invest in,” he said. “This is it. I’m happy.”