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Blake Smith: Leading SQRL Through Turbulent Times

In an exclusive interview, Blake Smith, CEO and founder of SQRL, delved into the significant achievements and challenges his company has faced over the past few years.

Smith proudly recounted how SQRL expanded to 415 stores in just four years, a feat that positioned the company as one of the fastest-growing brick-and-mortar enterprises in the country. This growth, however, was not without its challenges. Smith candidly discussed the financial difficulties that required taking on predatory loans and making personal sacrifices to keep SQRL running. “Our financial struggles were significant, but we persevered,” he said.

The interview also touched on operational issues, including a problematic partnership with Baximus that resulted in the closure of multiple stores. Smith shared how these experiences have strengthened the company, preparing it for future obstacles. “Learning from these experiences, we are better equipped to handle future challenges,” he emphasized.

Addressing the inherent risks of startups, Smith stated, “Our experience reflects the broader reality of startups—where innovation and risk are closely intertwined.” He accepted full responsibility for any shortcomings and issued a sincere apology to stakeholders affected by the company’s struggles. “I take full responsibility for the shortcomings at SQRL,” he said.

Smith concluded with a proactive approach, offering to work with stakeholders to resolve ongoing issues. “We are committed to finding solutions and improving the situation together,” he said, emphasizing his dedication to rebuilding trust and ensuring SQRL’s success.

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