WSOB Student Uses Classroom Lessons to Build New Business
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dalton State student Garrett Wilbanks recently opened his own business utilizing skills he’s learned in the classroom.
Wilbanks, a senior supply chain and logistics management major, says Dalton State provided him with the information he needed to be successful as an entrepreneur.
“Dalton State has been a wonderful blessing for me,” Wilbanks said. “I’ve been able to take what I learn in class and implement it right into real life.”
For six weeks during the pandemic, Wilbanks taught himself popular coding used to create websites. Wilbanks created a website for One and Done Mask, a mask production company based in Ohio. He then worked with his dad, Johnathan Wilbanks, to create a family business, J and G Doors and More, to sell custom doors and other furniture pieces.
Since starting three months ago, J and G Doors and More has managed to net over $30,000 in online sales. It has been so profitable that Wilbanks now works full time for the company. Wilbanks used his knowledge of marketing, social media and supply logistics, which he learned in classes at Dalton State.
“It all started when my dad made my mom a barn door for her bedroom. My mom then suggested that we should try to see if we could sell them online,” Wilbanks said. “I saw an opportunity to create a business and really pushed for it.”
Dean Marilyn Helms of the Wright School of Business says instilling entrepreneurial mindsets into students is a goal for the school. This is taught through both the entrepreneurship courses offered on campus and on-site classes at the Dalton Innovation Accelerator in downtown. Local business leaders are often brought on campus to assist in teaching foundations of entrepreneurship.
Helms also believes COVID-19 is driving people to rely more on local, family-run businesses as the supply chains of larger companies are disrupted. Local entrepreneurs can move more quickly to deal with these rapid changes and to fill consumer needs.
“With safety and security ever heightened today due to the pandemic, students as consumers are more interested in localization strategies and, thus, the rise in entrepreneurship in our community and the minds of our students,” Helms says. “This thinking is critical to finding solutions to the complex problems we face today.”
Wilbanks heavily credits the knowledge he has accrued at Dalton State to his success. He has done all the marketing, accounting, registering and all else necessary to make J and G Doors and More a thriving business.
“Although times have been tough with everything going on in the world, I am thankful,” Wilbanks said. “I am so thankful for Dalton state preparing me for something I had no idea I was going to jump into.”