Corporate To Small Business Owner

abroad, Entrepreneurship, Global Threads, GT, living abroad, Small Business, Travel, working abroad - May 19, 2017

It’s been sometime since I left my boring, but comfortable job at TD Ameritrade. After 11 months of working in the corporate world, I made the decision to devote my time and energy into growing my college startup business: Global Threads. Global Threads began as a company that made t-shirt and tank top designs for a study abroad program out of Gonzaga University.

Sure for a college kid it was good money—I could buy beer and attend social activities, but after college it wasn’t enough to support a life on my own. We all know about higher rent, cable bills, and many of the other expenses of being an actual adult. But even though the consistent paycheck from TD Ameritrade was nice, I wasn’t professionally or creatively satisfied.

I knew that committing full time to Global Threads was a huge risk; however, it was my dream to be a small business owner. It was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work. So, I sold a majority of my personal stock investments that had grown since I was 17 years old, and invested in myself, in Global Threads.

The night sweats and anxiety would soon decrease because of the everyday excitement and opportunities that Global Threads provided me. With every rejection or seemingly terrific opportunity that would fall through the cracks, something new would present itself. Focusing our target audience was crucial in cementing ourselves in the highly competitive field of custom made apparel. We took the model that we started with at Gonzaga University and scaled it to six universities and their own study abroad program. Additionally, leveraging our ability to do custom print, including the actual design aspect, helped expand our business. Networking with other startups, small businesses and even more corporate companies has helped tremendously in our continued growth.

Two years after I abandoned all hope climbing the corporate latter, Global Threads has two creative designers, two interns, a website development team and a social media manager. Attracting talent to the company has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my job. The work begins when a team gets together and strives for a common goal.

After closing our first round of financing from outside investors, I feel like another mark of validation has been added to our small, but flourishing, company. People are seeing the progress and continued growth: it’s the vision for the company creating a global community that people are really excited about.

I will never regret making the decision to pursue my dream. This has been one hell of a ride. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.