May 11, 2012
For more information, contact Anson Smith at 203-332-5229.
For HCC Student/Entrepreneur, Award Spurs Business Launch
Starts Designer Clothing Firm
UNH Award Was Catalyst
By Jay Lederman
Photo by Kristina Kyoryosh
It’s easy to spot a typical Housatonic Community College student; graphic t-shirts, jeans, backpacks and books. However, Bridgeport’s Wiston Flores is not your average student.
The 25-year-old, who sports Dockers slacks, a casual dress shirt and tie, shined shoes and a Bluetooth, looks more like an entrepreneur than your typical college student. That’s because he is.
This month, the Bridgeport resident acquired an LLC for his clothing company called Unique Divisions. “We just launched our online-store,” he said” “it will be operational this month.” What’s unique is how this came to be.
It all started when he was browsing Facebook last month. He came across an advertisement posted by the University of New Haven. Calling attention to the colleges Dean’s Scholarship Challenge, it was intended for students enrolling in the fall semester. Already accepted as a transfer student, he eagerly clicked on the link.
He began reading the details. Participants were asked to create a Facebook page for a business they would launch. Four lucky winners would be granted full tuition scholarships and 20 winners would receive an iPad.
Flores, who had been working on a plan for his own business for the past few months, noticed the contest deadline was just a few days away. Scrambling to put something together, he built a Facebook page promoting his business. Flores was among one-hundred participants from around the country to do so. He walked away with an iPad and something much larger; a roadmap to create his own business.
“I never created a business proposal before,” he said, “so the dean’s challenge actually helped me do that.”
His company, Unique Divisions, is an online clothing store for men. Its products include custom graphic t-shirts, hoodies and other men’s apparel that feature graphics and slogans about health, politics, and social issues.
He is committed to giving back to the Bridgeport community. Unique Divisions will donate a percentage of every consumer sale made on its website to a non-profit organization. Non-profit scholarships programs for at risk minorities are at the top of the list. .
Carrying a briefcase with the LLC for his business inside. Flores walked to his last class of the semester. Enthusiastically awaiting transfer to UNH in the fall, he appeared more like an entrepreneur than a college student. That’s because he is.
Jay Lederman of Monroe is a journalism student and intern at Housatonic Community College.
. Housatonic Community College provides an affordable and accessible education through two-year degrees, transfer preparation, and certificate programs, as well as a wide variety of continuing education and personal/professional enrichment seminars and workshops. In addition, HCC offers employee and occupational training for businesses, municipalities, government agencies, and professional associations to help develop the educated and skilled workforce required to meet regional business and industry needs. HCC is nationally recognized as an “Achieving the Dream” institution. To learn more, visit the college’s website at: www.hcc.commnet.edu.
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