The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Life after Wofford

Life+after+Wofford

HOW TWO ALUMNI HAVE TAKEN THE BUSINESS WORLD BY STORM—

The recent Launch competition may have come and gone, but the dreams of Wofford’s aspiring entrepreneurs will long outlast their time as a student. Holly Holladay and Leah Harris, two Wofford alumni, have shown that Wofford students are more than capable of starting, and sustaining, their own businesses post-graduation.

Holladay started her own publishing company in 2013 after realizing the majority of publishers in South Carolina tend to specialize in one genre or another.

“South Carolina has a number of independent publishers, but none focused on the mix of genres that I wanted to pursue. Thus, my business was born. We are currently working with authors in a variety of genres, including fiction, nonfiction, children’s books and young adult books.”

Story continues below advertisement

She made her debut in the publishing world as an intern, after a Wofford contact helped her land an internship that later turned into her first job. But her response to the need she saw in the publishing world led her to create Holladay House Publishing, which today continues to expand beyond literature.

“This year, we introduced a line of specialty products with an 18-month day planner, which can be bought on our website holladayhousepublishing.com. I would like to continue to add specialty products each year.”

But Holladay’s personal gauge of success reflects her company’s policy on genre: nothing too specific.

“Growth can be measured in many ways – publishing a book in a new genre or seeing my books and products in new stores – and I am always looking to improve!”

Similarly, Leah Harris started her Wofford-inspired boutique, Terrier Tulles, in 2006 when she saw that the Wofford gift market was sparse.

Terrier Tulles recently opened its first store across the street from Wofford College and sells an assortment of gifts, including key chains, Christmas items, men’s belts, visors, pet items and tailgating supplies. They also offer monogramming services and carry a sorority and fraternity line called “Toga Tulles.”

“We pride ourselves in being the key place to find unique Wofford gifts and have been dubbed ‘The Wofford Boutique’ because the things we have are so different, in a good way, from the bookstore.”

The boutique also prides itself on selling art by Wofford alumni Melanie Walters, Lizzie Switzer Malcom and Grace Wallace. Harris is also in conversation with Mitchell Saum, a current sophomore, about becoming a vendor for his unique sunglass company, Swell Shades.

“Being a part of the Wofford community helps business. They are my best customers. It is so rewarding to offer products and services that are needed by students, staff and alumni.”

The life of a CEO is not always as glamorous as it may seem. Holladay says that one of her biggest challenges has been her age.

“I feel that being young is a disadvantage because certain people hesitate to take me seriously at first. Sometimes I have to work twice as hard as someone else just to gain that trust and credibility.”

Harris says that her challenge has been balancing the various roles she is required to play.

“The main challenges are time. There never seems to be enough of it to be the CEO, COO, CFO, marketer, etc. But you have to trust that with a great product, a niche audience and time, you are going to succeed.”

In the end, the challenges have not outweighed the accomplishments.

To students who are interested in one day starting or owning their own business, Harris says, “I would strongly advise you seek out a business mentor who you can run all your ideas and plans by, to avoid making a rookie mistake. Aside from that, I say you have nothing to lose. Shoot for the moon!” Holladay says, “Be prepared to put your heart, soul and everything you have into your business, because no one is ever going to believe in it as much as you do. Don’t be afraid to fail, because sometimes you learn more from the failures than the successes. If you truly believe in yourself and your work, starting your own business will be the best decision you’ve ever made.”

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal