Carlton Grubb could teach students in the University of Georgia Terry College of Business’ Entrepreneurship Program a thing or two about running a successful home-based business when she goes to campus this fall. But first, she’d really just like to enjoy the full UGA freshman experience. Carlton owns Grubbwear, a line of acid-splattered apparel and accessory items she designs and manufactures. She began making her unique button up shirts at age 12. Friends asked her to make some for them. Four years later, Carlton was invited to feature her line at an Ibiza trunk show in Albany.
Carlton didn’t know where to start. Her mom Kate, who runs her own event planning business, found the UGA Small Business Development Center’s Albany office, where she and her parents met with consultant Heather Sharpe in April 2017. “I was in Ibiza, but other stores had started contacting me, so I wanted to start the business properly before I started selling,” said Carlton. “Heather gave me information on everything I needed to do to open the business.”
“Carlton’s questions were mostly about how to get started: how to navigate hiring people, where to register her business, and how to balance school and her activities with business.” Sharpe helped her register her business and monitored it as it grew.
Grubbwear is now carried in 24 boutiques in the Southeast, and demand has grown enough to hire several other young people, as well as a seamstress.