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Drew University Student Spends Summer Creating Business

Joel Garcia C’22 builds home and dorm decor brand

July 2020 – Over the summer, an idea struck rising Drew University junior Joel Garcia when he realized everyone he knew was stuck in their own homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why not live in your own paradise?

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Garcia hinted that Chateau Decor is the first of several small business ideas he'd like to create.

Garcia ran with the idea and created Chateau Decor, an online home and dorm decor business.

“The goal is to emphasize beauty and art through interior design,” said the neuroscience major—who, after venturing into business, is changing his focus from working in pharmaceuticals to neuro-marketing.

“It allows people to be creative in their own space. Everyone needs changes in their environment sometimes.”

To stock the online store, Garcia deals with local and international manufacturers to create a system that allows Chateau Decor, which is entirely self-funded, to sell the products stored in the manufacturers’ warehouses.

“It’s an efficient e-commerce business model that benefits all parties involved,” he said.

Garcia finds empowerment in building on his own idea, and hopes to be an example for other young small business entrepreneurs. He knows part of that is by providing a good product.

He is beginning to build brand awareness by networking with other small businesses and growing symbiotically. With a presence on Facebook and Instagram, and being reachable via email and a web chat function, Garcia is ready to succeed with boutique-style customer service.

“I want to help inspire those who are hesitant about taking the first step towards having their own business by doing it right,” he said.

Both in and out of the classroom at Drew, Garcia noted he was able to learn intangible skills—like problem solving, time management and collaboration—that were critical to starting his own business.

“From working inside the lab to having discussions about marketing with my friends, Drew has really helped me expand my knowledge,” he said.

“Without Drew, I would not have had the determination, mentality or path to create something like Chateau Decor.”

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