A young diesel-culture fan who sells black-and-white T-shirts with skulls, plumes of smoke and slogans such as “Eat Soot and Die” won a local law firm’s $3,000 prize for the best business plan.
Nick Sisk, a rising junior at Wando High School, designs and sells T-shirts through his business, BlackStackGear.com.
He took first prize last week at the Mark Motley Foundation Statewide Business Plan Competition.
“I’ve been a part of the diesel culture all my life,” he told the panel of judges in the final round.
He was referring to people who drive big trucks, especially those that also belch black smoke. It’s a viable market, like the biker crowd, he said.
Sisk and 10 other students from around the state, including four others from the Charleston area, competed June 13 at the College of Charleston’s Tate Business Center.
The competition was organized by YEScarolina, an organization that trains teachers to mentor students who want to start businesses.
It was founded by Jimmy Bailey, a commercial real estate agent and former state House member.
Adam Zerbst, a rising senior at Wando High School, won $2,000 for second place. His business, Adam’s All-Naturals, makes and sells healthy snack foods.
He hopes to find a spot at the Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square.
Third place, and a check for $1,000, went to Mandy McGill, a rising senior at Crescent High School in Anderson County. She designs and sells T-shirts with gospel messages and calls her business Reppin’ the Kingdom.
All the students got $250 for participating, whether they finished in the top three or not.
The other local students were:Erin Willis, Wando High School senior, who buys and sells on eBay as Ebay Queen.
Austin Nuttall, Wando High senior, who wants to make and sell smoothies called Smoochies at the school.
Monique Smith, who just graduated from St. Johns High School on Johns Island, operates Bow Wow Pet Care.
The other young entrepreneurs from around the state were Gracen Barnes, an 11th-grader at Rock Hill High School, Surprise Suds; Kesha Rainey, who graduated from Crestwood High in Sumter and will be attending the College of Charleston, JAdore Pearls; Sable Bowler, a senior at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, Unique Soles; Wallace Moore, 11th-grader at Creek Bridge High School in Marion, Computers Interact; and Travis Grose, the youngest competitor, a seventh-grader at Merriwether Middle School in North Augusta, who operates Travis’ Lawn Care.
The Mark Motley Foundation was founded by local attorney Ron Motley of the Motley Rice law firm.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.