Catching up with student painter Chandler Bolt
Editor’s Note: Dave Munday wrote about College of Charleston students Chandler Bolt and Dylan Reddy in “Students hope to paint the town — literally,” published in Your Lowcountry on Feb. 16. We caught up with Bolt to see how things have been going since then and what he looks forward to in 2013.
Not only did Chandler Bolt win the $100 bet with business partner Dylan Reddy over who would get the most business last summer, but Bolt’s more than $100,000 in sales with Student Painters topped everyone else in the program on the East Coast.
When The Post and Courier spoke to Bolt and Reddy in February, these business majors were preparing for a summer of painting houses with Lowcountry Student Painters, a business started with Young Entrepreneurs Across America.
They had their business plan detailed in a manual, local Sherwin-Williams representatives trained them to paint and they hired other employees. “Since then, we painted a little over 40 houses and pressure-washed 45 all over the Lowcountry. We made some good money for college, and overall it was an awesome learning experience. They really trained me and coached me through the whole process,” Bolt said.
Bolt and his business were recognized by Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. Summey proclaimed April 11 Lowcountry Student Painters’ Day for “giving students the tools to become America’s next entrepreneurs” and “for responding to the shortage of summer jobs for students.”
Bolt was awarded 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year by Young Entrepreneurs Across America. He received his award during a four-day cruise to the Bahamas in October. “It’s even more fun when it’s free and when you’ve earned it,” he said.
Bolt said the business taught him how to deal with customers and employees. He managed about seven employees — all of whom he said were older than he is. He admitted it was “a little tough at first.”
The biggest lesson he learned last summer: “Overcommunicate so nothing gets lost in translation.”
Bolt said he looks forward to coming back to work with the company this year. He said he will be coaching and managing other students from the College of Charleston and The Citadel who will run their own branches of the business all over the state.
“It changed my life. ... With each success, I gained confidence. I ran a $100,000 company as a 19-year-old,” Bolt said.
Bolt also wanted to thank the residents of the Lowcountry for supporting his business. He encourages people who need their homes painted to “support an ambitious student” this spring or summer.
“Without their support, I couldn’t have run the successful business that I did,” he said.
For information on Lowcountry Student Painters, contact Chandler Bolt at 695-7063 or go to lowcountrystudentpainters.com.
For information on Young Entrepreneurs Across America, go to yeaainternship.com.
Reach Jade McDuffie at 937-5560 or jmcduffie@postand courier.com.