What dreams may come when inspiration strikes the mind like a lightning bolt causing an epiphany of ideas, the pen hits the pad, the grind becomes reality, and manifest becomes destiny. Thus, the old saying holds true: thoughts become things. Earlier this month we had a chance to meet a young go getter named Kamal Andrawis, the founder and owner of CollegePrints.
NOBLE: Tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up, and what you do for a living.
KA: My name is Kamal Andrawis and I grew up here in Southern California. I am the founder and owner of CollegePrints, a custom design apparel and promotional item company.
NOBLE: Did you attend college?
KA: Yes, I attended Cal Poly Pomona, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering. I am currently in my MBA program at Pepperdine University.
NOBLE: Do you feel school has had a big impact on your success?
KA: I believe that the networking and connections I have made during school, especially being involved on campus, have had a large impact on the accomplishments I have reached thus far.
NOBLE: When did you decide you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
KA: I grew up surrounded by family that had their own businesses. My father owned a mechanic shop ever since I was a little kid and I was always intrigued and knew eventually I would want to start my own business. I loved building things so I went to school for engineering and manufacturing, but I never thought I would own a custom printing and embroidery company.
NOBLE: When did you decide to start CollegePrints?
KA: The idea of CollegePrints started in late 2015 but it was established and officially founded in April 2016.
NOBLE: How did you come up with the name for your company?
KA: I actually started the company with one of my fraternity brothers and we noticed a huge market for custom apparel in the Greek system and other organizations on campus. It was always so complicated to order shirts for an event or rush week for our fraternity. We wanted to cater to the busy college student that needed their design and shirt with a quick turnaround, quality print, and affordable price. We modernized the process with text message alerts for your order and online design process and it fit for our market. CollegePrints seemed to fit our demographic of clients so we stuck with it!
NOBLE: What kind of marketing do you find works well for your company right now?
KA: We do quite a bit of social media marketing. Instagram and Facebook are our main platforms for online marketing.
NOBLE: What are your plans for future growth?
KA: We would like to continue to grow our ambassador program across campuses all over the country. We are also touching the startup and small business industry and helping these businesses with graphic design and custom apparel and promotional items for their companies that are just starting off. We would like to grow our social media presence and presence on college campuses.
NOBLE: What do you enjoy most about running your company?
KA: I enjoy seeing growth and how our team continues to grow so quickly. We are all in our 20's and running a company that is producing thousands of shirts and other apparel every week. I love stepping back and just looking at the overall picture. It's also an amazing feeling seeing our clients' faces when they open their box and see their dream design turn into reality. The joy makes my day.
NOBLE: What are some of the biggest challenges of running it?
KA: Of course, there will always be challenges in running a business, but we always find a way to overcome our challenges and learn from every part of the process.
NOBLE: Most people don’t see the late nights, early mornings and hustle that goes into running a business. Shed some light on this and tell everyone a little bit of what actually goes on.
KA: Running a business, in itself, consists of many late nights and early mornings. I also work as a manufacturing engineer so to add that on top of running CP keeps me very busy. But the truth of it is, I chose this, and I only chose it because I love it. I love the consistent rush of always being busy and moving around. My mind is always racing a million miles an hour, but I would be lying to you if I said I didn't enjoy it.
NOBLE: Do you have any words of inspiration or motivation you can offer anyone thinking about starting their own business?
KA: CP started off a whim and I never thought we would have an office and a warehouse and be where we are at today. And it was all because we took a shot at it. If you have a passion or a desire to make a change, you truly have to just do it. The average person spends one-third of their life working, why not spend that time following your dream?
NOBLE: What does success mean to you?
KA: I have been asked this question a few times before and, at the start of all this, I used to always relate success to wealth. But now that I have been at it for awhile, I truly have realized that life is so short and to not enjoy it now, is not fair to myself or my family and friends. I define success as happiness, whether it's financially or emotionally... happiness will always lead to a successful lifestyle.
NOBLE: Who’s at the top of your playlist?
KA: Drizzy Drake.
NOBLE: Is there anyone you’d like to thank or shout out?
KA: I am big on family and I can truly say that I would not be where I am at today if it wasn't for the support from my father, my mother, and my sister. They have stuck by my side through the entire journey and I appreciate them so much.
We live in an age of late nights, early morning and not enough hours in a day to finish everything our time demands. But for these select few willing to sacrifice the small respites of rest and relaxation for a little grit and grind, the payoffs of success far out way the weight of excuses. If ever you wonder what dreams may come, think of CollegePrints' three-word-motto and look no further: Dreams to Reality. Thanks so much for your time Kamal! Feel free to follow his company on instagram @collegeprints and check out the official website www.collegeprintsusa.com to see everything they have to offer.