Faced with all the challenges and frustrations of the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew Veilleux, a business analytics and finance double major at Sullivan Foundation partner school Elon University, needed something to do with his free time, so he decided to start a company.
Now, his student-owned clothing brand, Good to See You, has merchandise for sale online and in five stores across 11 locations.
Veilleux, a senior, says the message and the company grew out of the social isolation so many have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The phrase, ‘It’s good to see you,’ means so much right now,” Veilleux said. “I love saying it! It’s a powerful message, especially because I enjoy seeing people back on campus. The words ‘good to see you” carry more meaning in a world that has been distant for so long.”
The decision to launch the company began with extensive research to learn what it would take to sell the “good to see you” message. With the desire to share the message on a shirt, Andrew and his two roommates, Stephen Hawthorne and Sean Hess, dug in. They recruited a design major to create the first draft of the “good to see you” logo.
Developing the business allowed Veilleux to draw on his collective academic knowledge and classroom experiences to pitch merchandise to supply chains and build a website. But he and his roommates also gave much credit to the resources available on campus and the surrounding community.
They received guidance from Elon’s Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship to choose sales and marketing platforms, understand business costs, and make informed business decisions. The Student Government Association’s Acorn Fund provided financial support based on the company’s potential for positive impact beyond the classroom. They borrowed equipment from Elon’s Media Services Department to create their first promotional video.
Additionally, they sought guidance from the Elon University Law School and worked with two Elon law students who shared legal advice and filed for the “good to see you” trademark. The legal service, offered for free to Elon students, helped them understand tax obligations, whether to form a limited liability corporation, how to gain capital, and work together to sell merchandise.
Through a network of friends and professionals, Veilleux said he now understands the importance of building capital and integrating merchandising with the supply chain in an agile, digital way. He plans to focus much of his time on getting “good to see you” merchandise for sale in a couple of stores up north.
This article has been edited slightly from the original version appearing on the Elon University website.