MHCC Student Steps into His Own Business
Posted: November 1. 2011
Move over, Mr. Knight, MHCC student and shoe company founder Corey Rust may be a few billion behind, but he’s coming!
It might be easy to think that when 24-year-old MHCC business management student Corey Rust turned the focus of his dreams from the sky to the cold, hard ground it marked some sort of a fall. On the contrary, it’s when everything started looking up.
Just 50 hours away from his commercial pilot’s license, Rust realized in 2011 that being an airline pilot was no longer a glamorous job. The crazy hours and the nose-diving pay both amazed him and made him rethink his career goals.
Took Business Courses
The Troutdale native was taking an international business course from MHCC instructor Andy Wong when Rust heard the story of IKEA.
“I was intrigued by the idea of someone going from nothing to huge on the strength of an idea,” Rust says. “Then I took a marketing class from Steve Konrad and again I was fascinated by people who started from zero and built a worldwide business.”
At MHCC, Rust studied the process of starting a company, and in February of 2010 he came up with the plan for the shoe and clothing company he would eventually name ENVi. He had an idea for slicing out a niche in this crowded market – Rust would differentiate his company both in product and corporate culture. A tenet from his aviation background stood out: lighter weight means better performance and less fuel.”
Gives Back to the Community
“I saw an opportunity to take market share from the bigger guys – and everyone is a bigger guy at this point – by focusing on making extremely lightweight but still durable shoes. I then differentiated myself with a corporate stance focused on doing the right things, like giving 10 percent of ENVi profits to good causes and being totally dedicated to customer satisfaction and involvement, from design to sales.
“I’m a pretty resourceful guy,” he continues, “and when I need to do something I figure out a way to do it – with a lot of help from my instructors at MHCC. My plan is to keep growing the company, and to figure out how to do that without massive debt or losing control! And I’ll keep going to college – never stop learning is what I believe.”
For information on how to start a business, please visit the MHCC Small Business Development Center at www.bizcenter.org.