news-category: Alumni

GWU Alumni, Cam and Bryton Mitchell, Branch Out and Start Their Own Business

Cam, left, and Bryton Mitchell are brothers and GWU alumni who recently started their own business. They are posing in their shop, with shirts and hats and other items that people can have personalized.
Cam, left, and Bryton Mitchell recently opened Carolina Threesixty, a graphic design, printing and embroidery shop.

Brothers Open Printing, Embroidery and Graphic Design Shop in Gaston County, N.C.

Written by Claire Coile, Intern for Office of Communications and Media Relations

When the company where Cam and Bryton Mitchell worked was sold, they had a choice to make. Should they separate and find jobs working for other companies or follow in their father’s footsteps and open a business of their own? The Gardner-Webb University alumni decided to turn their misfortune into an opportunity and Carolina ThreeSixty was born.

“We knew that we could reach out to our dad for advice,” Cam shared, “and he’d be there to help guide us.” Because of Cam’s interest in videography, the Mitchell brothers began by offering 360 interactive real estate videos. Their clients continually mentioned Gaston County’s need for a reliable apparel shop. Cam and Bryton switched their focus to printing, embroidery and graphic design, but kept the ThreeSixty name. As Cam put it, “we strategically fell into it.”

Bryton Mitchell stands in front of the embroidery machine.

Soon after the launch of Carolina ThreeSixty, however, the COVID19 pandemic surged and reduced the business’ orders. Bryton saw it as a positive. “We were picking up speed just before COVID hit. We lost a lot of big orders, and even though it was hard at the time,” he emphasized, “it allowed us to take a step back. We looked at our processes and how we produce apparel and improved on them. The break caused by COVID really allowed us to perfect our craft.”

The Mitchell brothers agreed that the best part of their job is seeing the smiles of their customers when they show them an excellent product. Cam and Bryton work efficiently together. They feed off one another’s ideas and differing perspectives to create outstanding apparel.

In their short time as business owners, Cam and Bryton have learned invaluable lessons. Bryton’s advice to new business owners – “Establish short-term and long-term goals for yourself. Strive to meet your goals, but do not give up. Learn from it and keep going. Oh yeah, and have fun.” Cam highlighted the importance of taking responsibility for your actions and keeping communication open. “We like to give our clients specific dates of when their order will be ready. Instead of saying, ‘It’ll be two weeks or 10 days, but maybe I can get it in seven.’ We say, ‘Your order will be ready for pick up by 4 on Nov 16th.’ That way there is no confusion.”

Cam Mitchell works on an item in the shop

Branching out into the business world is not the first time the brothers have followed their father. An established entrepreneur, he attended Gardner-Webb for graduate school. Cam came for a tour when he was a junior in high school. “I loved the small campus feel,” he recalled. “The club and organizations seemed great.” In 2012, Cam graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and in 2015, a Master of Divinity. Bryton, who is younger, hung out with Cam and his friends on the weekends—going to football games and partaking of the famous chicken tender Saturday. Bryton easily made the decision to come to GWU and graduated with an English degree in 2017.

The Carolina ThreeSixty brothers credited their experiences at Gardner-Webb with helping them shape their values and skills. Under the tutelage of pottery and 3D professor, Doug Knotts, and painting and drawing instructor, Paula Spangler, Cam learned to flush out his artistic skills in a practical way. At the business, Cam designs logos, shirts and hats. Bryton thrived in the English department honing his writing, speaking, and overall presentation of ideas. He gained life experience and developed close relationships with his peers and professors. Cam and Bryton took the talents they grew at GWU to their community to help it thrive and grow.

Carolina ThreeSixty’s business is taking off, and the Mitchell brothers have plans and dreams for the future. Practically, they want to hire more employees and buy more equipment. “In five years, we hope to be the company that people in the area think about first when they say ‘Hey, I need to get some shirts and hats made,’” Cam asserted. After that, it is simple – “Give them quality work and deliver it on time.”

Cam Mitchell works a screen printer at his shop.

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