In the News: Student at Opus College of Business on the Sustainability Practices at His Start-Up

John Costello, student at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, recently spoke with the Pioneer Press about his business, West Metro Solutions, and how it contributes to sustainability efforts.

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From the story:

When launching the business, Costello ran into some unusual roadblocks. For instance, he had to get his older cousin to sign for public storage units and he wasn’t able to rent a vehicle to transport his products due to him being, well, 16 years old.

West Metro headquarters was run out of a dorm room at St. Thomas, Costello said, until he recently moved to an apartment near campus.

His parents, who live in Delano, have always been supportive, he said, including letting him borrow their trailer and store his first few batches of cubicles in their basement.

Even though his company officially launched in 2020, Costello said it wasn’t incorporated until August 2021, when he was old enough to be recognized as the owner.

“I remember thinking, ‘I want out of this,’” he said of a time when he was working 16-hour days.

But slowly, he began to understand his product more and make connections in the industry with furniture liquidators, delivery personnel and contracted installers, which helped lighten the load.

“I figured out the formula,” he said. “It feels good when you make a customer happy.”

West Metro Solutions currently specializes in cubicles, but Costello also sells other office furniture like desk chairs, conference tables, credenzas and more. As the work-from-home trend continues, Costello said he would like to focus more on selling used desks and chairs.