After graduating from high school, most are preparing to take on college life and its demanding workload. For Will Hedrick ‘18, he plans on continuing to run and grow his business, Hedrick Custom Designs, with his brother, Drew Hedrick ‘16 in addition to being a full-time college student. Will is in his first year of college studying International Business at High Point University, and Drew is a senior graduating from Appalachian State University this year with a degree in Construction Management.
What was once a designing hobby, the brothers officially turned into a business last year of creating and selling custom pieces such as furnishings, decor, and accents to fit various collections appealing to an individual’s personal style. Currently, the company has over fifteen retail products as well as four collections that will be expanding through 2019. Hedrick Custom Designs has been in the works since early 2018 but grew tremendously over this past summer when Will and Drew were both home and able to devote time and energy to the business and its demands.
Each year, the senior class at Woodlawn must create their own capstone project. They conduct field-based research on a topic that they are passionate about or interested in. Students choose a “big question” that they will investigate for the nine months leading up to a final presentation for the Upper School. Will’s capstone was based on the question “What Creates a Successful Entrepreneur?” Throughout his senior year, he studied what individuals can do to make themselves stronger within the workplace. During his internship week, he was able to work on Hedrick Custom Designs and perfect his final presentation that highlighted the company and its future plans.
In an interview, Will shared that Drew’s connections in the home market industry will create a bright future ahead for the company. The longevity of the company is strong as long as Will and Drew have enough intended time and interest in the custom furnishing field.
With that said, the brothers love working together on the original projects that HCD specializes in. Will reflects, “Working with my brother, Drew, has been one of the best decisions I have made because it has allowed us both to grow tremendously as individuals and to grow the company ourselves. Having someone who constantly wants to improve as much as you do constantly drives you to do better, and his talent of creating items from scratch is incomparable to mine. He is extremely talented and passionate about building, especially when it comes to our pieces.”
Drew and Will together clocked nearly twenty years as Woodlawn students. Will believes that the quote by Daniel Goleman, “In a high-IQ job pool, soft skills like discipline, drive, and empathy mark those who emerge as outstanding,” is a perfect example of what Woodlawn ingrains in its teaching philosophy which enables students to be further prepared for college and eventually the job market. By the school’s focus on life skills inside and outside of the classroom, Will feels equipped and prepared to take on managing his own business.
In the future, Will would like to work for himself. He shares, “Entrepreneurship fascinates me because having the power to create a product that can create a cultural impact, no matter how big or small, is exactly what I want to do. Delivering a message that can positively influence another person is a powerful opportunity we shouldn’t miss out on as human beings.” He continues with his longer-term plans, “Once I create a product that I firmly believe in that will create this positive influence, I want to travel the world speaking, meeting, and engaging in a variety of cultures seeing all that the world has to offer.”