School Lessons: A Future in Furniture
Area schoolchildren may be comforted to know that while the graffiti they carve into their desks may land them in detention, they’re boosting the local economy in the process. Specifically, they’re fueling a web-based school furniture company called SCHOOLSin, which sells tables, chairs, desks, lockers and other products to schools in all 50 states and several other countries.
Ben Kremer co-founded SCHOOLSin in 2008. In less than two years, he’s watched his business grow from two to eight employees, the global economic crisis notwithstanding. Now sales are up 160 percent from 2009, and Kremer aims to maintain that pace.
What’s his secret weapon? Muskies. Kremer graduated from Xavier in 1997 and half his employees are Xavier alumni, including two recent graduates. Kremer’s hiring preferences aren’t just an effort to smooth office tensions during basketball season. Instead it’s a matter of trust. Kremer has such high regard for the programs at Xavier’s Williams College of Business that he’s taken to “shopping” for its graduates on the University’s eRecruiting job board. There Kremer can screen his applicants and peruse student résumés at his leisure.
“They are better students than some other schools I’ve interviewed from,” Kremer says of his applicant pool. “They’re well-grounded and more engaged.”
As children pile into classrooms around the country for the start of a new school year, they may be advised to save their extraneous writing for the white board. Fortunately, Kremer sells those, too.