North Georgia business graduates Derrick and Danielle Case didn’t want to attend a large university. They chose North Georgia because of its small, mountain town atmosphere.
Following graduation, Danielle and her sisters Morgan and Madison, dreamed of creating their own retail store that would offer trendy clothing at reasonable prices. That dream came true when husband and wife team Derrick and Danielle opened their first storefront location in Dahlonega.
Now, seven years later, DressUp has grown from a small store in Dahlonega, Georgia to 13 stores in 2 states with continued plans for expansion in 2016. Even with such great success, they haven’t forgotten where it all started.
“We started our business in Dahlonega because we knew the market so well, and there was a need for our product offering” said Danielle Case, co-owner of DressUp. “At the time North Georgia didn’t offer entrepreneurship classes, but we certainly learned the things at North Georgia that helped us understand the market and the viability of our idea.”
Their business professors enabled their creativity through open discussions and projects. Derrick Case, co-owner and president, added, “The live critiques on our projects were so helpful. Not being taught just ‘from the book’ but learning from real experiences helped us tremendously.”
Derrick also doesn’t believe that it’s only the faculty and staff who make an impact on North Georgia: “UNG students and graduates make a huge impact in the regional community. Students bring new ideas to the table that help local businesses. Many small businesses, especially in North Georgia, wouldn’t have fresh new faces and ideas if it weren’t for students from the Mike Cottrell College of Business.”