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Castleman is a ‘rising star’

Castleman is a ‘rising star’

Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 7:01 pm

Castleman is a 'rising star' | Bryan Castleman, Rising Star

Pictured are Landy Fuqua, UT Martin Tennessee Small Business Development Center interim director, and Castleman
Bryan Castleman, owner of Castleman & Companies, recently became the 2011 winner of the University of Tennessee at Martin Small Business Rising Star Award.
The Rising Star award is given annually by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to a business that best exemplifies not only business success, but an outstanding working relationship with the local SBDC and the use of the services it provides.
In giving the award, the local SBDC is also recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit of the business owners and their contribution to the local business and economic environment.
Castleman knew from a very young age that he wanted to own his own business.  Like many entrepreneurs, Castleman recognized a need in his father’s business and pursued a solution to help expand his business.
In 2003, Bryan Castleman purchased an e-commerce and Internet-marketing training software package and started his first online shoe store, eventually naming his business Castleman & Companies. After the fall semester of 2004 Castleman withdrew from college to run his online business and manage his father’s shoe store in downtown Martin.
Today Castleman & Companies has grown the shoe and boot online business from one to eight websites generating sales and income for both his business and family. Castleman’s websites generate orders while his dad’s company, the Shoe Shack, processes the orders. In 2005, Castleman purchased a building in downtown Martin that houses the retail shoe store with office spaces upstairs for his online business and customer service department.
Earlier this year, a second retail store was opened in the County Market Place in Union City.  The growth of Castleman’s websites has enabled the Shoe Shack to grow outside of the downtown sidewalks of rural Martin and now sell shoes and boots all over the world.
The dedication and hard work Castleman invested into learning Internet marketing and establishing eight websites is continuing to pay off.  Castleman has had the opportunity to be a merchant trainer for the company that helped him get started by training others to use the product.
“At the age of 27, Castleman continues to demonstrate what it truly is to be a young growing entrepreneur.
“Bryan is extremely deserving of this award and we at the TSBDC are very proud of his success,” said Landy Fuqua, interim director of the Tennessee SBDC at the UT Martin REED Center. “We would love to see more young adults like Bryan start their own small business.”
Earlier this year Castleman was nominated by the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at UT Martin REED Center for the state young entrepreneur award.  Fuqua said, “Bryan’s success so impressed the judges, he received the Small Business Administration Regional Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.”  
For more information about Castleman & Companies, call 587-6541. For more information on the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at UT Martin’s REED Center, visit www.utm.edu/reed or to make an appointment for a free consultation, contact their office at 587-7333.

WCP 10.25.11

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