Most people opening a business expect the financial burdens and hard work involved, but undermine responsibilities such as gathering equipment, collecting materials or hiring quality employees.

Co-founder of the Left Coast T-shirt Company James Whitaker said quality employees were one of the hardest assets to find.

“Most people who are talented and smart generally leave the area and work someplace else,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker, a Cal Poly business graduate, co-founded The Left Coast T-shirt Company two and half years ago, but first launched in 1999 with his brother David Whitaker.

James Whitaker was 19 years old and his brother David Whitaker was 20 years old when the two entrepreneurs established the online company. is an online service company that sells condoms, packaged and mailed, to customers as far as China, Japan and England.

James Whitaker said condoms are the “perfect items to sell online.”

“That company is awesome and it brings in more revenue than the Left Coast T”shirt Company,” the 26-year-old entrepreneur Whitaker said.

He added that he was lucky to have a computer-savvy brother to establish the site because “it would have cost us $10,000 to make.”

Whitaker graduated from the Cal Poly College of Business with a concentration he personally developed to advance his skills in entrepreneurship.

It took Whitaker seven years to graduate due to responsibilities and dedication for the online business.

“I was the worst student a college has ever seen. I’d read the newspaper in the back of class,” he said. “It took me seven years to finish, seven years of tuition, four to eight units at a time. I sacrificed a fast college life for the business.”

The Left Coast T-shirt Company opened thereafter. The brothers started out buying T-shirts from local competitors.

The company now has a 6,000 square-foot warehouse of manufacturing space and expects to have a production capability of 10,000 shirts by the end of this year.

The company makes T-shirts for other businesses in the area such as Backstreet Bar and Grill, Mother’s Tavern and Meathead Movers.

“In the next six months, we will be launching our T-shirt company online,” James Whitaker said.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *