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Student-Run Business Sells Journals to Build Schools

Utah Business Magazine

By Sarah Cutler

Can art change the world? Denik CEO and founder Tyler Tolson believes so. Denik integrates art and charity into its business model with artists from all around the world contributing pieces as cover art for the journals and notebooks Denik sells.

After selling his share in a previous entrepreneurial venture Tolson created Denik while studying communications at Utah State University in 2011.  “I really wanted to start a company that was more in line with my passion,” Tolson said. Being an artist himself, Tolson wanted to focus on using art and supporting artists. Despite people discouraging a career in art, Tolson found a way to make it work.

Tolson brought on friends that were also studying at USU to help him manage parts of the business in the development stages. Having a startup company in college has its challenges. “It was difficult, it really caused me to focus on time management. Even just walking from class to class I was on the phone or sending emails, any downtime I was focusing on building and growing the company,” Tolson said.

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