So, it’s not that unusual that Gilius (pronounced GIL-us) Blinstrubas decided to start his own business. What is unusual is that Blinstrubas started not one – but two – businesses before beginning his junior year at Siena Heights University.
The grandson of Lithuanian immigrants who came to the U.S. during World War II, Blinstrubas’ grandfather start his own tool-and-die business, and his father a law firm. Their entrepreneurial example inspired him to start his first business in 2013 as a freshman at SHU.
He started Switch Art, a company that designs custom graphics to cover light switch plates. Most of his business is web-based, and Blinstrubas said he has already learned a lot from that experience. The native of Downers Grove, Ill., and business major said he has recently “pivoted” from his initial strategy of selling his product directly to consumers and now has taken on more of a business-to-business approach.
His newest business venture – launched in August – is a subscription box company on the social media channel Instagram geared towards fellow entrepreneurs and business people.
“It’s like the Dollar Shave Club,” said Blinstrubas of his Businessboxclub.com startup. “Once a month, we ship out a package to your door full of goodies. The items are geared towards business, like business books, roll-up keyboards and portable chargers. … There’s not a subscription box that gears toward entrepreneurs, and there’s a large market for it.”
He said making money is not the reason why he started his businesses.
“Why I started these businesses now in college is to learn from them,” Blinstrubas said. “That’s the main goal, is to do what I love and learn from the mistakes so I don’t make them in the future.”
He helped found the new Entrepreneur Club on the SHU campus.
“The main goal is for it to be a comfortable place where kids can come in and network with each other and talk about business and learn and grow together,” Blinstrubas said. “Our slogan is ‘Grow With Us.’ ”
He said the club plans to bring in CEOs and other business leaders as guest speakers as well as make field trips to local businesses.
Blinstrubas said he hopes to start his own technology business after he graduates.
“Being your own boss is awesome,” he said. “Do it because you have a passion for it. Working on something you are passionate about and growing something that you believe in is just an awesome reward.”