Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine July 2022

Page 70


The tropes about ‘kids today’ are wellknown: snowflakes, slackers, mom’s basement dwellers. But stereotypes are just that. The reality is that there are a plethora of young adults making their way in the business world within the companies they’ve created.

Thriving Under Thirty These men and women under thirty are thriving in our community Owning and running a business is no small feat, and it’s worth recognizing the effort and smarts these young entrepreneurs possess. They have fast-tracked their success through dedication, hard work, and perseverance. These men and women are under the age of thirty and thriving in our community. Like David B. Fotheringham, whose house is featured in this issue and who came to ‘Spokane Falls’ at the ripe old age of 27, ready to build the small town into a bustling city, these people carry on that visionary spirit so common to Pacific Northwesterners. The eponymous Grillo Marketing (GrilloMarketing.com) was founded by

Devyn Grillo



23-year-old Devyn Grillo. Based in Coeur d’Alene, the company specializes in marketing for dentists around the country. Devyn’s journey began at age 17 when he started out creating videos and websites as well as managing social media accounts for people he knew or whom they knew. At the time, he was involved in Running Start, a program that allows 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses and earn credit toward both a high school diploma and a college degree. Upon graduating high school, Grillo enrolled as a junior at the University of Washington in the Interactive Media Design program. Devyn says his experiences have taught him that when starting a business, it’s imperative to figure out what one wants. Articulating this very basic premise is what allows one to set a goal and to then set a plan to reach that goal. And most importantly, don’t stop until the plan is fully executed. Acting quickly and being able to problem solve are vital skills when the unexpected happens. Also, Devyn makes sure every campaign asset that his company produces is flawless because, as the CEO, he explains, “I’m one-hundred percent responsible for everything that goes out.” His reputation in the dentistry industry has expanded to such an extent that Grillo Marketing now employs six people to keep up with clients’ needs. He says his clients trust him because he “will keep at it until it is done and done to my standards.” Tyler Wheeler of Spokane works in a similar field. At only 22 years old, Tyler works as a web developer for Kinetek Media, but his ‘side hustle’ is his own company, Display Theory (DisplayTheory.com). Display Theory’s tagline says it all: digital signage that creates breakthrough connections. A self-taught web developer, Tyler wanted to create an inexpensive program that would allow for easy content management on large display screens. Although a reasonably new company, Display Theory already maintains 40 display screens around town in hotels, restaurants, print shops, and more. Tyler’s goal for Display Theory is to have 600 screens by the end of the year. He attributes his success to how he grew up in a hard-working family, saying, “I got a lot of my work ethic from my father.” His father was also an entrepreneur, which set an example of how starting and running a business works. At 13, Tyler began his own lawn mowing business, making around one hundred dollars a week. After working odd

Tyler Wheeler

jobs through high school, he wanted more, so he taught himself how to build websites by watching tutorials on YouTube. He attended Riverpoint Academy, a 4-year STEM high school operated by the Mead School District, where he had the opportunity to enter business competitions—and won. A pilot app he created for the competition was a grocery store app that allows users to locate items in an unfamiliar store. Also in Spokane are Dylan McGillen and Katie Shipman, owners of Planted Plant Co. (PlantedPlantCo.com). They met and fell in love at Whitworth University in 2017. Their bond over their love of the outdoors and growing things inspired their dream of owning a plant store. At 24 years old, they made their dream a reality and are now running their brick-and-mortar store in Spokane Valley, which specializes in collector plants, plant care services, and plant accessories. When they were in the planning stages of Planted Plant Co., they struggled with feelings of intimidation because, as Katie explains, they “didn’t have much real-world experience starting a business from the ground up.” But they’re still standing. And planting. “It has been a humbling experience, and we feel so thankful to have gotten such a great opportunity at a young age,” says Katie. Since opening the store, they have continued to grow. They now have two employees and offer workshop events where attendees can pot their own plants and learn how to care for them properly. Katie and Dylan hope to have multiple locations where they can sell more “fun and funky plant varieties.” They love being able to connect, cultivate, and serve the Spokane community. Natalia Ramos also works with plants and coincidentally happens to be 24 years

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