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Bryce and Blake Lohman: Twin CEO alumni

Twin CEO alumni

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Bryce and Blake Lohman: Twin CEO alumni

Courtney Reel, Copy Editor

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Bryce and Blake Lohman are twins from Effingham who are alumni of the Effingham County CEO Class of 2018. Bryce is studying Business Administration and playing baseball for the college while Blake is studying Pre Engineering. They are current freshman at Lake Land and recipients of the Presidential Scholarship. I had the pleasure to sit down with them and talk about their experience being in the CEO Program as well as their lives at Lake Land College.

The CEO Program created great opportunities and allowed each of them to develop themselves. They saw it as a major opportunity for learning, as well as something important to be a part of. It also taught them to step out of their comfort zone. Bryce stated that “The most important thing that I gained from CEO was the people skills”  Blake agreed and added, “It will help me in my future with being able to talk to people easier.”

Being twins offers a unique experience for the Lohmans. They were able to be in the same graduating class and CEO class and have now moved on to the same college. It has proven to be helpful, as with any sibling relationship. Bryce remarked, “You know someone is there no matter what and you get a best friend for life” Blake stated that “It’s nice to not have to worry about losing my best friend and always having someone to talk to, because he’s always there.”

It wasn’t difficult for the two to keep a business professional relationship in CEO, Bryce stated that “When you’re running your own business, you just keep that part separate.” One good thing about it is that they always had someone to understand, because they experienced things together. In CEO they were able to help one another with their businesses in offering support as well as “bouncing ideas off of each other.” Blake remarked, “You can always talk about the goods and the bads for the day.”

When it came to creating their personal businesses it was a bit difficult being like-minded. “In the beginning it was kinda hard because we would bounce ideas off each other and ‘I would like an idea that he had, then he would like an idea that I had’ so it was a bit rough at the start but we figured it out.” Blake created his business, Top Drawer Socks, first. They were an athletic sock that featured school logo designs on them. “When I was younger I always saw basketball teams with their logo on their socks and thought ‘Man, those are really cool!’ so I turned it into something that could be seen now.” Although his business isn’t running anymore, he still had the opportunity to run this business and learn from it. Blake remarked, “the main difference between our businesses, is that mine took no labor at all other than putting my business card with the socks. But Bryce would be out for hours cutting tile for his coasters.”

Bryce created his business, Cold Stone Coasters. They are laser-engraved custom granite coasters which he still sells today. He came up with the idea by using the resources available around him. “I have a relative that works for Pyramid Marble & Granite, and then I came up with the idea to make coasters out of granite. I bought a 12×12 granite tile and cut them all myself using a tile saw.” Bryce then went through Hint’s Laser Engraving to add the custom engraving to his coasters. After some trial and error with his product, he finally got it to what it is today. Being a full-time student and playing baseball for the college has taken up most of his time but he is learning to manage it all as well as keeping his business running, even if it is at a slower pace. “With the holiday season coming up, I will be trying to get more orders in.” Personally, I have seen these coasters, and I think they would make the perfect Christmas gift. Any logo can be engraved on the top so you can personalize each to the specific person receiving it. 

The CEO program helped Bryce decide if business was for him and now he is studying it in college, “All of the tours we took at different businesses we visited gave me an insight of what kind of business I want to be working for and what I don’t want to see in my workplace.” For Blake, Engineering was always something he was always interested in. He was still able to gain many skills and stated that “It helped me manage my time well, and I’ll need that in the future.”

Even though CEO wasn’t exactly what either of them would’ve expected I think they both learned some valuable life skills. With the entrepreneurial mindset that they both have, the future looks bright. They both have this experience knowing they can be successful as business-owners and can take pride in knowing that their hard work has paid off.  No matter their life’s plans, I think they both can agree that CEO was a great experience that they can carry with them into their future careers.

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Bryce and Blake Lohman: Twin CEO alumni