Harlan Hambright learned plenty from watching his father leave his corporate job working with pianos at Rich's department store to start his own business.
Hambright, now owner of the Brunswick Stewdio in downtown Brunswick, got the chance Wednesday morning to share his experiences with a group of business people at the first meeting of 1 Million Cups in Brunswick at Tipsy McSway's on Newcastle Street.
The program is set up to give two representatives from either for profit or nonprofit organizations to share their experiences and challenges with an audience over coffee before taking questions or suggestions.
The idea is to promote a support system for entrepreneurship in Brunswick and the Golden Isles, said Skip Mounts, dean of the School of Business and Public Management at College of Coastal Georgia.
Mounts, an organizer of what will be a monthly meeting, welcomed the group of about 40 people to "the first, let me repeat that, the first," meeting.
"Unlike my classes, you cannot sit in the back and try to nap," Mounts said.
Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey was happy to be at the meeting and looks forward to what it might mean for the city.
"I'm glad to see so many people who think about entrepreneurship and doing it here," Harvey said.
One of those considering Brunswick and the Golden Isles for a business venture is Joe Nehila, who publishes Tails of the Lowcountry in South Carolina, a magazine dedicated to an animal loving lifestyle.
Nehila is eyeing an expansion that would put his young magazine in Charleston and the Golden Isles.
He discussed his business its potential with the group, which had several questions for him.
One was on how much of a niche market the animal and pet industry really is.
"We don't presuppose will be for everybody," Nehila said.
But with $6 billion spent on animal-related products in the U.S. each year, Nehila figures he can find readers just about anywhere.
"The niche is very big," he said.
It was the kind of discussion Mounts had hoped to hear in the first 1 Million Cups meeting.
Rest assured, the coming months will provide plenty more.
Like in July, when representatives from Richland Rum, a Georgia-based distiller that is moving to downtown Brunswick, will be speaking.
The 1 Million Cups group will meet again at 9 a.m. on June 1 at Tipsy McSway's.
PHOTO School of Business and Public Management Dean Skip Mounts