Saint Joseph's University Magazine: Young Alumnus and Entrepreneur David Barry ’11 Says the Learning Never Stops
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
by Sarah Panetta ’16
Too young to rent a car or storage unit, college students face a cyclical struggle: Where to store all of their stuff during the summer?
Nearly a year after his Saint Joseph’s graduation, David Barry ’11 and his brother, Brett, a Clemson University freshman at the time, created a solution: They co-founded Help U Store It (helpustoreit.com), an alternative storage service for students.
“The concept is simple,” explains Barry, who participated in SJU’s Co-op program while double majoring in finance and economics. “Give students empty boxes, tape and bubble wrap to pack up their stuff. We pick it up, store it for the summer and drop it off in the fall.”
The Barry brothers launched Help U Store It at Saint Joseph’s and Villanova University, recruiting friends who were still students at each school to serve as campus representatives and movers.
During the first year, their only investment was time. Without any trucks, storage units or official marketing strategy, Help U Store It still gained 50 clients at the two campuses, confirming David Barry’s assessment of the need for this service.
Today, he holds a full-time sales position at American Express as he continues to grow Help U Store It, which now serves 17 campuses along the East Coast.
“The learning never stops,” Barry says. “I know a little bit about a ton of things. I’m not just a finance person, I have to figure out SEO [search engine optimization] and marketing, while becoming the tech guy and accountant.”
The son of a small-business owner, he says the entrepreneurial spirit has always been in his blood, but he credits his Co-op work experience, mentors and SJU education with igniting his passion to launch his own company.
“A professor once said, ‘If you’re not growing, you’re dying,’” Barry recalls. “This phrase is more prevalent than anything in a small business. You can never stand still in business, because you will be pushed aside.”