Atkinson kickstarts his business

Pelham High School senior Dixon Atkinson is ready to get his own Internet business off the ground. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Pelham High School senior Dixon Atkinson is ready to get his own Internet business off the ground. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

The following student was selected for the 2014 Shelby County Reporter Nine who Shine section, which recognizes excellence among this year’s high school seniors.

By LINDA LONG

Pelham High School senior Dixon Atkinson is ready to “kickstart” his own Internet business. He’s even picked out a name–Dixon’s Tall and Skinny.

“I’m really tall,” he said, “like 6’ 4” and I’m really skinny, so it’s hard to find clothes that fit and look good. That’s always been kind of annoying to me.

“I like having nice stuff, but I don’t like paying a high price for it, like $200 for a pair of jeans. Paying that much for a pair of jeans is just ridiculous,” Atkinson added. “So, I’m thinking if we have specialty men’s shops for the big and tall, which don’t even really cater to the just tall, why not for the tall and skinny? And, why not sell them all at reasonable prices?”

Why not, indeed? Looks like this focused teen, described by Pelham High School Counselor Laura Cochran, as “an excellent student and wonderful role model,” is definitely on the right track to making all that happen. But first, he’s setting a great example for like-minded students on just how to go about getting your business plan off the drawing board and onto the search engines.

Step one is the dream.

“I’ve always wanted to start my own business,” said Atkinson. “I’ve narrowed it down to something mostly Internet-based selling a really high quality product at a reasonable price.”  

Step two is researching the market and studying successful business models. For that, Atkinson is relying primarily on Kickstarter, an online funding platform for creative projects that matches creators with potential financial backers.

“It is absolutely amazing,” said Atkinson. “Starting your own company can be very hard, and it can cost a lot of money. Kickstarter provides just the coolest help. It makes you realize ‘Hey, I can really do this.’

“I like the idea of being independent and not working under anybody,” Atkinson said. “I’ve always admired people who came up the hard way then went on to be enormously successful.”

Although Atkinson’s plans for an Internet business seem to be “almost” in place, he does have a couple of commitments he must take care of first. He plans to attend Brigham Young University, majoring in industrial design and mechanical engineering. But before that, he says as a member of the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Church he will first devote two years to mission work.