“I’m a Lifer” – SCC Alum Says She Learned More at Solano than at Berkeley
You don’t have to use much imagination to see that Jordan Inglebright is on her way to great things. The bright, affable and almost supernaturally accomplished young woman is not only going places. She has already arrived at many of her destinations in life.
The 24-year SCC alum and business owner says you can, in part, thank her education for that. “I use what I learned from Solano on a daily basis, and that has made me a lot more confident and happy in what I do.”
Inglebright began her college education at SCC and transferred to UC Berkeley. She owns ESEF apparel, which provides silkscreen or embroidered tee shirts and hats throughout the Solano County region. She has a staff of seven and ran her business while a student at both colleges.
Walking through her new facility in Vacaville, the slight, pony-tailed owner excitedly shows visitors her hard-working team and the huge pieces of equipment that turn a plain hat or shirt into an exciting promotional tool. The paint is literally still wet at her location that is much larger than the one she was renting at her parents’ towing business. And it is a long way from her family’s garage where she started out at the age of 17.
“When I graduated from high school, my mom and dad told me I had to further my education and either start a company or get some kind of a job,” she said, as though every son and daughter get the same directive. “Their advice was to study what I loved doing. This is the result of my dream.”
Jordan’s love has always involved clothing. Starting at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco after high school, she knew she was going in the right direction, but she also knew she had to get to the fundamentals of the business before she could realize true success.
“I started researching the teachers at Solano Community College and took classes from the ones who had scored high reviews from students for their passion. I wanted to learn from people who had that passion to teach, and I found some excellent professors there.”
From her English professor who taught her how to dissect a sentence, to a sociologist who gave her insight into social behaviors to another instructor who urged his students to create lives they will look back on without regret, Inglebright says she continues to benefit from her education at SCC.
“I can write confidently, speak to different groups of people and appreciate the life I’m leading because of my professors. And, honestly, I learned more from Solano than I ever learned at Berkeley.”
That learning paid off. ESEF Apparel’s growth has surpassed even Inglebright’s wildest dreams. “What we billed in a year two years ago, we now do in a month. And, so far this year, we’ve already doubled the business from last year.”
“Jordan is just the kind of member we love to have at the Vacaville Chamber,” said Mark Creffield, President-CEO of the organization. “She brings vitality and excitement, and we are impressed that she has done so much at such a young age.”
Inglebright advises those considering attending SCC to take advantage of all that is offered. “I felt that I could go to my professors and get all the help I needed. And the tutoring got me totally up to speed on English and math. My teachers also helped me get into Berkeley and were there for me whenever I wanted to get to a higher level. If students want to go to a UC college, Solano instructors are going to get them there.”
Curt Johnston, Executive Director of the Solano Community College Foundation says that SCC transfers an average of 110 students per to UC Berkeley and UC Davis. “Our students get a great education here and are well-prepared to perform well at any four-year university. Jordan is one of those special students who will excel and life and accomplish great things. We couldn’t be more proud of her as one of our alumni.”
In the future, Inglebright hopes to open some retail space and work on larger corporate accounts, but, for now, she wants to concentrate on working just a little bit less. “I can easily spend 70 hours a week here, but that kind of focus can kill you. I am trying to do other things outside my business.”
One thing she plans to do is return to SCC. “I’m going to take a Spanish course just for fun. I love to keep learning and I love Solano. I know I’ll just return again and again. I’m a lifer there.”