Startups

Patrick Callahan started his career journey as a 7-year-old flower hustler

From selling flowers to stripping wax from walls, here's how the CompassRed founder got his start.

This was way before Patrick Callahan had a hand in putting the lid on the Sugar Bowl. (Photo by Joey Davidson)

In Lemonade Stand, we’ll profile a local leader’s first business experience. Tell us about yours.


Patrick Callahan founded CompassRed, a data and analytics company that helps clients gain insight from their data. But way back when? Callahan was sort of a hustler.
We asked him about his first job, and he gave us two answers. Unofficially, Callahan was in the resale business. He was, let’s call it, a flower resale specialist.
“My mom would drive me to the local flower shop,” Callahan told us. “I would buy bunches of flowers at $3 a bunch and walk around my neighborhood and sell them for $5 a bunch.” Talk about arbitrage!
In terms of a more traditional first job, Callahan worked at a school in Mandeville, La., for several summers. From 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at a rate of $1 per hour, Callahan would “scrape the wax up along the walls in each classroom with a razor blade.” Callahan called this “backbreaking work,” but offered that he loved that he’d “get a paycheck” and “a bonus check of $75.”
Based on his story, though, the money doesn’t sound as valuable as what else he picked up on during those summers. Callahan worked with Quan Tran, who he said was “an adopted child from Vietnam who taught me karate,” and Ronnie, “someone who had no hearing who taught me limited sign language.”
Those were Callahan’s first jobs. Maybe you want to get your first (or second or tenth) job, so get a ticket to our tech jobs fair, NET/WORK, scheduled for Thursday, March 30 at 1313 Innovation in Wilmington. Tickets are $10 or $5 just for the happy hour.
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Companies: CompassRed

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