Headshot of Garrett Baretta next to one of his painted coolers

UD Alumnus Founds Paintable Cooler Company

November 29, 2023 Written by Lindsey McLaughlin | Photos provided by Garrett Barretta

Have you ever dreamed of starting a business? UD alumnus Garrett Barretta has seen his entrepreneurial dream come to life since graduating in 2016. 

Barretta is the founder and CEO of COOLERSbyU™️, which offers the first cooler designed and manufactured for paint customization. Throughout the years, their product scope has expanded to include acrylic paints, varnify sealer, paint brushes, stickers and more. 

“I became really interested in how complicated it was to paint a cooler for fraternity formal events,” said Barretta. “It typically involved sanding the cooler down to remove the outer glossy coating, filling in any logos on the cooler then priming the cooler white so that you can begin painting. This process required time and products that most college students had to go out and buy. I knew there had to be a better way.”

Soon after developing the concept for a “ready-to-paint” cooler, Barretta began working with UD’s premier startup funding competition Hen Hatch

“Although I was not successful in making it past the first round, I was not discouraged and went to seek other ways to fund my business venture,” said Barretta. “All of the free lunch Fridays with speakers and resources of the Horn program really helped me grow as an entrepreneur and iron out the business plan.”

Through hard work and perseverance, Barretta got COOLERSbyU™️ off the ground and accomplished his goal of making cooler painting a painless process. 

“The time you devote to painting a cooler should be spent making the designs the best you can rather than wasting valuable hours getting it ready to be painted,” said Barretta.

Today, COOLERSbyU™️ annual sales surpass $160,000 and are available online at COOLERSbyU.com, on Amazon, at Lowe’s and even on Main Street at the National 5 & 10. If you want to paint your own custom cooler or gain more information on upcoming promotions, follow @CoolersByU on Instagram

Barretta has successfully built his own company from the ground up and appreciates the people at UD that allowed him to initially pitch his idea. 

“Being a Blue Hen is a huge honor,” he said.“UD has opened a lot of doors for me in my career and personal life.”


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