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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Meet the 12 Year Old Kid Entrepreneur Who is Redefining Fashion with His Bowties

Moziah Bridges is a 12 year old kidpreneur who is redefining fashion  with his bow ties. He decided to bring the classic and cool bowtie back by starting his business, Mo's Bows when he was just 9 years old. His bowties has gotten him attention from Steve Harvey, Forbes, British GQ, and even Oprah. Now his business has expanded to include over 20 different bowtie styles, and wholesale orders from over 10 luxury menswear stores.

Moziah's mother, Tramica, says, “He was 3 or 4 years old and I remember I let him dress himself and he’d come in a full suit and tie and I’m like, we’re going to the grocery store, what are you doing?”
Moziah says of his grandfather: “My grandfather would wear nice clothes just to go to McDonald’s. I absorbed it from him. I chose the bowtie because I couldn't find anything that I liked and I just wanted to look good and feel good…So I asked my grandma if she’d teach me to sew, and then I just started wearing them every day.”

His grandmother had been sewing for over 50 years and had lots of vintage fabrics and fun patterns to work with. Moziah started modeling his bowties at school, and though other kids found it “a little weird” at first, Tramica says he kept going. Soon strangers were stopping him on the street, asking where they could find bowties like his. It was after such an encounter that Mo first expressed an interest in starting a business. Tramica asked what he’d call his business and she remembers, “Right away he said, ‘Mo’s Bows.’ And I was like oh my gosh, that’s perfect.”

Tramica helped Mo get started by printing business cards and setting up a web page and store on Etsy where his ties and pocket squares are available anywhere from $40 to $60. Eventually they shopped the bowties around to local stores, which led to his first wholesale orders. Then, Tramica says, "the media started calling for interviews.” Since Moziah sold his first bowtie in 2011, he’s gone from a one-boy-band to recently hiring his 3rd seamstress to keep up with orders. 

His first year brought in just about $10,000. 3 years later Mo's has pulled in almost 10 times that, with about $90,000 in profits. Besides each of them getting a "salary," Tramica says the business will one day help put Mo through college. It's a good thing: he has his eyes set on Parson’s School of Design in New York.

He also had an idea to help other kids less fortunate than himself, so he started the Go Mo’s Summer Camp - a scholarship program that sends between one and 5 children to summer camp each year. This has landed him a nomination to the Grio100. Since school is his priority, his mother works behind the scenes to oversee the business and attend to all sales, scheduling and production. She lets Mo choose his own hours, consulting with him before scheduling him for travel or talk shows, to make sure he wants to do it. 

These days Mo says there are certain tasks he's happy to hire out , like the sewing so he can focus on what he does best: selecting patterns and fabrics, being the face of the business, and styling clients' entire outfits around his bowties. He still makes sure to oversee quality control however, by carefully inspecting each and every bowtie that ships out and if necessary, sending it back to be re-ironed or re-sewn. “I just have an eye for things.” Meanwhile, Moziah says of his mom: “She motivates me and tells me to keep going. I’m lucky that people are able to support me and help me run my business.”

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