Mo’s Bows: Fashionable Advice From a Young Entrepreneur

by Danielle Lieneman

We’ve decided to try out something new here at Atlantic Teen! In addition to our regular content, we will have some featured spotlights that correspond with upcoming releases to provide real life experience and advice from young adults just like you! For our first feature, we have Moziah “Mo” Bridges, a 14-Year-Old Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur.

ya_fashiondesignercoverMo will be featured in our upcoming release: So You Want to Be a Fashion Designer: Here’s the Info You Need, which will be available for purchase in early 2017. This book provides all of the information you need to get your foot in the fashion industry, even from your own home! No need to live in New York City with this book in your hands. Reading this book, you will learn how to pursue an education in the industry, how to determine your specialty, pattern-making, bookkeeping, and everything in-between, all explained simply and thoroughly.

 

From Mo himself:

Mo’s Story 

I started my company when I was nine years old, and I started because I couldn’t find any other bowties that really fit my style or my personality. So, that’s when I asked my grandmother to teach me how to sew…From that point, I started an Etsy and then, I would sell my bowties for bags of chips or trade them for rocks… We would go out to farmer’s markets, and we would do local shows and local trunk shows. After that, I would make it into the newspaper, and then the newspaper contacted the magazine. And then the magazine went to the show, and then the show went from show to show to show to show. I didn’t think it would get this big, but my hard work and dedication led me to this point.

Shark Tank actually called us and they wanted us to be on the show. Originally, my mom said no because she didn’t want to have us crying on the show. We went out to LA, and we shot the show, but it wasn’t for sure that we were actually going be on the show; it was just, like, a thing that we did. But then, when it got to that point, we were so excited that we got the opportunity.

If you didn’t see the show, I didn’t walk away with the check, but Daymond [John] did offer to be my mentor… and so, after that, he’s just been guiding me through the practical aspects of owning my own company. He’s taught me always to stay true to your company and never sell out your brand. Always know your brand, and just be yourself. My particular brand is fashionable with a touch of class, and urban.

[Mo’s Bows bowties] are in a lot of stores. I have twelve to fifteen stores that they’re in right now, but, where I get most of the profit is from, um, online, and that’s my website. Someone helped me [make the website]. We have a whole Mo’s Bows team that helps.

Advice for Teens Interested in Fashion:

I would tell them to always figure out what you like doing and find out how you can make profit out of it. And, also, just to be true to yourself and believe in yourself. I think believing in yourself means invest in yourself, and just stay true to your brand, like Daymond always taught me.

I do give back to the community. I have my Go Mo! Summer Camp Scholarship, and 100% of the proceeds help kids go to summer camp because in Memphis it’s hot, and childhood hunger is at its highest in the summertime because kids aren’t eating that nutritious meal [that they’re eating] when school time is in. So, I figured they can have fun, go to the movies, go to the swimming pool, and just be kids.

Future Goals:

I want to be a fashion designer, and I want to have my own clothing line by the time I’m 20. I want to go to Parsons School of Design and hopefully get a Range Rover in the process of that.

Don’t forget to preorder our upcoming book here. Hope you enjoy the read and pursuing your dreams to become a fashion designer!


mo-pro-shot-copy-headshot A former Shark Tank contestant, Moziah “Mo” Bridges is the 14-year-old CEO of Mo’s Bows handmade bowties: a Memphis family-run business. Mo’s bowties have been featured in numerous international publications, and are sold online at mosbowsmemphies.com, as well as Neiman Marcus and other retailers throughout the United States.


 

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Follow Your Passions: Through the Eyes of an Entrepreneur

By: Melissa Carter, author, mentor, and entrepreneur

I’m an author, an entrepreneur, and I’m also just a girl who had a dream that became a plan with hard work, perseverance, and determination. When I was 14, I had a dream of growing up and moving to NYC, working in advertising, and creating a Super Bowl commercial. Although that experience did not take place, I always dreamed big. 

When I went to my college orientation, we sat in a circle, and they asked one word that describes ourselves and I said “determined.” When I look back now, I realize how determination played an essential role in getting me where I am today. It has nothing to do with financial success, but everything to do with following my heart and the things I’m passionate about in life. 

My marketing business

I work full time in marketing, and  I own The Wholistic Package. The Wholistic Package offers positive and empowering services to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual wholistic packagewholeness as well as personal and professional wellness and growth. Services include Reiki (pronounced ray-key), writing, mentoring/motivational speaking and inspirational apparel. I work with youth, as well as entrepreneurs, to mentor and inspire them. I’ve also recently been featured in several podcasts and publications.

I am a certified Reiki level one and two practitioner. Reiki is a Japanese healing art,focusing on balancing energy flow to reduce negative energy and toxins and promote positive energy flow. Reiki promotes healing, reduces stress and anxiety, and has a multitude of benefits. I believe through energy work and healing, that balance can be restored for the overall well-being of the mind, body, and spirit.

My writing career

I recently wrote a children’s book called Little Lucky Ladybug.” The book also includes activity pages, because I wanted the book to be interactive for kids, to not only encourage literacy, but to offer additional learning tools as well.Melissa kids book

The message of the book is to emphasize that we are all unique and individual in our own way. I believe that teaching kids this positive message is valuable in many ways, including building self-esteem. 

The book was recently listed on Pacer’s website as well. They are a national anti-bullying organization. This is not just a life lesson for ages 3-7, but throughout life. It’s important to realize that we are all unique in our own way. We all have special and amazing characteristics. Our flaws are what make us who we are. We are perfectly imperfect. However, the book definitely highlights the strengths of each character.

I have always had a passion for writing and helping others, and with this book, it provides the opportunity for me to do both. I thought about this blog and talking about the book writing process, but I decided to talk about following your passions, believing in yourself, and making your own dreams come true.

What I would tell my younger self

I always thought I had a path, but my life didn’t go the way I planned, and that was OK because it brought me to where I am today. I’ve learned multiple things about life through various personal and professional experiences and avenues. 

No matter what stage you are in in your life, accept and LOVE yourself. All of our happiness begins within ourselves. Accept others for who they are. When things are difficult and negativity surrounds you, focus inward and focus on what makes you happy, but project it outwards. If you have a talent, share that with others because that’s your purpose. Be your # 1 fan, and believe in yourself. Surround yourself with positive people that support you, and help others where you can.  

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Believe and achieve in life, enjoy the moments of success, and learn from the challenges. 

Remember that things don’t always go as planned and that’s OK, because it’s not rejection — it’s re-direction, guiding you towards the road paved for you. Always have gratitude and appreciate the little things. Remember why you started, and do things with great intention. 

Success does not have a universal definition. Your success is defined by YOU! In life and in business, remember to possess passion, preparation, persistence and patience.

I often think of looking in a mirror as my 15-year-old self, and the reflection would be my current self at 35 years old. The advice, I would say to my younger self would be:

“You’re an amazing person with a heart of gold, and you have so much to offer the world. Where you think you are going and where you will end up differ, but keep an open mind, and more importantly, an open heart. You have no idea what kind of impact and imprint that you are going to leave on the world.”

As youth, keep telling yourself a positive message. In your own life; ENLIGHTEN yourself, ENCOURAGE yourself and EMPOWER yourself. 

As a recap:

  • Recognize your passion
  • Follow your dreams 
  • Work hard
  • Possess determination
  • Be authentically you
  • Share your strengths and talents
  • Define your own happiness and success 
  • Believe in yourself

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Melissa Carter is an author, mentor and entrepreneur. Melissa works full-time in marketing and has a wellness business. Melissa also has experience in event planning and fundraising. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys writing, fitness and enjoying life!