Small designer – big future
BY ANJA FAHS
Most little boys usually spend their day at school and later play video games, do homework and spend their pocket money on sweets and comics. But not Moziah (Mo) Bridges from Memphis in the United States. In 2011, at just nine years old, he founded his own fashion business, ‚Mo’s Bows‘, and started producing colorful bow ties.
Today his eye-catching bow ties are represented not only in stores throughout the United States, but are also sold worldwide via his own online shop. Since he started his business four years ago, Moziah has sold 350,000 dollars worth of bow tie products – a significant amount of money to buy sweets with. But in all reality, The Produktkulturmagazin suspects that Mo prefers to invest his pocket money in new fashion styles. In an interview with the little fashion mogul, he tells us which style goes best with his bow ties.
Do you wear a bow tie every day?
Moziah Bridges: Yes, sometimes I wear two or three different bow ties in one day, it just depends on what I have to do that day.
Do your friends at school wear your bow ties?
M. B.: Yes, some of them buy my bow ties and sometimes they borrow them.
What is your personal fashion style?
M. B.: My personal style is fun, cool, and colorful things that pop.
Have you always been interested in fashion, where does your passion for bow ties come from?
M. B.: I have been interested in fashion since I was four years old but I decided to turn my passion into a business at nine years old.
Do you have a fashion-idol?
M. B.: Yes, I like the styles of Justin Timberlake and Kanye West
Who taught you how to sew a bow tie?
M. B.: My granny taught me because she has been sewing for over 50 years.
How did you start your business, what were your first steps?
M. B.: I started by making the bow ties. The next step was setting up an online shop. And I was selling more and more of my bow ties at different shows and markets. And suddenly it really started.
What did your parents say when you said you wanted to start a real business? How does your family support you?
M. B.: My parents were very excited to know I saw an interest in something with fashion because my Dad is a really dapper man. My family helps me with all of my business.
When did you realise that this was getting to be something big?
M. B.: That was when I was on my first National TV talk show - The Steve Harvey Show. A lot of people saw me and wanted me to do other shows and be in other major magazines.
How much money does your business make today?
M. B.: So far I have sold $350k of bow tie products since I started my business four years ago
Where can I buy your products?
M. B.: Online and in several other stores in the US.
How big is your team, how many people help you make your bow ties now?
M. B.: We are six people now.
Is it sometimes difficult to prioritise between your business and school?
M. B.: No, I set my own business hours. School always comes first, then business, then fun and time with my friends.
What’s your ‘fashion no go’ when wearing a bow tie?
M. B.: A Polo style shirt, you must wear a proper button down shirt with a collar if you wear a bow tie or neck tie.
Is there anything else - apart from bow ties - which you would love to create and include in your product range?
M. B.: Neck ties and blazers would be great.
What inspires you, where do your ideas for new styles come from?
M. B.: I’m inspired by fashion blogs and magazines that have great edgy fashion for men.
What personality would you love to see wearing one of your bow ties?
M. B.: Steph Curry the basketball player because he has a great style and would know how to rock a Mo‘s Bow.
Running a successful business is a ‘door opener’ to things or experiences other school kids won’t have. What has your most exciting encounter been so far?
M. B.: This summer I was invited to the White House and got to meet the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. We talked and I gave him my very special ‘Obama Blue’ bow tie for his birthday. I sell this bow tie on my website.
What do you do apart from producing bow ties and school? Any time left for hobbies or other activities?
M. B.: I like to hip hop dance and hang out with my friends and play football and basketball. I go bike riding with my mom and have a lot of family time with my cousins.
How do you picture your life as a grown-up person? How would you like to live your life and where?
M. B.: I want to live in California or New York City as a high fashion designer and travel to many different countries for fashion shows.
This article was published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue Q4 2015. Picture credit © Annabella Charles Photography