When you look at the short but potential-packed career of Moziah Bridges, one gets the impression that this is a young man in a hurry. The Memphis, Tennessee-based youth is carving himself a place in the fashion world one bow tie at a time.
Young Master Bridges – Mo, for short – has been designing and sewing his own ties since his grandmother taught him how when he was nine years old. Like all innovators (yeah, I said “innovators,” let’s give it to him) his product ideas arose out of a lack he saw on the market.
“I really was a young dapper man and I couldn’t find any other bow ties that I really like,” he told Fox News. “So my grandma – my lovely grandma – she’s been sewing for over 80 years, or something crazy like that, so I wanted to start my own business making bow ties.”
“You don’t have to wait until you’re older,” his mother Tramica Morris said. “If you have a dream and you have a passion, we say go for it.”
Bridges chooses the fabrics for his creations himself and is quite particular about the styles. His pieces range from relatively traditional polka-dots and stripes to multi-colored paisley and sports team-themed ties. He has earned over $30,000 thus far with his one-man (one-boy) business, selling on his own Etsy page accessible from his website.
But Bridges is also attracting the attention of retail stores. According to his site, his wares are available in boutiques in Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Arkansas. He recently got a shout-out from Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine.
Bridges has also created a product that raises funds for a charity. “I made this bow tie called the Go Mo! Scholarship Bow Tie and 100 percent of the proceeds go to help kids go to summer camp because I feel like it’s good to help the community and that’s what I’m doing.”
As for the future of Mo’s Bows, Bridges told FORBES that he’s looking to expand his offerings. “I see Mo’s Bows adding neck ties, pocket squares and other accessories for men,” he wrote in an email. “I also want to get enough money to start a cool kids clothing company that has nice blazers and pants for kids who like to look good like me.
“Ralph Lauren started selling neck ties when he was 10 years old so I think I can be real famous like him so I will keep my business going all the way until I get older.”
The surge in online shopping and ecommerce has liberated several generations of artisans and entrepreneurs. No longer slowed by the cost of paying for brick-and-mortar retail stores, designers of products from fashion accessories to software are finding that not only can they start and run their own businesses for less money and less help, they can also make a killing doing it.
The ease of starting up an online shopping experience has freed up the younger generation as well and kids with supportive parents to offer a guiding hand can get a head start as entrepreneurs, turning their interests into businesses. One notable success story in progress is 15-year-old Madison Robinson, of Galveston, Texas, founder of Fish Flops apparel. Robinson has exceeded $1 million in sales and looks to expand her product line while inking deals with mega-retailer Macy’s.
Will Bridges reach a similar money milestone some day? He is certainly on the right track.