Moziah “Mo” Bridges’ story goes like this: At the ripe old age of 9, he decided he needed to amp up his personal style. Inspired by his father and grandfather, who often wore three-piece suits, Mo had long eschewed jeans and sneakers in favor of a more professional look (or at least since he started dressing himself).
So no ordinary accessory would do. What he needed was a bow tie! But all he found in stores were “plain and ugly” clip-ons. Surely other style-conscious young men had experienced the same challenge—and that gave Mo an idea.
Mo’s grandmother was a seamstress, so he asked her to teach him to sew. With patience, practice and a lot of his grandmother’s fabric scraps, Mo mastered the techniques while building his own entrepreneurial startup. Today the 12-year-old self-proclaimed kidpreneur mans the helm of Memphis-based Mo’s Bows. With continued help from relatives and friends, he sells 50 to 100 bow ties a month for around $20-$50 apiece in boutiques in seven states and online. Mo and his business have been featured by Forbes, The Huffington Post, New York Daily News, Today and the Steve Harvey show.
“I didn’t think I could make it this far,” says Mo, whose initial aim was “to let people feel and look good.”
Mo says he’s saving for a car and for college, but he has philanthropic goals, too. For the last two years, he’s used profits to send children to summer camps—he hopes to send at least five this year. “Child hunger is highest during the summer,” Mo says. “So I want kids to be able to have meals and have fun.”
As for his future, Mo hopes to become a fashion designer. His advice for other young entrepreneurs? “Figure out what you like doing and then figure out how to make money doing it.”