1. growing up
I never knew what I wanted to be, I just knew I wanted to be the boss. My family’s business was right in my backyard and I watched my grandfather be a strong, successful, and well-respected leader of his company. I knew it wasn’t all fun and games and I would have to work hard to earn my chance. At the age of 13, I got my first job at the local grocery store. It wasn’t glorious but I was just happy for the opportunity to be working and experiencing the success and independence I longed for. My drive continued through high school as I worked at the local toy store, as a nanny, and an assistant dance teacher at my dance studio.
2. east carolina university
Eventually, I found myself a new home attending school at East Carolina University. My freshman year roommate and I became fast friends and began to do everything together. We wanted to be able to make money without having a scheduled job. Our shared love for designing and socializing lead us to start a custom pillow making business, specializing in Greek Lettering. We would color pieces of fabric with fabric markers then sew it together and stuff them with polyfill. We made our sales through Instagram and would hand-deliver each pillow. I loved making connections with customers and specializing each item to exactly what they wanted. As we moved out of our college dorm, our business dissolved. I was disappointed but little did I know what was to come.
3. best gift ever
Summer of 2017 I was gifted a heat press machine and a Silhouette Cameo from a family friend. I brought both machines back to college, eager to create, just not exactly sure what. My sororities big little season quickly rolled around and I was so excited to finally take on my very own little! I wanted to give my little the very best baskets just like my big had done for me. I got to work making t-shirts, sweatshirts, and stickers. Each day, as I brought my baskets to the house, more and more sisters were eagerly asking me to make shirts for them. This was the work I had always dreamed of coming to life. I decided to take this and run with it.
4. it became official
In October of 2017, Made by Mollz became an official Greek Licensed Vendor and my Etsy page went live. I was anxious, nervous, excited, all at the same time. I put all my life savings into becoming my own boss, not even sure if it would work out yet. I learned as I went and couldn't have imagined the road that was ahead of me. However, I knew that this was the path I was supposed to take. Running my business out of my college apartment has been a circus but also amazing. My roommates have been troopers throughout everything, often helping peeling vinyl or modeling shirts.
5. they carried my merchandise
The following year post opening, ECU’s University Book Exchange started to carry my merchandise. It was surreal at first to walk into my school’s bookstore and have shirts that I designed and handmade hanging ready for purchase. I have received so much support from my ECU Pirate community and am so thankful for the connections I have made.
6. the entreprenuer life
Fast forward to 2020, I am currently licensed by 17 sororities, I have expanded from solely sorority apparel into markets such as dog mom and pop culture, and I have my own website! I absolutely love my job and the brand that I have created. I am so grateful for all the inspiration I have had and the path that has taken me to where I am today. To me, there’s nothing better than getting to know my customers and customizing items to exactly what they want.