Always impeccably styled in a button down, creased slacks and dress shoes, Moziah Bridges pins patterns and sews stitches after school. As noted in a promotional descriptor, we can find his youthful fingers on a sewing machine for hours or at least until his mother tells him it’s time for bed. He is young, gifted and Black.
While a fourth grader at Rozelle Elementary School in Downtown Memphis, Bridges started his career as a fashion designer at the age of 9 in June of 2011 with his exclusive line called Mo’s Bows. His creations are aimed “at playground pals and adults alike.” Moziah – “Mo” for short – delivered one of his ties to Fox 13’s bow-tie wearing weatherman Joey Sulipeck, who wore the gift on the air. Since then, Bridges has been a guest on The Steve Harvey Show and has been featured in British GQ, O Magazine, and Forbes.
“Oprah is big,” said Mo. “Nobody is bigger than ‘O’. I thought, ‘this is really cool.’ What kind of kid gets to be in an Oprah magazine?” Mo describes himself as a 12 year-old entrepreneur. Recalling his beginnings just three years ago, he says: “I couldn’t find fun and cool bow ties one day. So I decided to use my granny’s scrap fabric to make and sell my own.”
He adds that he likes to wear bow ties, “because they make me look good and feel good. Designing a colorful bow tie is part of my vision to make the world a fun and happier place.” Tramica Morris, Mo’s mom, said that “Old School” trends as mirrored by his well-dressed dad and grandpa inspired his love for fashion and instilled in her son the importance of dressing for success.
A huge selection of Mo’s bow ties are from his grandmother’s vintage fabric, respective selections of which date back more than 50 years. And it was, in fact, his grandmother who taught him to sew. Mo’s Bows is indeed strongly guided by his mother and grandmother. After stopping by his grandmother’s house to pick out fabric and patterns, he settles down with his mother and grandmother and starts stitching.
“He can sew a bow tie from start to finish,” says Morris in Sayle. “But there are some things he really doesn’t like to do, like the ironing. We’ll do some of that for him.” Says Mo, “I just pick whatever I see. It has to speak to me. It has to be fun. It has to be preppy.” Each bow design has its own name: “Night Magic,” “Beale Street,” “Paper Boy,” “Buster Brown,” and “Think Pink.”
Bridges has earned over $30,000 as of 2013 from his creations. He sells on his own website-accessible Etsy page. Mo’s Bows are also available in upscale boutiques in Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, and in Arkansas.
Looking towards the future, Bridges hopes to sell his bow ties in Macy’s or Dillard’s and to see them included in New York’s fashion magazines. He adds: “I also want a super big billboard. I just want to see Mo’s Bows really big in the sky and in a really nice store downtown. There’s another store in South Carolina that wants some of my bow ties too. Now, that’s what’s up!”
He has also created a product line that raises funds for charity. “I made this bow tie called ‘Go Mo! Scholarship Bow Tie’ and 100 percent of the proceeds are 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.”
His next step as a manufacturer are pocket squares, cologne, and later on down the line, suspenders. He is even looking to make neck ties since they are a part of his sixth grade school uniform. “Actually,” he adds, “I really plan to have my own clothing line by the time I’m 15 years-old. I think that can happen.”
“I’m very proud of him. It’s still sinking in,” said Morris who in published accounts left her career in retirement services to spend more time building her son’s business.
She also works part time for her mom’s trucking company, in between sewing, organizing trunk shows and press trips. Balancing academics with fashion seems to be a “breeze” for Mo as cited in noted articles. But, he admits that he owes it all to mom.
“You don’t have to wait until you’re older,” his mother said. “If you have a dream and you have a passion, we say go for it.”
article via lasentinel.net