Startup Wisdom From a Teenager

If we can bottle this teenager’s drive, most of the world’s problems would disappear

Moziah Bridges, founder, Mo’s Bows

The Moziah has arrived.

Ever wonder what generation comes after millennials?

We hope it is Mozennials.

By age 4, little Moses Bridges had a five year plan and a goal. It surpassed anything you could get at Harvard Business School: he wanted a degree in looking good.

He was a start up guru by age 9, and at 12, his eponymous bow tie emporium, Mo’s Bows, is now an online purveyor of cool, hipster bow ties grossing upwards of $150,000 a year. It’s too bad he has to be in bed by 8:30 or who knows how far this young man might go?

Real 4 year olds tie their bow ties

Moziah had a weakness for flashy bow ties before he turned five. Evidently, you can’t dress for success too early. Only Mo was frustrated by a lack of diversity in color and fabric available to the single digit entrepreneur generation, so young it doesn’t even have a name — maybe the Mozennials?

But nothing and certainly not age gets in the way of this fellow and his bow ties. He has been dressing himself for as long as he can remember and would even tie the bow by hand (no clip for Mo, not even if he was late for nursery school).

Like many successful entrepreneurs, he had the benefit of a business mentor, in this case her title was ‘grandmother’. She taught Mo the vital skills of business success — technology — how to use a sewing machine, and cost management — how to salvage the small patches and cloth fragments in her basket to make bolder, 4 year old friendly bow ties. And that’s how a business is born.

Today, the bow ties on his website, Mo’s Bows, are offered in a unique palette of colors and fashions, which brought some useful attention from Facebook users and his own Etsy storefront. His style palette trends to traditional southern gentleman with a cool hipster slant.

The bow tie business has been good to Mo.

The ties are created the old fashioned way and the only real impact that success has had on his creative ethic is a richer array of material to meet the demands of his 5 to 95 year old customer universe. Mo’s Bow’s sells $150,000 of ties per year, in forty different colors. The budding entrepreneur has been featured in national publications and appeared on Shark Tank and more recently, on Good Morning America.

The 12 year old philanthropist. Why not?

After achieving meteoric business success, Mo turned his attention to those who evidently haven’t yet launched their own bow tie company, and is now donating a portion of his income to charity.

He comes from Memphis, where there are a number of families with children at the lower level of he economic spectrum. But Mo isn’t fighting the problem with words but with deeds. He recently donated $1600 to a program that will allow Memphis children to attend a local summer camp. Take that Thomas Piketty!

The plan was articulated in a recent post on Mo’s Bow’s blog: “Memphis is ranked the highest of child hunger; most kids only get a meal when school is in session. At the community center, the kids get a meal and play time. Giving back to my community really helped me feel humble. It also makes me smile because I see other kids smiling and enjoying the camp.”

The Mozennial generation is coming. Thankfully.

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