Reported by Liku Zelleke
There was a time when the bowtie was the epitome of fashion. A true gentleman wouldn’t leave home without one. Generations passed, and it was then considered passé to wear one. Today’s kids would probably rather die than be seen wearing a bowtie.
All of them, that is, except 12-year-old Moziah Bridges. The sixth-grader is the CEO (Yes, you read it right – CEO) of his own bowtie company. He has five employees working for him and has sales upwards of $150,000 … and business is booming.
His products, colorfully designed bowties, are mini-works of art and his company Mo’s Bows has managed to catch the eyes of the big guys in the fashion industry: Steve Harvey, Forbes, British GQ and Oprah have at one time or another interviewed him.
More recently, Mo’s Bows was on the ABC hit show “Shark Tank” where Moziah unveiled his handcrafted bows before the show’s panel of investors. He got offered a deal by businessman Kevin O’Leary who said he would invest $50,000 if Mo’s Bows would pay him $3 for each tie that they sold. Quick to protect Moziah was Daymond John, founder of the FUBU fashion line, who advised the kid to not take the money and instead accept his mentorship.
“I started this business when I was 9 years old,” says the already well-seasoned businessman, “when I was in the 4th grade.”
Today, he has 20 different bowtie styles and has wholesale orders from over 10 luxury menswear stores.
His mother, Tramica, said, “He was three or four years old and I remember I let him dress himself and he’d come in a full suit and tie and I’m like, ‘We’re going to the grocery store, what are you doing?’… Mo’s father and grandfather were involved in the fashion and music business. He just comes from a long line of sharp dressing men.”
That seems about right, as Moziah says, “My grandfather would wear nice clothes just to go to McDonald’s. I absorbed it from him.”
As for his love for designing bowties, the child says he started it because he couldn’t find anything that he liked and just wanted to look and feel good. “So, I asked my grandma if she’d teach me to sew, and then I just started wearing them every day.”
The rest is history.