12-Year-Old Business Tycoon Taking The Bow Tie World By Storm
From a distance, Mo’s Bows founder Moziah Bridges’ story appears to belong to someone with no less than the Midas touch.
Everything this Memphis-based fashion mogul has done so far, from the quality of his hand-made bow ties to their growing presence at stores and retailers around the South to the glowing media attention from the likes of everyone from broadcaster and funnyman Steve Harvey to outlets like Forbes, GQ, Esquire, Elle and Glamour lets you know he’s doing something right. Not just something, a lot of things.
On a recent trip to Florida, he proudly announced on his Facebook page, he stopped at the airport bookstore to pick up some reading material and saw his image in the June issue of “Southern Living” magazine. And in recent days a few filmmakers visited his design studio to review a list of shots with him for the documentary being produced about “Mo’s Bows” and about the precocious, 12-year-old chief executive behind the operation.
Oh, that’s right – the entrepreneur behind the company, who on Harvey’s show slapped the broadcaster’s side with a veteran salesman’s gusto and assured him he’d love to wear bow ties, is only 12.
He started “Mo’s Bows” way back when he was 9, when other kids his age are into video games and playing outside.
“I’ve always been a dapper young man,” he says, in a tone that makes you believe it as truth as opposed to the beginning of a sales pitch.
Back before he’d launched a business, confident in his dapperness as he was, Mo’s sophistication nonetheless wasn’t complete – he couldn’t find the right bow ties he wanted to wear to add the perfect touch to his attire. So he did what any entrepreneur would do: he took matters into his own hands.
“I decided to use my Granny’s scrap fabric to make and sell my own,” he says, before adding his oft-repeated phrase in interviews that sums up his attitude about the whole thing:
“I like to wear bow ties because they make me look good and feel good.”
He sold his first bow tie in 2011. His heroes include fashion icons like Tommy Hilfiger, who Mo counts as a mentor and customer, and FUBU founder Daymond John, who offered his services as a mentor to Mo when he appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” (a show on which John serves as one of the “sharks”).
The sight of the young CEO dressed to the nines is tempered by his youth that’s positively endearing. Ask him, for example, what he thinks about appearing on the Steve Harvey show or what he thinks about the host, and after considering it a moment, Mo responds: “He’s tall.
His mother serves as a kind of manager for him, underscoring why he says “I have my family to keep me grounded and help me.” He gives back to the community via his Go Mo Scholarship Bow Tie, for which he uses the proceeds from its sale to help send children to summer camp.
And a movie about him already is in the works.
Squirrel Friends, a Brooklyn-based collective that develops short, research-based programming focused on making kids laugh while also learning something new, is finishing up a documentary on Mo. By this summer, the filmmakers say, the film should be moving into the audio mix phase, including music composition and graphics. If all goes to plan, the documentary will be released this fall.
The filmmakers say they’re extra excited to get it done. “Everyone,” the filmmakers write on the Kickstarter page, “should really meet Mo!”