Storytime:: The Rise of Young Moguls Brand
April 23rd, 2019
by: Jordan W.
This is a story about two kids, Jordan Williams and Brandon Iverson. Born just six days apart, we would eventually go on to become best friends. Believe it or not, the relationship started in kindergarten. Growing up, we did everything together. Carpooled to school, played basketball, went to church… we were basically inseparable.
Starting a business was never in the forefront of our minds as kids, we were simply looking for ways to be creative and build interesting projects. Thinking back, I vividly remember starting our own weekly newspaper in elementary school. Every weekend, we would find the latest stories and news, compile write-ups into a newspaper format, and print plenty of copies. Then on Monday, we’d sell the newspapers to kids in our school in between our classes. We sold each newspaper for only $0.50, so of course, we didn’t make a crazy amount of money from this. Nevertheless, it was one of the signature experiences that sparked our entrepreneurial spirit.
Then we both went on to middle school, and it was time for us to upgrade to our newest venture. We wanted all the latest shoes and video games, but… we had no money! Our parents wouldn’t give us money to go buy unnecessary things, but what they were willing to give us was a copy of Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The book was all about financial freedom and wealth building; it instantly caught our attention. After sitting in the house all weekend reading that book and brainstorming ideas to make some money, we came up with the idea to gather up all of our used toys and games from around the house and sell them online. Instead of going to play ball at the park for the next few weeks, we spent all our free time scheming on creating our own business! We took pictures of everything we wanted to sell, built a simple online store where we could sell the products, and then we were ready for business. We called this new venture Kids Toys Inc. (not the best name, but we were 10).
After a week or two, we already had plenty of customers. In fact, the parents of children at our school and church were probably tired of their kids asking them for money every week to buy video games from us. This was just another one of our milestone experiences that strengthened our interest & passion for building our own businesses.
Fast forward to 2011: Our dads were working as business partners, and every week, they would lead self-development seminars for the members of their company. Brandon and I would attend every week since our dads would offer us $20 if we helped them set up and operated the table in the back of the room where they sold their books and CDs. We sat in the back of the room every week and soaked in knowledge on a variety of topics: investing, developing a winning attitude, building a brand, and much more. We learned so much from just being in the room and observing, and we wondered, why don’t they teach us this type of stuff in school? This was information that would be useful throughout the rest of our lives, and it was just as crucial as what we were being taught in Mathematics or Science. So we took it upon ourselves to take this content, frame it in a way that was relatable to young individuals, and provide it as a source of financial education for our peers. We labeled this new company, Making Money for Teens. Through MMFT, we created a CD series, book series, and various educational products that shared entrepreneurial lessons with our generation in a simple, clear way. We started gaining a bit of attention in the local Atlanta area through our endeavors and began to see that our work was about much more than just making money. We could actually use this platform to uplift our community and bring inspiration to others. Soon, we were giving speaking engagements at conferences in different states and were receiving notes from our peers telling us that our content inspired them to go out and explore the opportunities that entrepreneurship had to offer.
Before we knew it, it was time for us to matriculate to high school. Although we were no longer attending school together, our passion for building entrepreneurial ventures together was stronger than ever. During 2014, our sophomore year of high school, our next business came into formation. We knew that we wanted to continue promoting a positive message that encouraged young creators to pursue entrepreneurship, but we wanted to do it through a format that would relate to our generation in a new way. After considering all of our options and interests, we decided that fashion would be the perfect avenue to share this message. It makes sense, right? Fashion is incredibly influential, and for our generation, it’s a special way to express yourself and be a part of movements you’re passionate about.
From this moment, Young Moguls Brand was born. We started an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign and raised enough money to buy our first batch of custom made shirts. Every morning, we’d stuff YM shirts into our bookbag so that we could sell them to our friends in class throughout the school day. Buzz started to generate in our school, and it was awesome to see that people actually had an interest in what we were working on. Before we knew it, this small initiative turned into a movement. Students at schools all over the Atlanta area started wearing our products and buying into the message. Then the movement made its way across the country, and we started to gain the attention of media outlets, having the opportunity to share our story in various magazines and syndicated shows… including Steve Harvey.
We created this brand with a simple mission: to inspire and empower the next generation of creators. Our brand works to show young individuals that entrepreneurship is a route that can lead them to financial freedom and a purposeful life. Through our merchandise, our various projects, and our platform as a whole, we aim to show you what it really means to be a mogul. A mogul is change-maker that takes initiative to create opportunities instead of simply waiting for them. A mogul is an individual that cannot be limited to anyone else’s confines. A mogul is a visionary that’s willing to follow their passion and dream courageously.
This journey has been nothing short of amazing; we started this brand as a small project to create shirts for kids at our high schools, and now it’s grown into a nationwide movement. But this is just the beginning. Moving forward, we’re both extremely excited to not only produce dope products, but also highlight your amazing passions and projects on our platform and create a powerful community of creatives. This brand is much bigger than just us. This brand is about creating change in our community and showing each and every one of you that you can do the same. So if you’re down, join us along this journey of pursuing our passion.