VOL. 129 | NO. 79 | Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Mo’s Bows Founder to Appear on ‘Shark Tank’
By Andy Meek
Memphis entrepreneur and Mo’s Bows founder Moziah Bridges will appear on the hit ABC show “Shark Tank” this Friday, April 25, and it’s a pretty good bet he’ll be dressed to the nines as he displays his typical pluck and sense of style to a panel of investors that includes Mark Cuban.
Moziah Bridges, the 12-year-old Memphis native and entrepreneur behind Mo’s Bows, will appear on ABC’s business-themed show “Shark Tank” April 25.
Unlike most of the entrepreneurs who make the long walk to stand before the panel and make pitches to try and win funding from the show’s investing “sharks,” Bridges is just 12 years old. His business is focused on fashionable bow ties, which he first started designing and sewing after his grandmother showed him how to use her scrap fabric to make and sell his own bows when he was 9.
It began with Bridges wanting to fill what he saw as a void. A few years ago – again, when he was only 9 – he says he was just “a young, dapper man” who “couldn’t find any other bow ties that I really like,” he once told a national Fox News reporter.
The reason for that search in the first place: He’s a youngster with a penchant for dressing up.
Bridges has since made a flurry of national TV and media appearances. And his business has grown, with his bow ties now sold in stores in Memphis and beyond, in addition to being available from his website, mosbowsmemphis.com.
That momentum continues Friday, with his “Shark Tank” appearance, which will be broadcast at 8 p.m. He’s already taped the episode, for which he spent a few days recently in Los Angeles.
He’s inviting the Memphis community to attend a “Shark Tank” watch party that starts Friday at 7 p.m. at A. Schwab General Store at 163 Beale St. Viewers at the party and at home also are encouraged to support Bridges – Mo, for short – on social media with the hashtag #SharkTankMo.
“I’ve been doing this for three years now, since I was 9,” Bridges said. “I sew sometimes and write letters to customers and (help) manage the business.”
He sold his first bow tie in 2011. Big media appearances that followed have helped the venture become a national brand, with appearances on “The Steve Harvey Show,” NBC’s “Today” show, on MSNBC, FOX and in O, The Oprah Magazine, among other outlets.
“I like to wear bow ties because they make me look good and feel good,” he said, calling his designs part of a vision “to make the world a fun and happier place.”
He says he’s thinking about expanding into new business lines, possibly blazers, socks and other men’s accessories. That’s still to come, though. For now, he’s focused on developing his product, making the sales and telling the story.
“My favorite thing is going on shows and meeting people,” he said. “I’ve met Daymond John (one of the “Shark Tank” panelists). I’ve talked to Tommy Hilfiger.”
He thinks for a moment and then adds he’s lucky “I have my family to keep me grounded and help me.”
To that latter point, he said his family helps out with various aspects of the business, and, indeed, his mother is a kind of a manager for him. Bridges also gives back to the community via the Go Mo Scholarship Bow Tie. He’s been using the proceeds from its sale to help send children to summer camp since 2012.
“I have the Mo’s Bows scholarship that helps kids go to summer camp, because it's hot in Memphis and kids need to swim and just be a kid,” Bridges said.