Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Starting A Clothing Brand at 19 Years Old Is One of the Hardest Things I’ve Ever Done

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? If you have, you’ll know it’s not easy. Let me tell you how my journey to developing a small business began. Around late November/early December of 2022, I became obsessed with the idea of creating my own clothing brand and starting a clothing business. At the time, I didn’t know how to create a business or where to even begin, but my sheer determination and unwavering obsession encouraged me to do the research and make it happen. Now, I am a 19-year-old undergraduate student in New York and a young African American businesswoman who is the Founder/CEO of a clothing and accessories brand named Business Ascension Apparel.

Business Ascension Apparel is a 21st-century clothing brand dedicated to encouraging and empowering women and female-identifying individuals, helping them to express themselves through fashionable and comfortable business and lounge attire that can be dressed up or down, no matter the occasion. Our clothing is made for college students, young adults, and established working women. 

Owning a small business is hard, especially as a teenage girl trying to keep up her college education while also trying to navigate the ins and outs of a college social life. Some days are more manageable, and other days are more complicated, but that can be said for any challenging circumstances in life. Let’s just say organizational skills are your best friend. Having specific times devoted to school work versus business work is essential to maintain both successes. Of course, my schooling and education are the most important, but it also takes a lot of work to make a side hustle a reality. I’m thankful to have a supportive and loving group of people rooting for me, but most of the results from my small business are strictly based on how much effort I put into it. Sometimes that’s 97%, and other times, that’s 30%, but that’s just the reality of owning a business while simultaneously working to maintain a relatively high GPA. Yes, my clothing brand is a side hustle, but it’s also a business I developed and am passionate about. 

It’s important to support small blacked-owned businesses and young entrepreneurs. Supporting black-owned businesses is an opportunity to help build sustainable and equitable growth for black entrepreneurs like myself, as well as highlight the empowerment of African American individuals to integrate the acceptance and inclusion of the black population into the economy. Thankfully, many wonderful woman-owned, black-owned small businesses are known throughout popular culture today. Still, the challenge I’m facing is working on the company’s growth when there are so many clothing competitors. To that, I say my company is unique, has fashionable designs that are different from competitors, and focuses on empowering businesswomen everywhere.

So, if you were wondering, owning a small business isn’t easy, but if it’s something you’re passionate about, do it! If you’re down for learning to have patience with yourself and your business, plus learn hard-core organizational skills, then I 1,000% recommend it. Yes, it was hard to start it, and I’m still learning more as the business grows, but I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned for anything, and honestly, I can’t wait to see where Business Ascension Apparel takes me.

Tamara (Tammy) Frieson is a sophomore chapter member at the Her Campus at Pace chapter at Pace University. She is an English Language and Literature major with a concentration in Literature, Culture, and Media, and she also has a double minor in Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies and Journalism and Digital Storytelling. Her writing focuses on fashion, art, beauty, and culture. Beyond Her Campus, Tamara works as a staff writer for the university’s newspaper, The Pace Press, where she writes many student engagement articles covering topics ranging from on-campus events to city-wide art exhibitions. Outside of journalism, she also writes poetry and is the Founder and CEO of her clothing company, Business Ascension Apparel. In her free time, Tammy enjoys taking dance and yoga classes; you will find her reading, journaling, or painting. She’s a skincare enthusiast and chronic bibliophile who loves implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion.