Profile: Bruin Entrepreneurs, Fashionistas & Girl Bosses - Isabelle McGrew & Riley Rojas

Business partners and Alpha Phi Sorority sisters, Isabelle McGrew and Riley Rojas have quickly taken over the Bruin game-day apparel market, creating a name for themselves and fashion-forward apparel for the rest of us. We chatted with Isabelle, a junior Political Science major, and Riley, a sophomore Political Science major, on their success creating Izzy & Riley, a popular game-day apparel clothing brand/company. 

Her Campus: What inspired you to start Izzy& Riley?

Izzy: When I showed up to a football game wearing a tube top that I got from one of the very limited stores available with game-day gear, I saw about 25 other girls wearing the exact same top. That's when I knew something needed to be done. Tailgating is a major part of the UCLA college experience and girls strive to have cute, unique styles to stand out and get that perfect Instagram photo. I knew that Riley likes to make her own tops by ironing on letters and such, so I told her my idea of starting a company together. We have been working on it ever since!

Riley: There were numerous reasons why I decided to start Izzy & Riley. First, I saw the huge gap in tailgating gear at UCLA which motivated me to create my own clothes. After Izzy saw my creations, she approached me with the idea of starting a clothing company and from that day I have never looked back.    

HC: What is your favorite part about creating Izzy & Riley?

Izzy & Riley: Our favorite part is two fold. Being able to work with each other has not only been the most fun experience, but it has also taught each of us how to have both a professional relationship and an intimate relationship with someone. Additionally, seeing random girls I don’t know wearing our tops gives us the utmost fulfillment and satisfaction. It’s hard for people to understand how much work goes into creating a simple top; dealing with graphics, designers, vendors, shipping, etc. But when we see someone wearing our apparel, it makes all our effort worth it. 

HC: What are some of your favorite fashion trends right now?

Izzy: For game days, I love wearing a colorful bandeau with overalls over it. It adds a fun twist, rather than just sticking to the basic T-shirt and shorts style. I have also been loving oversized jackets lately so Riley and I are working on releasing this style for the upcoming basketball season.   

Riley: My favorite trends are jean jackets, flannels and all types of distressed clothing. Izzy and I are working on a men’s line and a winter line which will consist of these new trends.

HC: What extracurricular activities are you a part of at UCLA?

Riley: I am part of Alpha Phi at UCLA. I also work on campus as a manager’s assistant and as an Ambassador through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. 

Izzy: I am a part of Alpha Phi with Riley. I also volunteer as a coach for coaching corps, I have done several events with the UCLA VS Pink Team and I tutor younger students who live near UCLA.

HC: Do you have any advice for college students who would like to make it into the fashion industry?

Izzy & Riley: If you have any type of business idea or clothing idea, now is the time to start. Brands and trends spread like wildfire in college. Since this company is essentially created for students, by students, we have gained so much more love and support from our friends on campus. And that has enabled us to build and grow our company to where it is today. Also, you learn best by doing. We have learned everything about the fashion industry, wholesale and the market by experiencing it first hand.

HC: What are your future goals?

Izzy & Riley: We have so many goals for Izzy & Riley. We want to create an internship or ambassador program moving forward since our company is growing, and we want to continue expanding to other schools by next football season. We have already received so many requests online and through our social media, so we are really excited for what’s to come.  

Make sure to follow Izzy & Riley on Instagram and check our their website izzyandriley.com to see their newest pieces. Be on the lookout on the @HerCampusUCLA Instagram as we'll be giving away some UCLA Game-Day Apparel from Izzy & Riley!