How a 19 Year Old Entrepreneur Founded a “MADE in AMERICA” Company

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LOS ANGELES Izabella didn’t pass kindergarten the first time around, yet has founded a streetwear clothing company in the heart of Los Angeles. “From a young age, I challenged myself to color outside of the lines, both literally and figuratively. Apparently, THAT teacher disapproved,” says Izabella Lafferty, the 19 year old founder of The Rookie Movement™.

“I grew up under the influence of entrepreneurial parents who had each built a successful company before the age of 30,” continues Lafferty. The difference is that, in true millennial fashion, The Rookie Movement™ has a purpose higher than profit. “Today I believe success is found at a younger age due to social media platforms. I am building a company with a mission to encourage and inspire youth to learn from the real world and embrace ROOKIE MISTAKES. I see every supporter and customer as a member of The Rookie Movement, believing and supporting entrepreneurs with purpose-driven goals and aspirations,” says Lafferty.

As her friends from high school began fulfilling freshman prerequisites at college, Lafferty relocated to be near the West Coast fashion capital, Los Angeles. There she developed the business plan and sales forecasting that allowed her to raise her initial capital funding for The Rookie Movement™.

She formed an LLC, obtained an EIN, studied accounting, set up her bookkeeping systems and opened business banking accounts. She then began to network in greater Los Angeles to explore distribution channels. Next came the biggest learning curve, a costly attempt to rely on manufacturers overseas to produce high quality clothes at a lower cost.

“I learned that what appears to be significantly lower costs in overseas production is not what it seems,” Lafferty explains. In addition to high shipping costs, time zone conflicts, language barrier challenges, and lack of quality control, she experienced mistakes, imperfections, and frequent delays. Lafferty concludes, “I appreciate the high quality, timeliness and a willingness of U.S. manufacturers to stand behind their work. My designs are a labor of love, and manufacturing here provides me the ability to drive into the c, and perfect my vision.”

“I do basically everything myself, from designing the products, to quality control in the actual production, and hand packaging the final product for delivery. I have learned dozens of software programs, set up a web-commerce site, created logos, hired the models and photographers, and produced and directed the photo shoots,” Lafferty explains.

She is also handling the full-time job of managing her website, collaborating with social media influencers, marketing, and advertising. ”Made in America is something that is important to me personally and helps keep our jobs in this country,” says Lafferty. Perhaps those two years of kindergarten paid off.

Source: The Rookie Movement

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