We’re excited to introduce you to Sarah Minnix. She’s an innovative fashion entrepreneur and the founder of Trendy Moo; an e-commerce fashion company that offers season's freshest trends that are uniquely styled and competitively priced.
Sarah is as brilliant as she is approachable, kind, and driven. She earned her BS in Fashion Merchandising and Design at Virginia Tech, but her linear career never took off. This interview will take you on a journey of what she did next!
1 — How did you become an entrepreneur?
Like many of us in our early 20’s, I was a little lost coming out of college because I didn’t have a full-time job secured. I was experiencing extreme anxiety while trying to figure out what to do. I was so sick of applying to jobs I knew I was qualified for, and not getting responses back from larger companies.
Then I realized that I already knew what to do next. I loved fashion my whole life, knew the space well, and always dreamt of starting my own clothing company, but I would always hesitate because of the fear of the unknown. I had no idea what it was going to be like to run my own business.
Then I finally challenged myself to answer a simple, yet most difficult question – "Sarah, why the heck are you sitting around trying to prove your worth? You already know what you want AND have the experience to do it. Take the leap and do it today!"
2 — What inspired you to create a boutique brand and where did the name come from?
I love shopping at boutiques because they have unique pieces that you don’t see everyone wearing, but the main problem is that they are typically very pricey. I wanted to create a boutique for girls that love clothes but have a college budget. You shouldn’t need to spend a fortune on clothing to have a unique expression.
The name goes back to my love for cows! It’s so funny because I have never lived on a farm or owned any cows, but I just always loved everything about them.
3 — What were some of your fears in starting your own business?
I was really worried about not being able to make it financially. I was also afraid I didn’t have the time needed to actually devote myself to it. Since most small businesses don’t make a profit in their first year, I realized I would have to be doing all of this work with no pay and find other sources of income!
I overcame these fears by perfecting my time management, careful budgeting, and committing to making my dream come true. The journey definitely wasn't easy and required a lot of sacrifices and trial and error.
4 — What wakes you up in the morning?
I have so many things to be grateful for. Friends, family, my boyfriend, and all of the support everyone gives me for Trendy Moo on a daily basis. I'm so passionate about this and I want to make this business thrive and that keeps me going.
5 — What is the most valuable thing you took away from your experience at Virginia Tech?
I learned a lot from my involvement with the Fashion Merchandising and Design Society. I joined as a regular member, then became the fashion show coordinator, and served as the president during senior year. This society really sharpened my skills in social media marketing, event planning, promotions, and even graphic design. Skills that I use daily at Trendy Moo.
Sarah and her friend Alyssa graduating from Virginia Tech
I was also very fortunate to have amazing professors who encouraged me to network with faculty and student leaders. It didn't seem important at first but opened many doors. For example, I met a student who helped to create a video for one of my fashion shows, he went on to become a graphic designer and ended-up designing my Trendy Moo logo!
6 — What is one misconception that people may have about the fashion industry?
That everyone just shops all day and picks out cute outfits, haha! It is a cut-throat, competitive industry. It's not enough to be good at following fashion trends and pleasing aesthetics. You have to master many different aspects of the business to have any chance of success. I had to learn finance, accounting, photography, graphic design, marketing, manufacturing, logistics, and the list goes on. You have to be a jack of all trades, and look cute doing it!
7 — What does your typical day look like?
I post on social media, find merchandise, apply website updates, keep track of our financial records, manage inventory, analyze sales, and allocate time to brainstorm new ideas. I also do photo-shoots with editing about once a week. Luckily I was able to recruit and train my sweet boyfriend to take most of the pictures, he’s the best! I also find time for freelance work to generate additional income while Trendy Moo is still growing.
I do all of this every day. It is a completely different schedule since all of my work is done from home, but you have to be very dedicated to get it done! I typically work 8–10 hours a day and try my best to not work on Saturdays and Sundays.
8 — Name one milestone you were proud to reach!
“I was so proud of myself when I hit 1,000 followers on Instagram in just 2 months. Having this initial community was a big social media milestone that I built all by myself from the ground up!
9 — How are you differentiating yourself?
Budget-friendly unique pieces, amazing customer service, and fast shipping.
Packaging that's fun and personal
10 — What personal or professional skills have aided you the most thus far?
Trend and fashion knowledge, photo-editing skills, blogger relationships, strong work ethic, and being generally tech-savvy.
11 — What goals do you have for your business in the next year?
I want Trendy Moo to be able to offer more merchandise options, do a few pop-up shops, grow our ambassador program, hit 5K+ followers on Instagram, and begin making a profit.
12 — Name a woman role model.
I have so many, literally any woman that is going after her dreams regardless of the odds!
13 — What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman is an incredible thing. I love the special bonds that we can create to empower each other. I hope to be able to contribute to this positive movement that aims to prove that women can succeed anywhere. We should be able to pursue our dreams regardless of anyone else’s objections and opinions.
14 — If all the women in the world were going to read this article, what would you want them to know?
Thank you for inspiring us to dream of Fashion.
Clothed in ambition, commitment, and style , Sarah inspires the dreamer in all of us. Follow Trendy Moo’s journey below 🙂