By Maria Valdez Haubrich
With the recent recession showing college-aged kids there aren’t nearly as many large corporate opportunities waiting for them after graduation, more and more are jumping on the Zuckerberg bandwagon and starting their own businesses.
Ahmed Mokhtar and Drew Ness are seniors at the University of Southern California and founders of UNCL loungewear company. Here is their advice for making it in today’s entrepreneurial world:
1. Look Around You. Observe your environment and take notice of missing key ingredients. As football players at USC, Ahmed and Drew realized there was no brand of basic loungewear that was both comfortable and stylish and decided to fill that niche.
2. Don’t Skimp on Ingredients. Quality always trumps quantity. The team created their own custom blend of materials, putting each piece through a special softening wash process to ensure the quality of the hoodies, sweatpants and T-shirts.
3. Use The Assets You Already Have. Don’t be afraid to reach out to old contacts. Ahmed and Drew increased awareness about their brand by mailing packages to former USC teammates.
4. Practice Makes Perfect. Try, try and try again. Although their first collection was incredibly successful, the duo is already designing new ideas for the new Fall 2011 line.
5. Have Your Cake and Eat It Too. Enjoy every minute of your success. After increasing profits over 1300 percent in only five months and securing major investors like Mossimo Giuliani, Ahmed & Drew have witnessed UNCL become a huge trend, but they still look forward to the day when the “U” brand logo becomes a household name, saying that will be the icing on the cake.