Much of my design work, marketing, and business strategy can be seen through my first major entrepreneurial venture: Olly Oxen, a collegiate and lifestyle apparel and accessories company.
I founded Olly Oxen as a 22-year old, during my last semester of college at NC State in August 2009. What started out as a solo venture became a successful, family business as my two older brothers joined me over the years. We had one sweet ride and it was a great adventure that, after 9.5 years, we decided to close on December 31, 2018. This was a bittersweet decision, but one I was also ready for and happy about in order to make room for a new chapter in my life. I'm beyond proud of this fun, successful journey and incredible learning experience…
As CEO & Designer, I established and built the brand; growing e-commerce and B2B from 0 to 175+ retailers nationwide (all of my responsibilities can be viewed in my resumé). Over the years, we grew into a family business as my older brothers, Hunter and Cameron, joined as the COO and CFO. We created products that were simple and elegant, yet rugged – products that capture the spirit of America. I designed for an effortless lifestyle that moves from a casual to formal occasion – our products added personality without defining who you are.
On December 31, 2018, we closed Olly Oxen. Below is the letter that we shared with our many customers when we made the announcement (on 10/24/18) of our decision to close…
Olly Oxen is a family business and, over the past year, our family has experienced many exciting life changes. We have all put down roots in Charlotte, NC where we grew up and have welcomed a third generation to the family. After nine years of sharing the excitement we have for our products and the Olly Oxen brand, we have decided to transition to a new chapter in our lives in order to focus our time on family.
As bittersweet as it is, we will be closing Olly Oxen on December 31, 2018. Growing Olly Oxen has been an incredible experience full of many wonderful relationships and memories. We are truly thankful for your support of our company, our family, and the many small American businesses that we support.
Thank you for being part of our Olly Oxen family!
< My family – i.e. my business partners; official ( 2 older brothers) and unofficial (parents, “shop” dogs, sister-in-law, and niece)...
October 2018 (left-right): Daddio, Emma (dog), Cameron (CFO), Jen, Ellie, Hunter (COO), Momma, Me (CEO), Jarvis (dog)