Written by Nicholas Wommack, Supply Chain Operations student, Poole College of Management
NC State student Moriah Mattix is a young entrepreneur who is striving to change one of the most specific lines of fashion: baby clothing. At the young age of 14, Moriah began her online business, Seababy, that comes with its own unique twist on clothing for little ones. These custom, handmade works of art show floral designs and stylish patterns that no one can resist. One look at her work and you’ll say “aloha!”
Originally from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Moriah continues to impact her community and peers. She is currently a rising senior in Fashion and Textile Management with a concentration on Brand Management and Marketing. To gain a better understanding of the creative executive, the faculty reached out to Moriah and asked a few questions about her career and studies:
When did Seababy Clothing launch?
I launched Seababy in the Fall of 2014. I was 14 years old and a sophomore in high school. In all honesty, I had no idea what I was doing. I had a friend who was a mother that had started around the same time as me and she found this Facebook group full of lovely moms purchasing handmade children’s clothing. She gave it a shot and told me how successful it was for her, so then I gave it a go as well. It soon turned into a weekly thing where I would drop products once a week on the group. Then, a few months later I opened up my Instagram, @seababyclothing, and started selling products directly on my Instagram page. My business went from being something I just sold on a Facebook group (2014), to solely on Instagram (2015-2016) and finally moved onto my own website (2017- present). It grew and has had its ups and downs but I still love what I do today.
Who or what inspired you to start this company?
Honestly, I never wanted to sew for a living. I started sewing when I was ten and enjoyed it as a hobby; but when my business came around I truly believe it was God doing the whole thing. I had no experience in marketing or business and wasn’t even a good seamstress at the time; so for my company to explode as it did was truly God. I am so thankful for the moms I get to work with every day and play a small role in their lives by providing quality heirloom clothing.
The name Seababy was actually pretty simple. I grew up by the sea and have always had a love for babies. So, put them together! About the Hawaiian theme you may notice on my shop – I have a lot of family friends out on Hawaii. I try to visit every year and actually spent last summer there!
What was the biggest challenge or obstacle you have faced in your business?
Change. Change. Change. Everything is always changing. I can’t do business now the way I did in 2014. Although I have started to come back to my roots and have seen success in that – the market is always changing. Instagram, Facebook, algorithms, customers, competitors – it changes on the daily. Social media is always changing. There is no and will never be a formula that works every time. But that is okay and I have learned how to cope with it, become a better business and honestly just learn to let go.
What advice would you give other Textiles students or entrepreneurs who might be facing similar challenges?
The change is hard and to say I haven’t thought about getting a real 9 – 5 job would be a lie. At the end of the day, I would say – your worth isn’t in your business and some days you just have to let go. But one thing I have found is that true authenticity and creativity always sells and will draw your consumer in.
Where did you graduate from high school? Was there anything specific about the Wilson College of Textiles that attracted you to enroll here?
I graduated from Camden Early College. The machinery, labs and job opportunities are what attracted me the most.
What would you say to a prospective student who is considering enrolling in this college?
To all future students, I would say: use the resources you have around you. The Wilson College of Textiles does an INCREDIBLE job at connecting students with faculty and industries for future career guidance.
How have your experiences and education at NC State assisted you with the process so far?
In high school, I was already working toward my Associate of Arts degree and honestly had no desire to get a four-year degree. But, one weekend, my mom and I visited the Wilson College of Textiles and I knew if I was going to finish school then it was going to be here. I didn’t apply to any other colleges and just prayed hard I would get in. I did!
What do you hope to do while you are here at NC State? What have you taken away from the college so far?
Here at NC State, I would love to use my skills to further my knowledge of the creative business; how to build a company that thrives off of more than just profit. Delisia Matthews is my favorite professor – she brings industry experience and engagement into the classroom!
The biggest thing I have taken away from NC State is just the knowledge I learn in the classroom and can apply to my own business. Also, I’ve been dying to get downstairs and work on those industry machines.
From your perspective, what’s the best part about being an entrepreneur?
The flexibility. This can be a blessing and a curse. You have to be a driven person to be able to manage this well. Even though I am not clocking in and out, I get up around 6 a.m. every day to get the day started. I normally start work around 7 a.m. and am asleep by 10 p.m.; I feel like a grandmother. But because of this flexibility, I have been able to travel a lot and take my business with me and I am so thankful for that.
Wilson College of Textiles is proud to have her as a student here. Enthusiasm, motivation, innovation, creativity and growth are what the Wilson College promotes and offers to all current and prospective students. For more information, please visit our website.