Redesigning retail: Q&A with Taylar Barrington
Taylar Barrington, founder of MaverickHill, is the business mind behind one of the fastest-rising brands among Madison’s startups.
Equal parts socialpreneur and philanthropist, Taylar has succeeded in harnessing the consumer power of college women, while creating platforms for college women to engage in professional development and career advancement.
We recently sat down with Taylar, to discuss niche marketing and the economic impact of women.
MBR: Tell us about MaverickHill’s bold mission.
TB: MaverickHill is a retail lifestyle empowerment brand for college women and our mission is to provide products and experiences that encourage young women to be leaders, motivators, and history-makers. We are impassioned by the statement, “Well-behaved women seldom make history,” and we keep our mission at the forefront of everything that we do.
MBR: How does MaverickHill prepare women to be history-makers?
TB: MaverickHill aims to prepare women to be history-makers by finding meaningful ways to engage them on an intimate level. We tend to assume the best-friend-in-encouragement role as often as we can with our strong social media presence, products, and events. In all of these capacities we offer inspirational experiences, words of encouragement, tips and tricks for college survival, and more importantly we foster an atmosphere of true sisterhood. It is truly beautiful in action. In addition, we offer opportunities for leadership through our campus and HQ internship programs.
MBR: What unique services or products does MaverickHill offer?
TB: We provide access to a fashion collection, accessories, local events, charity fundraisers, online content, and internships! Most recently, we have launched the first fashion curated empowerment subscription box for college women, the UniversiTee Box.
The UniversiTee Box allows us to physically be a part of the lives of young women all over the country and instill the values that are important for confident women leaders to possess. The best part is that we’ve found an affordable, lasting, and fashionable way to do so.
The new product is a subscription-based model that is the perfect gift for a parent to give to their college student or as a graduation gift! We send empowerment, essentials, and fashion monthly that reminds her that she can do anything she sets out to achieve and look good doing it!
MBR: What aspects of the college years make it particularly critical to reach women with an empowering message?
TB: Research shows that 70% of female high school graduates entering college are unprepared. They experience heavier academic workloads, post-college financial insecurity, low academic confidence, higher stress levels, mental health issues, sexual assault threats, workplace inequality, and lower self-esteem that sees devastating drop-out rates at 25% alone with college freshman. We believe that we need more mavericks to start changing the conversation about women and our abilities. Here, we are starting on the collegiate level because we know our world is at its best when educated, empowered, and ambitious women are contributing.
MBR: What makes fashion an ideal vehicle to engage college women?
TB: According to Retail Connection, college students are over 22,000,000 strong, with two-thirds being women, and they controlled about $13.1 billion worth of apparel purchases last school year.
While our apparel is only the beginning, this fact alone proves that our vehicle for empowerment is proven, popular, and impactful. However, what we enjoy most is the ability to offer messages of empowerment through our products that promote a lifestyle. We’ve gained so much traction, because our socially conscious college woman is becoming more aware of what’s associated with being a woman in today’s world and she doesn’t want to be a part of the norm. Thus our name “maverick” takes meaning. At MaverickHill and the UniversiTee Box, we encourage her to continue to make progress despite the precedent and to reach her full potential.
MBR: MaverickHill seems to be a success story in how creative entrepreneurs can partner to do better business. Do you have any tips for other entrepreneurs who are looking to build a venture around a creative team?
TB: Yes, we’re advocates of the creative domain. Perhaps it’s safe to say that without our ongoing relationships and the numerous contributions to our campaigns, products, and branding, we wouldn’t be as far as we are! Collaboration is important and valuable to any business — in all components — including creativity. Through this value, we are ensuring that we execute collaborative ideas that convey a message of inclusiveness because of our diverse customer base. Creativity has been one of the best agents to do so.
MBR: What resources have you found within Greater Madison to successfully launch or to grow the MaverickHill brand?
TB: 100State, a co-working space for entrepreneurs, creatives, and curators has been extremely instrumental in connecting me with like-minded entrepreneurs and resources that would be hard to obtain otherwise. I have also found the American Family Insurance DreamBank to be helpful as well. They offer a range of business development classes that has assisted in the development of much needed skill sets.
MBR: Any upcoming MaverickHill events that we should anticipate?
TB: In an effort to raise scholarship funds for deserving college women, and to facilitate a much-needed conversation between the local professionals and our collegiate base, we launched The Lipstick Circle in April 2015! The annual event will be held again on April 2, 2016 and we invite all professional and collegiate women to join our email list at www.thelipstickcircle.com.
In addition, we are looking to provide unique marketing opportunities for brand partners in the local area. If you or your company is interested in working with us, please email our Community Relations Coordinator Micaela Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MaverickHill is constantly changing and we encourage anyone who is interested in being a part to hop on over! As we like to say here, are you on MaverickHill? We invite you to join us at the top! Join our email list at www.maverick-hill.com.
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