Designer. Mogul. Leader
1. What do you think it means to be a good girl?
Being a good girl is person not falling victim to what society views to be "edgey". Good girls understand the difference between ratchet and classy. A good girl is selective with the clothes she wears, the words she speaks and the guys she gives energy to. In essence a good girl is one with a strong focus on her future and willing to help uplift those around her. A good girl is educated, kind, and naturally respectful. Good girl's aren't perfect but they make the best decisions at hand. Good girls understand the importance of image and perception. Good girls have class with a splash of bad a**!
2. What was your inspiration behind College Girls?
I've always been into fashion since my mother dressed me. At the age of 9 I sketched my first outfit. At the age of 14 I took my first sewing class at a community college one summer. People like Kimora Lee Simmons, Tyra Banks and Angela Simmons were women I looked up to as a child. College Girls Brand was created the day in Accounting 101 when I decided to tune out my professor's lecture and doodle #HAMPTONgirls ! After doodling it for so long I realized how cute it would look on a sweatshirt given that the book store's apparel just wasn't my flow! I didn't own any of the HU apparel Bc it just wasn't cute enough! My freshman year was the year Victoria's Secret Pink discontinued our school spirit apparel from their company. However, I decided #COLLEGEgirls was a much more broad audience to appeal to. Since a child I've always desired to become a designer. Breaking into lounge wear was the easiest route due to easy access in the Los Angeles Fashion District. Creating COLLEGE GIRLS BRAND WAS NEVER PLANNED OR FULLY THOUGHT OUT. It was simply a small idea that grew into a large epidemic. Being stylish is natural for me, so I wanted to create a brand to express myself that other girls would enjoy!
3. What are the main components?
College Girls Brand is just a clothing line and business. College Girls Inc. was created to allow girls from different walks of life to come together and express themselves through creative activities. The components are education, community service, health, fitness, beauty and fashion. It was designed for girls to coordinate activities and events on campus dedicated to all the components and to include all girls on campus! I wanted to created a club where everyone felt accepted with a warm welcome. A place where every girl feels comfortable in her skin and her voice matters. A group of girls that genuinely care for one another and form a life time bond.
4. Tell us your journey how it started from just a clothing line to creating an empire?
Personally being creative comes natural. My mind works a million ways per minute. I honestly think I have ADHD. A sweatshirt grew to a t-shirt. A t-shirt sparked the idea of crop tops, yoga pants, gym bags, hats, socks, notebooks, pens, comforters, house slippers and anything else you could image a college girl wanting or needing. The COLLEGE GIRLS EMPIRE was claimed before the word empire was used so freely. I've been calling myself a mogul before I made my first $1,000. I am so interested in so many different things somehow God allows me to creatively mesh them and create products people love. Once I made my first batch of apparel , it never stopped. The demand grew on campus to different hometowns. My drive is what sets me apart from others. I could care less about the money, I genuinely enjoy designing and seeing people get excited about what the brand has to offer. My journey isn't perfect! Sometimes I get frustrated with strategizing different ways for my consumers to feel me. Most of it is related to a lack of resources and resourceful people who are reliable. Being a one woman army can only get me so far! I'm currently seeking a group of girls who can follow the vision and work diligently to help the brand grow through all aspects! From web design, to customer service. Ideally I see COLLEGE GIRLS BRAND being expanded through media, entertainment, novels, events and stores across the country!
5. Did you go through a traumatic experience in college? If so, what lesson did you take from it?
Going into college I had a serious boyfriend at home in LA! We were high school sweethearts! Being in a long distant relationship as a freshman was a challenge because we were just not use to it. We both had strong minds at very young ages and our love was so pure we were willing to do anything to keep our bond. Sophomore year my boyfriend became slightly insecure and began to question my loyalty. He did not question my loyalty due to my behavior but because he felt like I would meet a dude in college who was "better than him" or more educated. He failed to realize how much I was in love with his soul. As a young girl, all I wanted was a solid relationship and best friend. Neko gave me that. He was so sweet and goofy. He was the real definition of loyal. He always put me first. He used to ride buses and trains to come see me in LA when his mom moved his family to the suburbs my freshman year. August 17, 2015 he was murdered by a drugged driver! Doctor's placed him on life support for a few days. I remember flying to Hampton that day for my SLP retreat and flying back to LA the next morning due to devastatingnews I received that night. The thought of losing my best friend and the love of my life forever had never crossed my mind. The moment I arrived to the hospitalseeing him in bed with tubes connected to his mouth; I knew it was inevitable. I cried and prayed but it didn't change the situation! Going back to Hampton that semester, I was so depressed. Smiling in public to save face but locking myself in my room to cry myself to sleep. It was hard for me to focus in class and even in life. I didn't feel like myself for months. It took almost a year for me to finally accept his absence from the earth and to always hold him in my heart! I miss him so much to this day but I know GOD makes no mistakes! I am so grateful for all the times we shared and for a first love like his. That situation proved I was stronger than I could ever imagine.
6. How did you get over a bad break up?
I dated a cool dude on campus after Neko's death. I'm not sure if we were actually meant to be in a serious relationship or if he was sent to help me to bridge such a huge gap in my life. However, this guy and I became cool through mutual friends until I found out he was really feeling me. Being around him made me happier than I'd been in a while. He was really sweet and thoughtful. He had jokes for days and his southern charm was a new feel. He became Greek the next year and transformed into a completely different person. I was always torn between the person he was versus the person he was becoming. Or was that always him? Our bond was close but not close enough for him to be loyal. When I first learned about his dirt, I confronted him and broke it off. He begged for a second chance and I was naive enough to give it to him. One chance turned into 3 and I was through. I have never felt so humiliated in my life. I'm a very loyal person so him cheating on me just caught me off guard. I never went through a guys phone until he started acting strange. Once I saw how much he was bringing me out of my character and making me feel less of a woman I had to make the best decision for me. Crying over a dude because he hurt me was foreign ! I had never been through any of this new pain in my previous relationship. Though this dude had a good personality , I realized he wasn't boyfriend material. I graduated Hampton and months later I decided for us to just be friends. It was hard for him to accept but it was the best move I'd made In a while. I think me moving back to LA and getting away from him made the break up easier! It wasn't like I was afraid to break up with him, we had just been so close the past few years I had to weigh my options. He's a cool person and I'll never hate him for being young and dumb. It just sucks for him because he's the one who lost. ( The best way for me to get over a relationship is to cut all ties. Block them from social media and their phone number! That way there is no form of communication and no temptation to go back! "Out of sight, out of mind." If you happen to run into them unexpectedly in public do whatever your gut tells you to. Always try to exit a relationship in peace and in mutual understanding ; that way there's no hate !)
7. Describe yourself in a song
I'm not sure if one song will do my justice. I'm somewhat of a combination of Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" India Arie's "Video", Lauryn Hill's " Zion " and Tupac & Snoop's "Gangsta Party"! Lol but the song I'm really into at the moment has to be 20 something by SZA!
8. How do you keep the sparks alive in your current relationship?
My current boyfriend is my best friend. We're inseparable and he's fine asf. Lol Keeping the sparks has a lot to do with being open minded. Being his best friend is awesome but as a lover we are both such naturals. We both like amusement parks, concerts, family gatherings and watching love & hip hop on Monday nights. We love with our eyes closed. We're willing to do anything to make our relationship work. Though our relationship isn't perfect we fight through the rough times because we remember where we started. He supports me through everything and that's what I value the most. I am so in love with him! I wish every girl could feel the way I do about him.
9. Words you live by:
" I am not a word. I am not a line. I am not a girl that can ever be defined. I am not fly; I am levitation. I represent an entire generation. I hear the criticism loud and clear. That is how I know that the time is near. See we become alive in the time of fear and I ain't got no m*thafkn time to spare. Cried my eyes out for days upon days. Such a heavy burden placed upon me. When you go hard ya knees become weak... in Yankee Stadiums with Jay's & Kanye's." ----Nicki Minaj Ft. Rihanna (FLY) This verse was selected because it really helps me explain myself to others. Everything I do is to prove to myself that it can be done. Once I do it I hope other girls are inspired to do what makes them happy. I like to prove to others that anything is possible. I like to lead by example. I like show people no matter what you go through you must grow through it. Learn from it all and move forward. Never allow the negatives or challenges to keep you stagnant. There will be pressure and you will feel so weak at times but that's how you know a break through is approaching. Once you reach the break through it will all seem worth it and you'll find yourself in the big leagues with the vets!
10. Where do you see your brand going in the future? What mistakes did you make that were big learning lessons for you?
I see my brand on a larger scale. Either having its own section in stores such as target and campus book stores or having retail stores all over the world. It's College Girls Worldwide baby! lol I can admit to making numerous mistakes as a 19 year old entrepreneur! Spending money too fast, shipping orders late and failing to follow through with people due to being overwhelmed. Through every mistake I've learned to strategize so that mistake is never made again ; especially if it's preventable!
11. You're hustler. What are all your hustles and how do you balance everything?
Currently I teach middle school as my day job. I braid hair when I want quick money. I sell bundles for more quick money. But over all, I'm a designer! I'm currently in the works of revamping the COLLEGE GIRLS BRAND and working on a few other projects! Essentially, I'm a Jane of all trades and I refuse to settle. I am motivated by the fear of being average!
12. You're extremely into fashion. What's your go to look?
My go to look has everything to do with my current mood. If I feel lazy, it's definitely a sweat suit or leggings types of day. If I'm feeling jazzy ; I'll throw on a cute top, bottom, shoes and accessorize like crazy. If I want to be cute but chill; jeans and a cute stop with sandals or sneakers always does the trick! Oh yea ; I have a thing for designer bags!
13. What do you feel is the biggest issue facing black woman right now?
The biggest issue black women face in today's society is trying to be what the media believes to be beautiful. I'd rather be a well respected woman than a "bad bitch". It's like who comes up with this nonsense? Even though the phrase "bad bitch" has many different definitions depending on the context in which it is used; the word bitch gives the phrase a negative connotation. There are many words men and woman can use to define a woman but bitch shouldn't be one and it definitely shouldn't be recycled like plastic bottles. Women today struggle with accepting who they are and truly loving themselves for who they are. Girls in our generation follow what's ever cool in the media. Trends are trends and I can't blame girls for wanting to be in the loop. However, girls need to understand what trends are not worth following. Girls need to understand that perception is reality. Girls need to be themselves and forget those who can't handle it. Because at the end of every day; if you're not yourself ... who are you? A poser? An actress! I encourage every girl to be who they truly are and I promise they'll have eternal happiness !
Thanks for taking a glimpse into the makings of me! I hope I sparked your interest in really following your dreams. Shoutout to the good girls holding it down! We have to recognize and celebrate US! Next time you see a girl on her grind, give her a wink and say Go Gina! Go Gina! The life you live is limitless! Fly high!
CHECK OUT COLLEGEGIRLSBRAND.com around Black Friday for the new ish. In the mean time follow us on Instagram : @collegegirlsbrand & me if you're interested @montiethemogul.