I am a former Varsity Blues athlete from the men’s basketball team and I recently gave up basketball for my clothing brand, Motus Studios. 

The journey to becoming an entrepreneur has been filled with several bumps and learning experiences but, with the help of my sisters, I have been able to channel the end of my basketball career into a flourishing business. 

From student athlete to entrepreneur 

Eliminating basketball from my life has been an interesting experience. For most of my life, I was always an athlete or a basketball player. Some days I miss it, but most days I don’t. Exploring entrepreneurship gave me the chance to expand my identity to include being a big brother, an entrepreneur, an avid music enthusiast, and more. 

Creativity has always been a part of me. When I was an athlete, creativity would appear in the form of game study, training, and then using my imagination to bond game study and training together. Being an entrepreneur has let me explore a different avenue of my creative self. 

At the end of 2022, my sisters and I started the clothing brand @motusstudios.ca. We found great success in our first collection, Motus Beanies Volume One. We sold out 90 per cent of our inventory within 72 hours of the release and are now working on our next project, which will be a full tracksuit with unique detailing and innovative features.

A passion for fashion

Within the Motus team, my sister Sydnie, a former Varsity Blues athlete on the women’s volleyball team, oversees the design innovations, color coordination, and order management. My youngest sister, Callie, has taken on the role of creative director for our projects, photoshoots, and handling of our social media marketing. 

Pursuing a business has been quite challenging to manage alongside school and work. One of the most significant challenges I’ve faced is my lack of experience. When starting, I lacked the general knowledge required to know how to operate a successful business, manage finances, create a business plan, or build a customer base. This led to a lot of trial and error, which was very time consuming, but enriching, as we saw through each part of the process. 

Creating an e-commerce platform, buying the domain, copyrighting our name, and creating a social media presence were other challenges we faced. My priority on weekends and weekdays after class has been working on the structure for the business and creating designs — all while being a full-time student.

Starting a business is a high-risk, high-reward endeavor. Detailed scheduling and prioritization are very important to maintain deadlines for my releases and sample production. Flexibility and adaptability are also important as an entrepreneur, especially when dealing with manufactures from overseas. Factors such as shipping time, unexpected costs, and production delays are all variables that need to be regularly dealt with.

Motus to the moon

Outside of my athlete friend groups, I have not found much of a Black community at U of T. I hope to use Motus Studios to connect with students from different backgrounds who are interested in clothing and other creative endeavours. 

I’m proud of the growth my siblings and I have achieved this year. We are a very tight-knit family who can always count on each other. Motus Studios is a representation of redefining yourself through passion and unity. When one door closes another door opens, and I encourage everyone to avoid being boxed in and to find things you enjoy outside of your daily routine; it might just change your life!

With aspirations to be a dentist, I’m hoping the skills I gain from being a young entrepreneur can assist me on my journey of owning multiple dental offices in the GTA in the future.