On a campus the size of his, you might cross paths presuming that he is merely attempting to make class before time. He is, in fact, pressed to find a place of solace to release the creative impulses that have invaded his space during the entire last lecture. His support systems have all made exceptional sacrifices to undergird his academic pursuits, so he works hard to stay class-engaged. But inspiration calls at the oddest times. The sooner he can get to his Mac and transfer to the screen what was dancing around his mind, the deeper he will breathe. When his arms finally fold, he beholds another one: the design he daydreamed about.
Sterling Wellington is a millennial entrepreneur looking to shake-up things in the design world…Well World. And he has earned a look-see. The university senior is on track to graduate and on task relative to all things fashion. A sharply dressed dad and decorating mom had no idea that every tiny outfit with matching shoes and baseball caps was developing a passion for something that would blossom into a viable business for their son.
In a retail store, Sterling entertained the thought of making a better t-shirt than the ones he sold for someone else. The final product ended-up on Instagram, garnering the attention of family and friends who began questioning how they could purchase it. Patronage is one thing, but putting one’s mouth over one’s wallet is another. The young Mr. Wellington determined, with only a single shirt, to enter the vast network of online selling. Tongue-in-cheek, he advertised that more of his “line” was forthcoming with no inkling of how to fulfill that claim. Motivated by possibility, he roughly sketched a new design, then another, and, now, many others.
A year out, Well World caters to young men and women who choose classy casual style while pursuing success. Before Hugo Boss suits, Bostonian shoes, and briefcases, or without them, this generation is proving thatworking in comfort actually enhances productivity. So the “tight” tees, lively long-sleeve hoodies, hyped head gear, and, yes, the swanky socks are coveted custom pieces in his everexpanding collections. Youthful buyers are showing them off in business meetings, sporting events, concerts, and even pairing them with evening attire after hours. The graphics and messaging displayed add unique whimsy to basic comfort. This designer student creates, advertises, and sells and ships his new brands from coast to coast and overseas. Additionally, the millennial owner runs all day-to-day operations; including, but not limited to, finance and business, market research and web development. He does so while maintaining an impressive grade point average and carving out space for favorite sports and social interaction. Even walking with him, means moving with intention. Whew!
When asked, the light-hearted Sterling credits time- tested time management and old school note-taking as tools necessary for all trades. The Well World owner sees social marketing as the mosteffective way to speak to his age group, but practices personal engagement as the tried-and-true way to win new customers and repeat business. To that, he is easy to talk to, easy to see as a success story, and easy to root for. We salute the man who launched a business without waiting for a degree or permission. That’s what visionaries do!
He sees his future self with global distribution, hoping to expand his brand into footwear. Sterling is even contemplating avant-garde ideas for next-generation furniture. To the question of who inspires him, he quickly runs-off names like Ev Bravado, Jerry Lorenzo, Rhuigi, and Raf. But when asked who ignites him, his parents are mentioned, alone; especially the father who teaches him business ethics and practices. His family remains a primary purpose for wanting to honor their name.
Master Wellington’s advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs entails preparing for criticism, being fully invested, and working on personality. Sterling says, “No one is going to like everything you produce, so make sure you’ve put out something that makes you proud. That way, for every one person who disagrees, there are two more who see what you see. Starting anything takes almost everything. If you keep that out front, you’re not easily distracted. When people buy- into you, there is a certain level of confidence they have in what you’re selling. Make yourself as good as your brand.” Well said.
There he is, passing the Student Center. A slight smile graces his face. Someone across the yard is “rocking” his wear. He did that! And they don’t have a clue. The fashion designer is “fresh,” lean, stepping with “swag,” making eye-contact, nodding his head to say “what’s good?,” sporting clothes his hands made – looking like a model himself. Yet he prefers to style you, making you the best version of yourself; comfortable, but highly-qualified: young, but never underestimated. In an age when there is plenty to mope about, this professional is driven by something greater than just making money: the passion to see people feel better about themselves simply because they are citizens of Well World. His world. Sterling Wellington is one worth following: Instagram (well_world).