The cusp of the 2020s has presented a unique shift in fashion, one that takes fashionistas back to the early 2000s. A truly simpler time. The age of Paris Hilton, layers, hot pink, and Lizzie McGuire. Big, chunky layered gold jewelry. Signet rings, that whole aesthetic.
Maybe you're looking for your new favorite brand to get some new outfits on your radar, or maybe you're looking for some epically Y2K jewelry. Whatever the case may be, the time of Ed Hardy and Forever 21 dresses-with-jeans (here's to looking at you, Ashley Tisdale) has long passed. The new “in” is small brands, and there's so many to choose from.
If you are looking to get the whole Mean Girls/Our Lips Are Sealed aesthetic back, Moxiewrrld is about to be your new favorite brand. The fully handmade label started off up-cycling thrifted pieces before transforming into a business in its own right, designing and curating stylized collections reminiscent of a whole new brand.
I had a chance to talk to the Moxiewrrld mastermind Sophia Boyer to explore what she hopes to do with her brand, her inspiration, and some other burning questions about the Y2K clothing hotspot.
How did you get the idea to start Moxiewrrld?
Moxiewrrld started this past February, and I basically had this small business before that called “Strung by Soph.” I didn't really think of it as a business, per se. I was sort of just selling jewelry, and I guess I realized along the way that I really liked the idea of having my own business. That epiphany happened at the same time as I was starting to work on clothing; so I got the new name “Moxiewrrld,” got it incorporated, and started taking the whole business a little more seriously. I obviously love clothing, so when I wanted to grow a business I wanted to do something that I loved. I not only get to create the pieces, but I get to style them for shoots and design the website.
Have you had a favorite piece or favorite collection you've released?
Some past pieces I've done I'm really fond of, but I'm trying to shift away from the whole “designer-inspired, reworked” pieces stuff and create my own unique brand, so I'm not selling those anymore. I'm a big graphic tee person, especially now that I find myself at home and in my bed all the time. Other than the drop I'm working on right now, I'd say that one of my favorite pieces is this one yellow, “save the rainforest” graphic tee with this little funky parrot on it, and I put the Moschino logo over it. I just feel like all the colors on the shirt and in the brand logo really worked well together, so that's definitely one of my favorites.
Sophia styled the piece with these gothic cross jeans, a pair that she deemed “understated couture” because it looks super expensive and high-end, but it doesn't reference any name-brand labels, making it an entirely unique “Moxiewrrld” piece.
Who would be your style icon?
It changes all the time, but I definitely find inspiration from my TikTok and Pinterest a lot. I can just get online and there's so many people with the coolest fashion sense. My entire For You page is filled with these girls with these super cute outfits, so it's definitely not hard to find style inspiration.
Sophia called out a few instagram fashion accounts as sources of inspiration as well, specifically Kat Castellano and Internet Girl. “I can appreciate the looks that they pull, even if we don't have the exact same style,” Sophia claims.
As for celebrities, she cites Devon Carlson and Bella Hadid as two of her recent inspirations for fashion.
How do you manage being a student and being a full-time small business owner?
My first year of community college, I think I felt pretty down because all of my friends were having a traditional college experience, and I was at home. I didn't really know what I wanted to do, but I think that when I finally realized Moxiewrrld was something that I wanted to do seriously that came with the realization that being at home wasn't really a bad thing. I got to spend a lot of my time to focus on growing my brand, which I don't think would have been possible if I was a traditional college student. My last semester is coming up though, so I'm not sure how Moxiewrrld is going to look when I do shift to a more traditional college experience. But I definitely think that being at home was a blessing for me.
How do you hope to grow your brand going forward? What's next for Moxiewrrld?
The brand is actually undergoing a pretty big rebranding right now as I shift it away from a more 1-of-1, designer-inspired reworks to making pieces that feature my brand or are my designs entirely. That's definitely going to be a big change, and I think that it's something that's important because I really can show my style in pieces that I design. I know that a lot of my following is from the whole reworked-designer side, which kind of scares me, but I'm excited to have the opportunity to really make my own stuff. Instagram ads have definitely had a big role in growing my following, so I think discovering a new audience through marketing is going to be really important as I make that switch.
Do you have any advice for other small business owners, or anyone else looking to start a label.
It's easy to get discouraged, so don't be. Even now, I compare myself and my brand to other people's, and I overanalyze how they got their following, what they're selling, why I'm smaller or not growing as quickly. It's really toxic, and I know that there may be some people looking at Moxiewrrld and wondering the same things. I feel like one of the downsides of social media is that constant comparison, and this sort of perpetual state of questioning if my drops are even going to be successful.
Don't compare yourself. It's the root of so many problems. While it may be good to look at other people and learn from them, don't let it affect you or anything you're doing.
Sophia encourages other small business owners to focus on growing themselves and enjoying what they're creating and releasing. In the same way that Moxiewrrld is taking a big leap, risk-taking and brand fluidity, she asserts, are central to developing a strong brand and a lot more self-confidence.
So, why Moxiewrrld?
Sophia encourages people to shop small and support the people behind small businesses. Boyer is a real person who maintains a strong connection with her audience and places interaction and communication at the top of her priorities. She cares about her customers, in a way that's rare to find amongst larger chains, even if the fashion sense is impeccable. She watches Desperate Housewives and labors over every collection and design. There's something rather personal about the pieces in that context.
Moxiewrrld's next drop is scheduled for December 28 including many of the pieces shown, so be sure to check out Sophia and her brand on Instagram @moxiewrrld to stay updated on future releases.