COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two young men in the Midlands have found their own way to get an early start in the business world.
They've opened their own stores that are fully based on their passion and love.
Moe Hassan has opened his own shoe store called Mo3Soles which is located on Main Street in Newberry. He opened the store in December when he was 18 years old.
"I wanted to be a cool kid and have nicer clothes and shoes," Hassan said.
He added that his family could not afford it and he was bullied back in school. That motivated him to start collecting shoes and selling them which then evolved to the present day where he has his own store.
Lawson Taylor has opened his own store called LT Toys and Stuff. The store is located in the Broad River Road shopping center in Columbia. Taylor is only fourteen and will be running the store when it opens, tentatively in March, while being homeschooled.
"I'm still a kid and I love to play with toys," Taylor said. "I think they are fun."
Both Hassan and Taylor have opened these stores based solely on their passion for collecting items.
"I went a whole year just flipping shows out of my room. Then it moved into the living room, and then I had eight hundred shoes," Hassan said.
His family agreed he had outgrown the living room and it was time to look for a store.
Taylor ran into a similar situation.
"My mom was like, 'The house is a mess. It looks like a bomb went off,'" he said. and she said I need storage but my dad said, 'How about we open a booth at the flea market?'"
Taylor's success at the flea market has led to the store that's now in the finishing stages before opening.
Hassan has seen great success so far from the last few months of being open what a line down the street on opening weekend, followed by the holidays. Hassan said he was selling out so quickly that his inventory was below what he could produce for customers walking in the doors.
Both Hassan and Taylor have been extremely thankful for their families and for the support and contributions made to the stores. But they both have a similar message for anyone thinking of opening a store.
Hassan said that as long as you get the ball rolling, anything is possible and there is no limit. He added that everyone should chase after what they love.
"Keep working hard at it, you will eventually be able to do it," Taylor added.
Hassan already has plans of opening a second store, though, the location has not been determined. Taylor said he also has plans to expand and he wants to host a local toy show.