Alicia Blount, CEO at Yellow Blanket.
We’re Yellow Blanket, and we’re on a mission to keep textile waste out of landfills. We up-cycle second-hand clothes and textiles into beautiful products that you’ll be proud to use and share.
At Yellow Blanket, we believe in the power of upcycling. It’s not just about making something new out of something old, but about changing mindsets about how we see waste. We want people to feel good about what they’re wearing—to know that it’s not only beautiful but also eco-friendly and sustainable.
Connect with Alicia on LinkedIn.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- About Yellow Blanket (Y.B.)
- The Evolution of Y.B
- Leveraging network to support business and growth
- Time management (its meaning and importance) as a studentpreneur
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:03] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Atlanta Business Radio, brought to you by on pay. Built in Atlanta, on pay is the top rated payroll and HR software anywhere. Get one month free at on pay. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:30] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Atlanta Business Radio. But this is a very special one. It’s part of the GSU ENI radio series. And our guest today is Alicia Blount, and she is with Yellow Blanket. Welcome.
Alicia Blount: [00:00:46] Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I’m happy to be here.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:49] Well, I’m so excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us a little bit about Yellow Blanket. How are you serving folks?
Alicia Blount: [00:00:56] Yes. So Yellow Blanket is a sustainable upcycling company and we really work to. I like to say that we’re at the intersection of new and old fashions because we love to reimagine. We love to re-imagine clothing and just breathe new life into it. And so, yeah, I don’t want to, like, give, give too much of a spill, but basically it’s just taking it’s taking older fabrics, older clothing and breathing new life into it, upcycling it and then bringing it bring it back out into the world.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:34] So what was the genesis of the idea? How did the whole concept come about?
Alicia Blount: [00:01:40] For sure. So about 15 years ago, my grandmother, she gave my cousin, my brother and I blankets. It was just like on a random day and I took an exceptional liking to my blanket. I would take it like on road trips and it would be with me if I ever go down into the basement, I would use it as my pillow. And so it was just always with me. And as I got older and grew out of carrying it, I was able to understand the symbolism behind the blanket and why I actually liked it. And it’s because it makes me think about love, warmth and comfort. And with yellow blanket. I really want my customers to feel that same love, warmth and comfort with every piece, with every garment they have.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:31] So when you started with the concept and then you started upcycling clothing, when did you kind of figure, Hey, I might be on to something here, there might be a market for this kind of stuff?
Alicia Blount: [00:02:44] Yeah, well, you know, as a kid, I would I would tell people kind of about what I do or they were either see it on me. Like if I had a pair of jeans that I upcycled by like tie dyeing or something like that, they would come to me and ask for me to do that same thing for them. So I was in middle school, like charging people $10 to tie tie a pair of jeans. And that’s how I knew it was some type of demand out there. And I just I was able to hold on to that and grow it. As I got older, I always knew I want to be an entrepreneur. And I felt like this was a perfect opportunity.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:23] So then you get to Gesu. How did Gesu help you take your business to a new level?
Alicia Blount: [00:03:31] Oh, my gosh. Yes. So my my major’s entrepreneurship. So entrepreneurship. And then with me wanting to with me doing my best to grow my business, I’m able to connect with my professors who are also entrepreneurs and in the entrepreneurial business ecosystem in Atlanta, just with Main Street, I mean, being connected to being in a network where I can learn from people, I can I can ask people questions about anything business related. It just I’m able to make connections that help me figure things out with yellow blanket and it’s been great even launch GSU, which is a space, it’s an entrepreneurial space where people can go to work on their business. It’s on campus and I’ve met at least three people in that space where that I’m still connected to and I’ve even joined their clubs and their businesses and they’ve helped me think about business strategy, how to market my business. So there’s tons of people out there that that have helped me think about business related things to the yellow blanket. So it’s it’s been great. It’s been great. Dsu offers a lot now.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:56] Any advice for that aspiring entrepreneur out there? It sounds like being an entrepreneur was something you’ve had your eye on for a very long time. But for folks out there that maybe thought they would go a more traditional route, I’m going to get a job. But they have maybe this idea that, hey, maybe this side hustle could turn into something. It would be great if this fell into my lap. How would you advise them when it comes to kind of building a network? Because you talked about your peers were helping you, your professors were helping you. A lot of folks are afraid that people are too busy to answer my question or that person will never talk to me because I might be seen as a competitor or that person, you know, I’m too small for anybody to pay attention to. What would you say to the person who has, you know, a lot of those kind of excuses for not really leveraging their network or expanding their network?
Alicia Blount: [00:05:54] Man. I mean, it’s if you have a dream, you’ve got to go for it. But honestly, I understand that, though, because I have those. I mean, even now, sometimes I have those same feelings of people are too busy or I’m a little too afraid to ask that question. But then I think about where I want to go, what my dream is, what my passion is, what I want to learn. And I’m just like, You know what? Like, I’m just going to act anyway. The worst I can say is No. I always try to position. My thinking is like, what’s the worst that could happen? And when you think about it is really not a lot of bad things that could happen just from asking a question, just from reaching out to somebody. And in all honesty, I feel like a lot of people are looking for ways to help. I mean, we all want to feel needed in some way, in some form. So I feel like that’s a good opportunity for for you to ask the question and for somebody to be able to help you, and then you all will both be fulfilled from it.
Alicia Blount: [00:06:51] But I just I have to say, just go for it. What’s the act yourself? What’s the worst that can happen? And try to remain positive throughout the whole course of you wanting to start a business. So the process of the journey just do your best to stay positive and optimistic. And that mindset is really going to push them one forward, you know, in their in their challenges and their dilemma. Because I work a job, too. I mean, I have a part time job in retail and I’m I’m able to leverage my network of seamstresses that are in-house. But I have to take that leap. I had to take that approach like, hey, can I be can I be in this department? And although it was a little. I may have been fearful, but at the at the end of the day, it’s where it’s what’s getting me to develop stronger alteration in sewing skills for my business. So just you just got to take that leap, you know, sometimes.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:52] Now, how do you handle the time management element of this? Like you said, you’re a student, you’re an entrepreneur. You have another job, you’ve got a lot of plates spinning here. How do you kind of manage your time to make sure that the most important things are getting done and you’re not getting bogged down by just kind of the chaos of the moment?
Alicia Blount: [00:08:11] Yeah. I like to do this thing called like bring out these things in my journals and my planners, just like the big three. So when I think about day by day, my monthly, daily, weekly priorities, what are the big three things I want to accomplish? Because we have we can’t do everything by ourselves right? Or we can’t we can’t do everything, period. We’re going to have to we’re going to have to put something on the back burner or get to something a little later down the line. And so I have a calendar in my room where I put all my monthly activities, things that I have to do. And then I also have a journal where I write down my daily activities. And in all honesty, I can’t I have to remember like I can only handle so much. So my big three right now are my part time job, school, and growing my business, my passion. Those are my big three. So I would it’s it’s all about planning for me. Planning has really saved me a lot of time. It helps me be more productive and it helps it keeps me focused, which is most important right now while I’m juggling these big things is I need to stay focused and I need to make sure the time that I do spend, whether it’s in school with my business, at my job, I need to stay, focus on the tasks that are ahead of me and not get too sidetracked by the outside noise of the world and things like that. So you just got to do your best, man. You just got to do your best. So that’s what I’m trying to do.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:49] Now, what has kind of been the biggest benefit to you from being part of the Main Street Fund? What what kind of lesson or maybe learning have you gotten from being part of that cohort that you think is going to give you the the biggest bang for your buck, the most impact?
Alicia Blount: [00:10:07] Oh, my gosh. Yeah. So it’s it’s amazing how many people we get to meet that are experts in their field. So we recently had a workshop about like financial modeling and accounting in with in Main Street. We receive seed funding for our company and it’s like, okay, well when you get that seed funding, I know for for some of us it’s like this is the first time receiving any type of seed money. I know it was for me, for my business. So it’s like in that particular instance, it was great to have that accounting and financial modeling workshop set up because now I know how to track my numbers and now I know how to manage my money. Where is it going? So that’s a big thing. It’s just like the workshops and the timeliness. It’s growing your business, but then also with growing your business, you’re going to have to take on more responsibility and manage your time a little bit better. So I love the fact that we have workshops with experts that can teach us about many things around entrepreneurship. And I love that I get to that. I get to grow my business with other people as well, with other JSU alumni, with other JSU students. It gives us some type of common ground. And we’re going through we’re going through this journey together. So it’s it’s great to have that group or cohort working together like that. And we also get one on one advisement. We get mentorship that’s very important. We need mentors. We need advisement in order to help guide us, because at certain times it’s hard to know what to do, where to turn. It gets confusing and challenging. We’re facing new things that we’ve never faced before. And so having that advisement, those people, those leaders really help out as well. So it’s it’s a lot of bang for my book. I would say. It’s a lot of bang for our buck.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:14] So so what what do you need more of? How can we help? Is the website live like when people buy things right now? What do you need employees? Do you need more clients? What do you need more of?
Alicia Blount: [00:12:26] You know what? I am growing my email subscription list. I need to I actually have it live on my website right now. I’m I’m transforming my website. It’s yellow blanco and I would love if people were able to follow me on this journey because there’s a lot of changes coming with yellow blanket and I want to have a community of people to follow me along and for me to provide some type of value to them, especially those who are who are interested in sustainability and fashion, but also if anyone is willing to is willing to learn about sewing and if anyone is interested in. Tapping into being a seamstress or tailor. I would love to help because I’m I’m a one man show, you know, and sometimes I need help with production to be more efficient. And if someone is again into sustainability and fashion who’s also interested in becoming a tailor or just developing their sewing skills, then I’m available. Reach out, reach out. And I would love to help them. And they would help me as well. So I would say the yellow blanket email subscription form and also just getting the help of some extra tailors or people who are interested in doing that.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:51] And the website once again is Yellow Blankets.
Alicia Blount: [00:13:54] Co Yes, that’s correct. Yellow Blankets.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:57] Co Well, congratulations on all the success and the momentum you have. Alicia, you’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Alicia Blount: [00:14:05] Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:08] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you next time on GSU. Any radio?
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