Matt Hodges attended Minnesota Business Venture as a rising senior at Chanhassen High School hoping to explore his interest in business during the summer of 2015. His one week at MBV led him down the business path and helped him eventually create his own business during his freshman year at Iowa State University.
Mill City Made was founded in January 2017 right out of Matt’s dorm room. After seeing many of his peers wearing state pride apparel at college, he had the idea of creating a hat representing state pride. His business carries a variety of Minnesota-themed hats and visors and has rapidly gained popularity among customers.
The business plan at MBV, along with his high school classes, exposed Matt to the management side of business and sparked his interest to double major in management with an entrepreneur track and supply chain management. Matt is currently a sophomore studying abroad this semester.
While Matt would have more free time if he worked somewhere else, he thrives on keeping busy (plus, he loves being self-employed). Matt also credits his friends for their assistance in creating Mill City Made. When asked for his advice to a young entrepreneur, Matt replied, “Don’t wait for someone else to do it,” for Matt was inspired to create his business when he couldn’t find any hats showcasing state pride and decided to take on the challenge himself.
In the future, Matt has plans to expand his business to other states, as he’s already been receiving orders for more than 1,000 hats. Mill City Made hats are currently being sold at retail locations all around Minnesota or are available for purchase online as unisex and one-size-fits-most. You can learn more about the products here.
If you are a former Minnesota Business Venture student who started a business and are interested in BestPrep featuring you, share your story with us.