By Jessica Rodrigo
Victoria Advocate, Texas.
Not many students can say they launched their own business during summer break.
But 21-year-old Lily Patterson will be able to boast and brag as she launched Matriarch Movement in May.
The business will provide a networking opportunity and clothing brand for women pioneers in their fields.
“I’ve been surrounded by women who are making it for themselves,” Patterson said. “I’m trying to take this and show off the ladies who are powerful and doing amazing things.”
As a product of sharing phenomena on social media and constant bombardment of storytelling and marketing, Patterson wanted to build a business that showcased what women are doing in their respective industries and inspire other women to do the same.
Using the Internet as the doorstep to her office, she wants her business to have a boundless approach to telling the stories of up-and-coming women across the country and eventually globally.
“I want to inspire women who are chasing their dreams,” she said.
Patterson encourages people to make suggestions on her website for interviews and features, as well as use it to network with other like-minded professionals.
The other side of her business encompasses a clothing line she hopes will serve as a brand that gives women the confidence to further the empowerment of women.
Her mom, grandmother and sisters, were strong influences for the brand, she said: Her mom, Tonja Patterson, is the owner of The Prickly Pear Cafe catering company.
“Our grandmother, she always kept us all together. With the movement, we are trying to do the same thing by supporting each other in this network,” Lily Patterson said.
Another Victoria business woman, Cindy Hicks Rodriguez attended the kickoff event for Matriarch Movement. She also mentored Patterson on her line of tops, pants and shorts for the brand.
“She’s so focused,” Rodriguez, 54, said about Patterson’s designs. “She has a really good eye and sense of what she wants.”
The pair started collaborating in February to get the line ready for the launch. Rodriguez’s connections to the design industry in New York has given Patterson access to textiles and manufacturing.
As a veteran of the fashion industry, she said seeing Patterson driven to bring something new to Victoria is refreshing.
“There is a need to always push and promote women,” Rodriguez said. “It’s still a man’s world out there.”
On a table in the center of the room, Patterson took her cue as entrepreneur to talk to guests as they thumbed through the look books.
“It’s a unique style,” Patterson said. “It’s a celebration of being a matriarch.”
The Texas A&M University architect student used her skills to design a line she hopes women can wear with pride and bring style to the Crossroads.
Continuing the matriarch role, Patterson enlisted the help of her sisters to host the social event where they took photos with an oversized Instagram frame with hashtags corresponding with the brand.
Sydney Patterson, 17, said watching her oldest sister evolve into a business owner was exciting. She plans to join Lily Patterson as she travels around the country to tell the stories of other women in hopes to inspire others to do the same.
“It’s a perfect position for her. She’s very independent and outgoing,” Sydney said.
As the launch party continued and more women filed through the doors of the Patterson home, the young businesswoman filled out order after order from the Matriarch Movement line.
“Even if tomorrow it fails, this isn’t about me, but about women,” Patterson said.