Black Women Entrepreneurs Series
by Jen Anderson
In many ways, Taylor Barrington was groomed to own her own business from the very start. She found her beginnings as a business owner in middle school, making “blinged bandanas” for her classmates. She’s come a long way since her jewels and bandana days to run her own business, Maverick Hill, a lifestyle empowerment brand for college women.
During her years as an undergraduate at Florida A&M University, Barrington picked up interest in photography and graphic design. After several years of working for others on the corporate side of things, Barrington decided to go to work for herself, and that’s when she created Maverick Hill.
A Madison-based company, Maverick Hill encourages women of all backgrounds to be leaders and history-makers during their time in college. Barrington said the idea for Maverick Hill came from her lack of and need for mentorship during her own years in school.
She wants to provide the resources for college women that she needed herself, including academic tips, internship opportunities and networking.
“If you want to run a business, you have to start by solving your own problems,” Barrington said.
So this is exactly what Barrington did. As she continues to provide mentorship and inspiration for young women through Maverick Hill, Barrington also adds to a rising number: the percentage of businesses independently owned and managed by Black women in the United States.
According to a recent study from Fortune Magazine, the number of businesses owned by Black women has increased by over 300 percent since 1997, and Black women currently own 14 percent of all businesses in the U.S.
Barrington said she’s proud to be one of the women in that statistic.
“What this number really means is that women and millennials in the 21st century really have acknowledged and embraced our ability to offer more than just the precedent,” Barrington said. “We want to have it all.”
Despite minor roadblocks that every entrepreneur experiences when starting their own business, Maverick Hill has support in various forms, according to Barrington.
She said that one of the many resources that helps Maverick Hill on its road to success has been 100State, a collaborative community for entrepreneurs and start-up companies in Madison. The other entrepreneurs that Barrington encounters through 100State continue to inspire her and help her business grow in Madison.
Barrington said it’s important to have support like this in Madison, because the climate of the city greatly differs from Atlanta, GA, the city where she previously lived.
“Atlanta is one of the largest cities for Black women entrepreneurs,” Barrington said.
“I think it’s totally different in Madison. We are certainly the minority. I’m really hoping that Madison’s base changes a little bit with more opportunities for minorities with business.” As Barrington continues to promote the growth and development of her business, she could not speak more highly of the rewarding feelings Maverick Hill gives her on a daily basis. “I think it’s so rewarding being able to wake up every day and have control over your destiny and to be able to inspire young women anywhere,” Barrington said.
For more information, visit http://maverick-hill.com