For Ryan McCoy leading a dual – and very full – life is all in a day’s work.
By day he’s a team leader at the General Motors Orion Assembly plant, and by night, he’s a fashion designer. Assembling cars during working hours and assembling a burgeoning fashion business, Ageless Clothin’, after hours means he’s used to juggling multiple demands.
McCoy, 28, founded the company and runs it with fellow CEOs Dominic Hester and Jesse Mensah. Each one is an equal partner in the business.
He came up with the idea of a fashion business in 2011 after he was laid off.
“We were sitting in my parent’s basement and started coming up with ideas,” he says. “I threw out the idea of a clothing company. Although I’d never talked about it before, I’d always had a love of fashion.”
McCoy was getting antsy without having steady employ and knew he had to do something to generate income.
“We didn’t want to just be out there waiting,” he says of himself and his fellow CEOs.
He was also given a nudge by a former girlfriend, Sara Sellers, also an entrepreneur and owner of the company Awaken Naturals. “She really gave me the motivation I needed,” he says.
The three CEOs agreed to launch the company full force.
“No one was hesitant,” McCoy says. “We wanted to do it, and really create a bonafide business.”
They started taking trips to various cities, like New York and Chicago, to talk to vendors and get familiar with all aspects of the business.
“We really pushed it forward and started coming up with designs. We’ve been running with it ever since,” says McCoy.
The Ageless Clothin’ line, which he says appeals to all ages, comprises 15 to 20 pieces at present. There are joggers, hoodies, athletic shirts, regular T-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, oxfords, jeans, fitted caps, and flat-top baseball bills.
“Age truly is a state of mind,” he says. “You are as young as you feel.”
McCoy, Hester, and Mensah are always designing new items and will make pretty much anything a client wants from babies’ onesies to clothing for charitable causes. They’ve created pieces for Warriors Hope, an organization for veterans coming home from service, and have done pro bono work for Camp Pride, a football camp in Saginaw that helps children take pride in themselves.
McCoy also has the great support of his family, many of whom buy the clothes.
For now, Ageless Clothin’ doesn’t have a brick and mortar presence. The clothing is only available online. Plans for 2018 are to push the designs into boutiques and stores in and out of Michigan and open up a namesake boutique.
“We’ve been looking in Royal Oak and Pontiac,” says McCoy.
As hard as he works to build the clothing business, he won’t give up his day job at Orion Assembly too soon. He works on the line assembling the Bolt and the Sonic at the plant, which is roughly 40 minutes south of Flint. The work gives him the stability and income to pour back into his business.
He is also learning a great deal on a professional and emotional level working on the line and is pouring that knowledge back into his business.
“I’ve learned a lot talking to my team members and engaging in problem solving,” he says. “Communicating with different people helps with my business. Every once in a while you get someone who is unruly. People have bad days.”
McCoy attended Oakland Community College and Oakland University and has a degree in business.
“I thought I’d be a mechanical engineer,” he says. “Now I want to be my own boss.”
McCoy says he is proud of what he’s doing. “Sometimes I feel like if I push harder to get farther along, I’ll get where I want to be.
“After all, it’s more than just clothing,” he says. “Fashion is not just a look. It’s a mindset.”
For more information on, visit agelessclothin.com.
— Top photo: L-R: Ageless Clothin owners Ryan McCoy, Dominic Hester, and Jesse Mensah.