BYU freshman, entrepreneur runs clothing company

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Mia Schank poses in her Helaman Halls dorm, where she does most of her design work for Dandy Worldwide. Schank started the company in 2021 with her brother, Kian. (Abigail Gunderson)

BYU freshman Mia Schank is learning to balance college classes, homework and a social life — all while running a clothing company.

Mia started clothing company Dandy Worldwide with her brother Kian in 2021. Since moving from California to Utah for school, she continues to expand Dandy’s reach on top of a full class schedule and college life.

Mia had been building up to creating a clothing brand for a while, her brother Kian said, and with businesses moving online during the pandemic, Mia decided there was no time like the present.

“Dandy’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Mia said, “but I always lacked the confidence.” Starting a business can be daunting, Mia said, especially in high school.

“It was really hard at first just because I think putting yourself out there is hard as a high schooler,” she said. As a college student, putting herself out there has not gotten easier, she added. It may never, but that is being an entrepreneur.

Dandy Worldwide began on Instagram and has since expanded to TikTok and its own website. Mia said building a brand on social media without her own experience or that of a mentor was not always easy.

“I wish the advice I was given was to like you’re going to have to put yourself out there and it’s not going to be easy,” she said. “I’ve kind of had to learn how to do it on my own.”

Her older brother Kian, who has been involved since the start said it felt like a fun project at the beginning — something to build Mia’s resume and get the creative juices flowing.

“We just felt like, you know, sky is the limit,” Kian said. “But I don’t think we really actually saw things taking off, to be honest.”

A year or so later, Dandy Worldwide has taken off and Mia and Kian work together to keep the brand running and growing, looking forward to taking it to new heights.

Kian called his sister “the creative gatekeeper” of Dandy Worldwide. While he helps with managerial tasks like taxes, he said Mia is “the boss.”

Schank displays one of Dandy Worldwide’s popular sweatshirts, which reads “I need space.” Schank says Dandy Worldwide seeks to produce high-quality embroidered outerwear. (Abigail Gunderson)

Being “the boss” of a company is not exactly a casual addition to a college freshman’s life. Mia said finding balance between her business and her student life has been a big learning curve.

“In the beginning it was hard to manage my social life, my classes, and running a business, but I think it’s helped me understand my time management better and what overwhelms me more,” she said. “I’ve been able to figure that out and find a balance between them all.”

Mia and Kian are continuing to grow alongside their business, adapting to newer and bigger challenges as the brand expands.

“I think that’s been the most stressful part for us is like, as we get as we add new products, new SKUs, we start to realize like, ‘Oh, it’s not as simple as before,'” Kian said.

Dandy Worldwide’s slogan is “Your new favorite hoodie.” With that in mind, Mia said they focus on quality, embroidered clothing that will last years. (Abigail Gunderson)

Kian said their current focus is growing “at a healthy pace.” Holly Schank, Kian’s wife, has had a front row seat to the entire process. She sees the siblings working together to figure out the business step by step and growing with the company.

“It’s a different mindset now,” Holly said. “Now it’s like, ‘Oh, this is like, working.'”

Of all the words that could describe her journey as an entrepreneur, Mia chose “exciting.”

“It’s honestly super fun working for myself and having my own income,” she said. “I dread the idea of working a nine to five so I think it’s fun to use my creativity and put it to something that I like.”

Mia shows off a Dandy Worldwide hoodie with embroidered flowers in the pocket. Dandy Worldwide focuses on quality, embroidered clothing that will last years. (Abigail Gunderson)
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