Welcome to Maven in the Making, where we’ll be celebrating the young women in our community who are poised to be our future leaders and are already so dang impressive. We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know these special girls as much as we do.
Julia Crook and Kate Jentz, two 12-year-old middle schoolers in Carmel, aren’t taking it easy this summer. In fact, they’ve taken the unique mask-wearing situation we currently find ourselves in and turned it into a business—with a philanthropic twist.
The pair launched Tie Dye Twenty earlier this summer—selling masks, t-shirts, tank tops, and sweatshirts all featuring the super huge tie dye trend. They make each item themselves and donate 20 percent of their earnings to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.
We chatted with Julia and Kate about how they got their start, why it was important to give back to the community, and what advice they have for other young entrepreneurs.
How did you first come up with the idea for Tie Dye Twenty and is this your first business venture? What motivated you to start the company?
Julia: During the quarantine, we bought tie dye supplies for fun, and I have actually always wanted to start a t-shirt business.
Julia & Kate: It’s our first business. We have had plenty of free time and we noticed people in our community needed masks.
How did you decide on your name?
Julia & Kate: We are tie-dyeing fun products and 20 percent goes to charity, so Tie Dye Twenty made sense! We also started it in 2020, so there is a reflection of that too.
Did you always know you wanted to have a charitable aspect?
Kate: Yes. Julia and I decided on Gleaners Food Bank as we know it does so much good in our community.
Tell us about what products you offer.
Julia & Kate: We are making face masks, T-shirts, tank tops, scrunchies, and sweatshirts will be coming soon. The material is all cotton (which accepts the dye best) and of course we pre-wash everything to “set” the dye as well. They’re really soft and the masks are breathable since they’re cotton.
Did you already love doing tie dye? It’s a classic look but also very on trend in fashion right now.
Julia & Kate: Yes, definitely. It’s a bonus that tie dye is popular now too.
How has business been? Do you have a lot of orders?
Julia & Kate: In the first two weeks we had about 50 orders which was an awesome start.
What have been the most fun parts? And the biggest challenges?
Julia & Kate: Tie-dyeing is definitely the most fun. The most challenging part is that business is booming (and it’s summertime), so it can be hard to keep up, but we are working as often as we can.
Do you have any plans or dreams for Tie Dye Twenty’s future?
Julia: The plan is to keep orders coming.
Kate: The dream is to be able to donate $1,000 or more to charity through Tie Dye Twenty.
What do you like to do when you’re not focusing on your business or school, once that starts up again?
Julia: Hanging out with Kate, cheerleading, and making TikTok videos.
Kate: Hanging out with Julia, writing, volleyball, watching movies, acting.
Do you have any idea what you want to do when you grow up?
Julia: I plan to become a doctor.
Kate: I’d like to be an author and actress.
If you could give advice to other young women who might want to start a business, what would it be?
Julia & Kate: Just go for it!! Make sure you have enough startup money to last at least one month. Make sure you have enough supplies to meet the demand. And…PROMOTE! PROMOTE! PROMOTE!
You can place orders for Tie Dye Twenty through their Instagram, @tiedyetwenty.
Abby Gardner is Indy Maven’s executive editor and lifelong tie dye lover.