WYBC & Yale University salute MINI PNG

WYBC & Yale University salute MINI PNG

Name: Eiress Hammond

Business Name: MINI PNG, 77 Audubon Street, New Haven

Year Business was started in New Haven:

2022 – storefront

2019 – started making clothing online

Why did you start your own business?:

In 2019 as an 18-year-old, I was going to college for pre law in a whole different state! (Ohio State University) and I felt like the creative side of me was missing that had always been a part of me. In HS I wanted to go to college for fashion design after studying abroad in high school in Europe and getting inspired by fashion in general. BUT I wanted to go to college in NYC. I was told by my HS counselor that the field held no income for me. So, I went for my plan B major which was prelaw. I came back home transferring colleges after my first semester in Ohio trying to figure myself out after a horrible personal experience. I started making clothing and selling it online for fun and for extra money since I couldn’t hold a job with the prelaw program I was in. My designs went viral, and I took a step back from college in 2020 during the pandemic to really focus on what I loved.

Why did you choose to start your business in New Haven?:

My family is from New Haven! My Abuela immigrated from Puerto Rico – Brooklyn with family merging into New Haven. My grandmother went to ACES as a kid and the location of my shop with ACES being right next door was a full circle moment!

What challenges did you have to overcome in starting your business?:

One of my biggest challenges was dropping college. I’m a first gen student in my family (only child) and it was very pushed on me to be the one to follow the road to success “the right way.” I’ve always had support from my family, but it was more of an internal battle and the overall fear of failure/ that what if aspect of veering off the path that’s expected.