When Alicia Blount was a young girl, her grandmother gave her a yellow blanket. That beloved blanket remained a constant over the years. So, when it came time to name her textile upcycling business, there was only one name to choose.
“I’ve used that yellow blanket in so many ways, and that’s exactly what I want to do with these repurposed pieces,” Blount said. “I want to extend the lifecycle of textiles, enabling people to make new memories with old pieces.”
Blount has been an entrepreneur since childhood. She started by selling potato chips in class, then upgraded to bleaching old jeans for friends before founding Yellow Blanket. By upcycling used clothes and textiles, Blount is supporting her mission to reduce waste in landfills.
Blount found her academic home at the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute in the Robinson College of Business. In fact, the entrepreneurship program was a major reason she chose to attend Georgia State.
“When I found out about Robinson’s entrepreneurship program, which not many schools offer, it was a no-brainer,” she said. “Also, my grandfather, Dr. David Blount, earned his master’s and Ph.D. from Georgia State, so I have a sentimental attachment to the university.”
Blount was intentional about spending time on campus and becoming part of the Robinson community. She credits her professors, classmates and guest speakers for creating a warm and supportive environment that helped her thrive.
In April, Blount was selected to join the third cohort of the prestigious Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund (MSESF), part of Georgia State’s effort to create an inclusive ecosystem to nurture entrepreneurs and innovators. MSESF is a six-month program created to support underrepresented students, recent alumni, and Georgia State community entrepreneurs with seed funding and mentorship to start and grow new ventures.
“Those six months were amazing,” Blount said. “As a creative person, I used to struggle with the financial and analytical side of owning my business, but the workshops and mentoring were life-changing. It was like getting that missing piece of a puzzle that finally makes the picture whole.”
With the seed funding, Blount grew Yellow Blanket into a full-fledged business. She invested in equipment that made the production process more efficient and purchased patterns that expanded her merchandise.
Blount plans to stay busy after graduating this December with her B.B.A. in entrepreneurship. She is currently participating in a tailoring apprenticeship program through Nordstrom’s alterations department. She also will dedicate more time to growing Yellow Blanket. And she will remain connected to Georgia State by staying involved in the university’s Sustainability Initiatives, where she has been a student assistant.
Per Blount, a guest speaker from her WomenLead in Entrepreneurship class offered the most valuable advice so far: “She said, ‘If it makes sense to you, it makes sense.’ That sentiment, and Robinson and Georgia State in general, have given me so much confidence and motivation to grow Yellow Blanket to its full potential,” Blount said.