Left to right: Professor Sarah Castle; Mimi Striplin ’14, owner of The Tiny Tassel; Johnny Caldwell ‘08 and Taneka Reaves ‘11, co-owners, Cocktail Bandits; Professor Dave Wyman; Professor Lancie Affonso; Kenny Ridgell ‘14, owner, Ridge Media

This semester, the ENTR 200 (Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice) Speaker Series has hosted several engaging entrepreneurs to speak to students at the College of Charleston School of Business. Recently, some of the College’s very own returned to campus to share their stories and wisdom as part of the Alumni Entrepreneurship Panel. Though each panelist may share a common alma mater, the careers they embarked on and the lessons they learned along the way differed in the most exciting ways.

Mimi Striplin ‘14 (corporate communication) is now the owner of The Tiny Tassel, located a short distance from campus. The women and global majority-led jewelry, clothing, and accessories brand was inspired by the vibrant colors of Charleston, SC. “There’s a tassel for everyone!” shared Striplin as she encapsulated the meaning of her brand – to provide uniquely beautiful apparel to all women. 

Johnny Caldwell ‘08 and Taneka Reaves ‘11 — both political science majors — met their first year of college and now own Cocktail Bandits, a lifestyle brand that provides a feminine and urban perspective in the spirits industry. You do not want to miss the dynamic duo, as they spend their time educating and entertaining their growing blog audience by sharing original cocktail recipes, promoting the craftsmanship of other bar professionals, and sharing their experiences at events all around the world.

Kenny Ridgell ‘14 (business administration) shared his entrepreneurial experience as the owner of Ridge Media, a digital marketing company specializing in every aspect of content creation, from web development to marketing and branding. Ridgell founded the company during his senior year at the College and has used various digital marketing strategies, tools, and techniques to grow his business over the past nine years. He shared that his company stands out by curating high-level content in line with the brand identity and maintaining a positive and genuine relationship with each partner.