Published on April 9, 2021
Updated on April 12, 2021
For graduates of MU’s Trulaske College of Business, running a profitable company isn’t new. However, the difference between those graduates and Brooks Scholar Marcos Feliciano is that he didn’t wait until graduation to jumpstart his business.
Marcos, a sophomore Brooks Scholar majoring in Business Finance, turned his interest in clothing and fashion into a source of income. In October 2020, He opened an online shop for vintage clothing on Depop, called Cos’ Closet. Depop is an app that allows users to buy and sell clothing and other items remotely.
Before starting his Depop, Marcos wasn’t a huge fan of his job. When he and a friend started talking about thrift shopping, Marcos realized there was a way to make money while enjoying his work.
“We were like, ‘Why don’t we just buy this stuff and then try to sell it for money because we know it has value greater than what we can get it at?’” Marcos said. “It’s a good way to upcycle clothing because clothing is the most over-donated thing that goes into thrift stores.”
Soon, Marcos found himself shopping at local thrift stores, second-hand shops, and other vintage clothing shops searching for items to add to his store. It didn’t take long for business to boom. In just six months since launching Cos’ Closet, Marcos has over 15 thousand followers on his Depop had sold over one thousand items.
With nearly 200 orders a month, Marcos has found that his shop is a great companion to his business education.
“What I’m focusing on right now and what I’m going to focus on in my future kind of bridges the gap between studying something because you’re interested in it and studying something because you’re doing it,” Marcos said.
For Marcos, this is a career path, but for his mother, Lisa Feliciano, it’s proof of the dedication he’s always had. Whether it’s collecting toys as a child, becoming a Brooks Scholar or creating a business, if Marcos has a goal, he is determined to achieve it.
“He’s always kept pushing forward on to the next ‘what can I do? How can I make it better?’” Lisa said. “He’s built his business, from just taking pictures of his clothes on our back deck, to painting and creating his own backgrounds to purchasing a label printer to make things more efficient.”
Despite taking all his courses remotely due to COVID-19, Marcos has found a way to gain hands-on experience that will help shape his future. From his family home in St. Louis, Marcos set up a space to buy, market and sell vintage clothing to people across the nation.
While Marcos’ profitable business has allowed him to leave behind his old job and make great strides, he still finds support from his scholarship and the Center for Academic Success & Excellence.
“Just through being a Brooks scholar, we’ve had a lot of speakers come in and talk about performing in the business world and how to you expand your network,” Marcos explained. “I can afford to take classes at Mizzou because of my CASE scholarship. And without that, I wouldn’t have been able to take the classes that I’m in now that are helping me gain more knowledge and skills that helped me grow and cultivate my business in the most effective way.”
According to his mother, the Brooks Scholarship is what directed Marcos’ focus toward MU.
“I’m not quite sure that Mizzou would have been on our radar had it not been for the scholarship, Lisa said. “But, he really went for it. And he did it, he was really adamant about getting a business degree from Mizzou, he didn’t want to just go to any college. And him receiving that scholarship, that’s what sealed the deal.”
Both Marcos and his mother are grateful of the support from the CASE office. The Brooks Scholarship gave Marcos enough financial security to have the option to pursue his business idea. Financial support and getting to hear from industry professionals isn’t the only thing CASE has to offer students like Marcos.
“CASE is an outstanding support network,” Marcos said. “Anything you come to with them, they’re going to help you and they’re going to facilitate your growth as best they can. I’ve seen nothing but support and motivation from the people. I’m connected with CASE, it’s a great group to be a part of.”
With a scholarship and a successful business to add to his resume, Marcos has turned his interest in fashion into a sustainable business. However, he wants Cos’ Closet to turn into something much bigger. While the pandemic has brought some uncertainty into the timeline of the shop, Marcos wants to expand his online presence and possibly open a storefront in the future.
Between his family and the CASE office offering help and support, Marcos is flourishing in a career doing what he loves, and he hasn’t even graduated college yet.