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Following the Steps of Her Mother, Ole Miss Grad Expands Fashion Brand

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Haisten Hardin said she has learned through her design collection that people are proud to show their roots. Photo courtesy of Haisten Harden.

Where one plants seeds, roots are bound to grow and help develop personal growth. For one Ole Miss graduate, her roots spread across a vast region of the South.

Haisten Hardin, born in Birmingham, Alabama, has planted her roots in several states but moved to Oxford when she was 5 years old. While in the midst of third grade, Hardin and her mother moved to Savannah, Georgia where her mother pursued a master’s degree in fashion design from Savannah College of Art and Design.

“I went to bed every night hearing the sewing machine,” Hardin said.

Upon graduation from high school, Hardin returned to one of her favorite places where she had planted one of her roots—Oxford. She graduated from Ole Miss in May 2018 and decided to expand another root to Austin, Texas, where she now works for Native Expertianal Hostil.

While attending Ole Miss, Hardin decided to follow her mother’s footsteps in fashion design. Her mother, who owns an original clothing line in New York City, had been selling beanies with personalized locations stitched to the front such as “Mi$$i$$ippi.” Hardin began to take over the concept and started creating personalized beanies for her friends and classmates at the university, dubbing the brand “$how Your Root$.”

Hardin was outsourcing the materials from three different companies; however, once she moved to Austin, the brand began to expand beyond what she could have imaged. Recently she has been working with a local Austin company where she has condensed her sources into one place. She said the company she now works with allows her to create her line into one spot.

Within three days of revamping the design process, Hardin had already received approximately 43 orders, she said.

The brand might be in the early stages, but Hardin said she envisions expanding it on a larger scale. She has currently been picked up by Nashville-based store Dsquared for wholesale with other stores showing interest including one in Oxford.

Hardin has recently revamped her brand’s logo to effectively display her concept. Image courtesy of Haisten Harden.

Hardin said she would love to expand the concept from beanies to crop tops and even denim jackets.

The dollar sign design is solely for the edginess, she said, and the concept reflects simplicity within the culture of design esthetic.

From Savannah to Mississippi, Hardin said she has even received orders from New Orleans where customers requested a patch that reads, “NOLA.”

Stuck in her room for nearly 48 hours, the pressure for success in the business became overwhelming, Hardin said. She sought out advice from her mother who has had much experience in the realm of fashion.

Hardin said her mother told her to simplify the options customers could choose from in order to maintain an effective but efficient business. Now, Hardin provides fewer design options for customers but maintains the same aesthetic she sought out from the beginning—the pride of displaying one’s roots.

“I’ve learned that people do care where they are from,” Hardin said.

For those interested in ordering a “$how Your Root$” beanie, orders can be placed through show_your_roots Instagram direct message.

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