GULFPORT, Fla. — A senior at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport is ending his high school career with a new business and his story could inspire the next entrepreneur with a dream.
Malachi McCloud will attend the University of Florida and major in business in the fall, but before then, he has to get through high school graduation. Before even stepping into the "real world," McCloud owns a clothing line that's just shy of two years old.
In 2021, McCloud launched "Dolo Society." The company's slogan is "Making a noise without talking." His streetwear clothing line promotes positive messages for others like him, he said.
The vibe of his clothes is simple, Malachi says, "It's OK to be who you are."
McCloud said his sister, Mysheia Hill, encouraged him to start the business. She gave him $400 to get started and the rest is history.
McCloud invested in a heat-press machine and made the T-shirts himself, Pinellas County Schools said. Now, manufacturing plants in Dubai, Pakistan and China make the clothing for him.
As he began making sales, about 60-75 shirts would sell per week, he said. Within a year, McCloud could barely keep up with orders. Since launching "Dolo Society," he's sold more than 2,500 pieces — and most orders are fulfilled right in his home office.
"I'm speechless when I see people on the street wearing my clothes," he said.
In the future, McCloud hopes to expand his clothing line and branch out internationally.
When he's not creating graphic tees, he also shares his leadership and entrepreneurial skills as a mentor in the 5,000 Role Models program. McCloud also runs track and plays golf for Boca Ciega High School.