'It's like the best time of my life. I'm 61 now. I've never been as happy in my life,' she said. 'Age is nothing but a number.'
When it came time to put his accessory line out into the world, designer Travis Terry didn't have to look far for a face that would most authentically represent him and his work. His mom, Laverne Terry, was the obvious choice. It all started when the 23-year-old was a student at Clark Atlanta University, reports TODAY. Terry was getting ready for a spring break trip when he realized he didn’t have a bag to take with him. However, what the business major did have was a refund check from his student loans and an idea. "(Suddenly, I thought), 'I'm starting my own business, and I'm trying to create bags,'" he shared.
Terry worked at a local deli to save up enough to make his dream come true and soon saw his business, IEMBE—inspired by the phrase "in my bag"—take off as he started designing and manufacturing his own bags. "When you say the name, IEMBE, you’re saying those letters, I-M-B. And the meaning is really just trying to motivate and let other people know to be confident in themselves, get to the bag, which means get money, and just go in and grind and focus," he explained. Through it all, his biggest cheerleader was his mother Laverne who said she couldn't be prouder of her son.
"The neighborhood we came from, the kids that he grew around, a lot of them don't make it out," she said, noting that drugs and shootings take place in their neighborhood on a regular basis. Although Terry initially used his sister as his model, when she was unavailable for a photo shoot one day, he asked his mom instead. The shoot—inspired by rapper Cardi B—quickly went viral on social media platforms Laverne became an overnight sensation despite having no prior modeling experience. Since becoming the face of IEMBE, the 61-year-old has gained quite a following for her fierce modeling skills and even made it onto a billboard in Times Square.
"It's like the best time of my life. I'm 61 now. I've never been as happy in my life," she said. "Age is nothing but a number." Terry admitted that building his business with his mother by his side means a lot to him as he lost his dad shortly after graduating. "That was another reason why I wanted to do it, because I feel like I wanted to change the narrative of honoring your parents," he said. The sky's the limit for this mother-son duo and they're excited to see where the journey takes them. "It’s a pinch-me moment, but it’s kind of like, I need somebody else to pinch me, right?" the budding entrepreneur said.