The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com Thursday, February 20, 2014
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Mike Moeller formed the Motivation streetwear brand after graduating from the Ross School of Business and forming a successful online business selling rap mixtapes.
For most people, the words "local boutique"
likely conjure an image of an ambitious, some-
what characteristically feminine, entrepre-
neurial effort - smaller, local, independent
fashion shops for women or high-end stores
for both sexes. One might, then, be surprised to
learn that the store Motivation on South Uni-
versity, with its ominous window mannequins,
sleek modern interior and masculine sensibil-
ity, is also technically a boutique - an indepen-
dent fashion company founded and based solely
in Ann Arbor.
Motivation is owned and operated by Uni-
versity alum Mike Moeller and was opened in
2007 after Moeller graduated from the Ross
School of Business. Originally from Pittsburgh,
Moeller came to Ann Arbor for undergrad as
well, and he met his fianc6e, Indra Lachhman,
with whom he owns and operates the store,
while working as a card swiper at Stockwell pretty much it. American Apparel wasn't even
Hall. around then. ... There were only one or two
Over the summer between undergrad and other stores in Michigan selling the brands that
grad school in 2003, Moeller started an online we were selling."
business selling rap mixtapes, and in four years,
had made enough money from the website - Streetwear: Wherefore art thou so dope?
nearly one million dollars in sales in the last
year alone - to purchase the property he cur- The numerous shelves and racks of attire
rently owns on South U and open Motivation, that envelope you upon entering Motivation are
his envisaged clothing store (and later, fashion pleasantly overwhelming and filled with high-
brand). top shoes, eye-catching shirts and designer
Moeller saw the opportunity to capitalize hats, all of which essentially comprise the fash-
on a largely untouched local market - the sale ion mishmash that is streetwear.
of fashion lines indigenous to Los Angeles and "Streetwear isn't urban; people kind of con-
New York City - so he launched a business sell- fuse it with that," Moeller said, "It's like a mix of
ing streetwear apparel. hip hop, skate, surf, punk rock, high-end influ-
"I just felt like there was nothing like this at ences, and kind of all of that mixed into one."
the time in Ann Arbor," Moeller said. "There
was Bivouac for guys clothes, but that was See MTVTN, Page 4B