Some folks baked sourdough bread, others learned TikTok dances, this mother-daughter team of entrepreneurs featuring George School student Maya Cockburn ’22 built The Culture Campus, LLC while quarantined last year. The company creates “conversation piece” apparel, hosts virtual/in-person events, and uses global resources to analyze dialogue around the layers and intersections of Black excellence.
“Our mission is to accurately represent the beautiful, rich complexity of Black identity,” Maya said. “The three of us create apparel that highlights the Black experience to inspire and acknowledge our people.”
Wanting to make their time together in lockdown as productive as possible, the Cockburn family figured creating The Culture Campus would be a great opportunity to spend quality time together as a family, learn new skills, continue building a legacy, and create generational wealth during a time of such uncertainty. Maya noted, “The idea to start The Culture Campus came shortly before George Floyd was killed.”
The women were in the brainstorming process at the time of George Floyd’s death and decided to launch the company with the “Not Your Next Hashtag” t-shirt and hoodie. “The attention we got from this was amazing.”
As The Culture Campus has grown in sales, Maya’s role in the business progressed. At first, she started with production and design and now has moved into managing their social media accounts.
“The main thing I have learned from the experience is how to manage my time,” Maya reflected. “Having to adapt to learning online because of the pandemic was already hard enough for me, but then as the business started to grow I had to learn to take some time for myself and my mental health so that I would not burn out.”
Being a business owner has come with some teachable moments for Maya. “I had to respond to many hateful comments with respect, to uphold my image as an entrepreneur.” She said, “Being more open-minded allowed me to encourage dialogue around our products as some may be controversial to some people.”
Check out The Culture Campus here.