Ilitch School Student Brooklynn Jackson begins fashion line while studying at home during the pandemic

Four women sitting together on a blanket
Form Fit Clothing

When Mike Ilitch School of Business marketing senior Brooklynn Jackson graduated high school, it wasn’t the joyous celebration she had been expecting. 

“I was in school in March, and they told us we’re going to have to stay closed for a week, and basically I never went back to high school at all, never had a graduation or a prom,” said Jackson. “That really put things into perspective for me. You have all this time until you have no time at all.” 

Finding herself suddenly finished with high school, and with the world on pause Jackson was able to devote her time to building and growing a business she started years ago. 

Beginnings of an enterprise 

Two women sitting together on a news program
Jackson was interviewed on WJBK 

A Detroit native, Jackson had always planned on following in her parent’s footsteps as an entrepreneur. She grew up watching her dad run a successful construction company and her mom a salon. The salon is also where Jackson got her start. 

“I started selling hair extensions and had really great results. I ended up growing into selling shampoo and conditioner, and kept adding on products,” explained Jackson. “I saved a lot of money from selling these products by just being focused because I had nothing else to do but to push, push, push.” 

As her business grew, Jackson was unsure of her next steps. While she had a successful enterprise, she still had a lot of questions about what she was doing and why. 

“My business was doing so well but I did have a lot of uncertainties about it. At this point I was doing the work, and I was getting great results, but if someone asked me how I did it, I wouldn’t have been able to tell them,” said Jackson. “I heard that the Ilitch School was a tremendous business school, so I thought they would give me the answers that I needed and help me further my business.” 

A passion for fashion 

Taking classes remotely and spending a lot more time at home during the pandemic gave Jackson another idea, to expand her business beyond wigs and extensions and into clothing. 

“I love lounge wear clothes. It’s so affordable and essential to your wardrobe,” said Jackson. “Around this time, I also received a scholarship and went to a banquet to accept the award. I met some really important people and pitched them my business idea, and I received a grant for my business. 

“I took the money from my grant and used it to invest in my new business venture, and boom! I went back with these results and after six months of progress I got another grant. So, at this point, Form Fit Clothing really started to blossom.” 

Woman wearing a matched sweatshirt and sweatpants
"Bubbled Sweatsuit" from Form Fit Clothing

Form Fit Clothing grew quickly, and Jackson found herself filling a lot of orders. Her struggle to keep up with an ever-mounting backlog of orders was exacerbated by a viral social media campaign that sold her out of all inventories as soon as she dropped her first batch of clothing.

“My dad and I were packing 200 orders as fast as we could, and they were just constantly coming for five to six months,” explained Jackson. “A lot of people don’t talk about the downside to viralness and trends, but one of the biggest hurdles that I faced is once the hype died down, I had to go back and build those foundations. When I did go viral, I was not ready for it, and I lost a lot of money and then ended up sitting on inventory.” 

Despite this, Jackson pushed through these challenges to continue growing her business, develop a mission, and expand her line of offerings to include all body types. 

“I try to be as inclusive as possible,” said Jackson. “I’m working on a plus-sized line right now because I want everyone to be able to fit into my clothing. I am striving to make sure that I’m taking care of the needs of the people that support my brand.” 

Building her future at the Ilitch School 

Jackson was tackling these challenges head on while attending classes online at the Ilitch School. The wealth of knowledge provided by her professors helped her to solidify her business practices. 

“Just being knowledgeable about things like accounting and management has helped.” said Jackson. “My classes have helped me be aware of the things that are going on in business. My life experience on top of that knowledge will continually keep me on my toes.” 

While she is pushing for her business to succeed, Jackson is taking advantage of other opportunities the Ilitch School provides, including the faculty who have real world experience running businesses, and building careers. 

“One of my teachers last semester, Andrea Tangari, was one of the people who really took the initiative and helped me with things outside of the classroom,” explained Jackson. “She helped me with my resume, and put the idea into my head that yes, I have a business, but what else do I have? What is going to help me in the long run.” 

Tangari’s encouragement helped Jackson seek out an internship for credit during her senior year. 

“I’m working at MGM Grand Detroit doing marketing and special events,” said Jackson. “Getting real life experience is super helpful because on my resume I only have my business on it. This is something that has helped me to see what multi-million-dollar companies do.” 

As she continues to grow, Jackson will not forget where she came from as she keeps her eyes on where she is going.  

“A lot of people have had an impact everywhere I went. My mom, my dad, my family and everywhere I’ve stepped in my life including Cass Tech and the Ilitch School,” said Jackson.

-Patrick Bernas, Information Officer III
The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business prepares students for challenging and rewarding careers, advances the boundaries of scholarly and practitioner knowledge, and enhances the economic vitality of the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and beyond through its programs, research and community engagement. Established in 1946, the business school was renamed in 2015 in recognition of a $40 million gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch. Thanks to this lead investment, the school moved to a new state-of-the-art building in the heart of the District Detroit in 2018, and academic programming and collaboration with city businesses are expanding. For more information, visit

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