Career development / Entertainment / Entrepreneurs / Retail / Small businesses

This Philly entrepreneur won a $100k deal with Macy’s on the premiere of ‘America’s Big Deal’

The former electrical engineer-turned-founder will work with the retailer to sell her signature backpack in stores.

Sherrill Mosee (center) on "America's Big Deal." (Photo by Ralph Bavaro/USA Network)

Sherrill Mosee, a former electrical engineer from Philadelphia, won $100,000 on the premiere of “America’s Big Deal,” a new “shoppable” competition series on USA Network.

The show, which airs Thursdays at 9 p.m., prompts entrepreneurs from across the country to sell their products on-air to viewers at home in real time. Entrepreneurs bring ready-to-ship products with them to the show, and each week the person with the highest dollar amount in sales by the end of the night wins a chance to make a deal with one of the show’s retail giants: QVC, HSN, Lowe’s or Macy’s.

Mosee was crowned the winning entrepreneur for selling out her product, the MinkeeBlue Mariah backpack, last Thursday. She won the highest dollar amount in sales during the show’s buying window, and is in the process of working out a $100,000 order with Macy’s to sell her products in stores, she told this week.

Mosee started her career as an electrical engineer after earning a degree at the University of Maryland College Park, and then moving to Philadelphia to work for Lockheed Martin. She earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Drexel University as well, but after being laid off in the early ’90s, Mosee began work on a nonprofit that helped working moms pay for childcare.

The entrepreneur — who is a mother herself — spent about a decade working on the nonprofit while she got the idea for her current business. She, like many other women, had a lot of experience toting around multiple bags in order to keep all of her work, kid and personal items with her at all times.

“Me and all these other moms that I was working with were always carrying their diaper bags along with their book bags,” the founder said. “And then I would look around on the train and there’s tons of other women carrying two to three bags with them at all times.”

Watch Mosee’s pitch to the retailers below:

The founder launched MinkeeBlue in 2014 and spent years researching and joining entrepreneurship groups, including the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator, to teach herself business building skills. The company now offers a host of backpacks, tote bags and other accessories. Mosee said she believes that her engineering background helped in the design of the Mariah backpack, which has a middle shelf that gives the bag its signature structure and support to have separate compartments.

“Solving that problem was definitely using the thinking process of an engineer,” she said.

Mosee heard about the show through an email and applied not knowing what to expect. And she had no idea she would be walking away as a winner, with more publicity for her product and a deal with Macy’s.

“I think about everything I’ve gone through, failures, tears, wanting to give up,” Mosee said. “And I had this awesome opportunity. I encourage every entrepreneur who is going through it to hold on and give it your all.”

And watch Mosee make that sweet deal with Macy’s:

Companies: Drexel University / Philadelphia Fashion Incubator

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