UNA Pressroom

Local Entrepreneur Featured On National Morning News Program

Dec. 04, 2018

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, Ala.- Friday's Good Morning America Steals and Deals segment showcased eco-friendly gifting options for the upcoming holiday season. Among the 16 highlighted products, Luxe Brand Luxury Shoelaces were featured. These high-end leather athletic shoe accessories are the brainchild of recent University of North Alabama College of Business graduate Ryan Mason. Mason, who in addition to developing the shoelace company also serves as the CEO of Bizz Buzz Digital, remained diligent and consistent in growing his companies before graduating last year with a degree in Professional Finance. He took advantage of UNA's Innovation Engineering coursework, the student start-up Generator program and club, as well as University sponsored Shoals Shift ideation contests such as Shoals Idea Audition and Shoals Alabama Launchpad. After graduation, Mason has stayed involved with the College of Business by acting as a mentor for Smart Start Weekend and the Institute Fellows program. "Ryan has kept his eye on the prize and this is evident with the success of Luxe Brand," says Mitch Hamm, Generator Director. "We are proud to be his alma mater, to have had the opportunity to support him in his education, and to now watch his success after graduation." Mason remarks, "Being featured on Good Morning America's Deals and Steals is one of many milestones for the Luxury Shoelace company. The laces have been worn by American rap artists such as Dj Khaled and Kevin Gates, numerous NFL and MLB players such as Antonio Brown and Marquise Goodwin, and actors, models, shoe fanatics, and major brands have adopted the style." Mason plans to continue his efforts to grow and expand his vision into a locally-based international corporation. Luxe Brands is following the mission of the Shoals Shift movement who partners with UNA, The Shoals Chamber, and the Shoals Business Incubator to develop local talent and retain them to help grow the entrepreneurial spirit of the Shoals area. Shoals Shift is partially funded by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. For more information on efforts to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Shoals, visitwww.shoalsshift.com. -30- UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programsthrough the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business,Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing.Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. UNA Athletics, a renownedcollegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I's ASUN and Big South Conferences.The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age or national origin. https://www.una.edu/