The College of Business and Public Management is just one of the several colleges that Kean University has to offer. Within their walls, are students like Hassan Mahmood, a current marketing major who splits his time between classes and work to build up his very own business, Wild Lands, a clothing company currently located in Union, New Jersey.
Born in Pakistan, Mahmood and his family moved to the United States in 2003 when he was five-years-old. Mahmood recalled not feeling very welcome, both in the United States and when he visited back home after coming to America permanently. This feeling of being disconnected from both people in America and back home is what lead Mahmood to create Wild Lands.
"I just want to make a brand that's just for people who feel like they're outcasts [or] the in-betweeners because that's how I felt. That's why the brand is called Wild Lands, because when I came to the US I didn't feel like I was accepted and when I went back home they [would say] 'oh look at this American.' You're just in the middle," said Mahmood.
Mahmood made Wild Lands a place for people who felt like they could not completely fit in everywhere. On the Wild Lands website, they display clothing items such as t-shirts, hoodies and sweatpants that represent the nature of belonging to more then one group through things like camouflage designs or smiling skulls with the name of the company written on top of them. Wild Lands has a place to call it's own now on this website, but getting to this point was not easy for Mahmood.
When Mahmood first began dreaming of becoming a designer during his junior year of high school, he wanted to design for others. As time passed, he realized it would be better to start his own business and work for himself, so that way he would have something to pass down for generations.
Currently, Mahmood runs Wild Lands with his younger brother. They have been working together since high school, but now that the two are in college, Mahmood says it can be challenging to work on the business and take classes.
"It's basically [like] trying to ride a horse [when] you don't know how to ride a horse. [For the past] two nights I haven't slept. I was editing photos. I started at 8 p.m. and then I didn't stop editing, until two in the morning.... There's no sleep. It's utter chaos and I love every minute of it," said Mahmood.
Mahmood's advice for anyone looking to follow a similar path to his is to be patient. He began working on his business three years ago in 2016 and from that time he has learned the importance of perseverance and being patient for what is to come.
Mahmood also promotes the importance of helping fellow artists be seen. He spoke often about wanting to help other New Jersey artists and artists at Kean get noticed. Some of Mahmood's plans include speaking with whoever he can to possibly bring a fashion show, concert or any other event to Kean University to show the community's talent.
For anyone interested in Mahmood or his company Wild Lands, they can visit his website WildlandUS.com.