Sophia Isom


Olivia Hufford, Staff writer

Many believe that success and inspiration are the product of adventurous endeavors, contemplative realizations, or revelatory interactions with strangers. But, for Sophia Isom, it all started from the comfort of her living room couch.

“It’s kind of a weird story,” Isom said with a laugh. “My mom and I were sitting on the couch [. . .] watching Pretty Little Liars. We started talking and I said, ‘I want to do something—I want to start having a productive hobby.’”

It was this simple conversation that was the foundation of Isom’s business, “Hoop & Tied,” her entrepreneurial venture that will reach its two-year anniversary this April 2021.

A born leader, Isom has been a member of the Highland Student Government for the past three years. She is currently Senior Class President and a student officer for the state of Utah. It is no surprise that her skills as a leader have led to her successful beginnings at the head of her entrepreneurship.

As an only child who loves to bake, Isom’s inspiration behind the business came as she contemplated ideas for harnessing productivity and her unique innovativeness. It wasn’t long before she decided upon a DIY business idea, making scrunchies, which fit those qualifications perfectly.

“My grandma, who lives in Iowa, [is] a really big sewer. I went out there for spring break that year and she taught me how to sew,” Isom said.

Excited to start this new enterprise, Isom started working immediately upon her arrival home. While working to build inventory, she started using a wide variety of materials.

“A lot of cottons, silks, knits, whatever the case may be,” Isom said.

Her business has made some major strides even during the chaos of 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic; Isom persevered and made a genuine contribution to the unprecedented times by adding homemade face masks to her selection of merchandise.

Chuck Isom, Isom’s father, emphasized how her talent for overcoming hurdles has led to her success—especially pertaining to her business.

“[Isom] has a remarkable ability to find solutions. No matter the obstacle, she will try, reset, and try again as many times as needed until she is able to reach her end goal,” he said. “It is truly a remarkable trait that I have rarely seen.”

As Highland’s Sterling Scholar in Business and Marketing, Isom has employed her talents to strategically market her business towards a high-school demographic. 

“I started on Instagram because it’s what a lot of my friends have; it’s a good outreach for [high-school-aged students],” Isom said.

While she found that she wasn’t as apt for website design, Isom has hopes for expanding her business onto Etsy or another online platform for small shops like her own. That said, she has high hopes amid the success of Hoop & Tied, which has about 340 followers on Instagram currently.

Isom’s father feels her unique aptitude for finding solutions, no matter what problem has presented itself, is key in her particular specialty.

“It is this [. . .] ability that [Isom] has to adapt, that I believe helps fuel her passion for business and marketing,” he said. “Markets change, consumer[s] demand changes, but being as flexible and easily adaptable as [Isom] is allows her to find [a] path to success every time.”

Looking back on her business journey, Isom believes her biggest accomplishment is how long she has continued it, especially through the more difficult periods.

“I would probably say my biggest achievement is how long I’ve continued to stick with it,” Isom said. “I’m pretty proud of myself. Sticking with anything for two years is not the easiest thing. It has its ups and downs and its long moments. But it’s fun and I enjoy it, which I think is part of why I was able to continue it for so long.”

Isom is optimistic for the future. She plans to major in business psychology, which will tie into her goals within her own entrepreneurship. While she wants to make sure she isn’t overwhelming herself, she hopes to continue growing her business throughout college. With her inspiring ingenuity and strong leadership, Isom, both her business and she, is destined for great things ahead.