Julia McKinney: Saddleback’s young entrepreneur

Trendy (H. Margaret Slye / Lariat)

Kristine Martinez


Julia McKinney, an 18-year-old Saddleback student is founder and creative director of online fashion shop, NeonSaints.com.

Falling for fashion at the young age of 15, McKinney started as an intern for Laguna Beach fashion store, LF. A store that she was later offered a job at the age of 16.

After working and interning for various fashion companies, McKinney was able to recognize the reality of the industry. She was able to determine what she did and did not enjoy in such a field.

McKinney wanted to continue working within the fashion industry while enrolled in school, and began selling accessories at house parties.

Shortly after participating in house parties, she recognized that her best choice would be creating her own online shop in order to continue work.

McKinney created online shopping site NeonSaints.com in 2012, following in the footsteps of entrepreneurship within her family and utilizing experiences from past internships.

Accommodating to all styles, the site sells merchandise including: dresses, leggings, heels, boots, necklaces and phone covers.

 “Neon Saints is a one-stop online fashion destination created for Babes that love fashion,” according to NeonSaints.com.

While maintaining 15 units at Saddleback, McKinney dedicates days away from school to her business. McKinney constantly updates Neon Saint’s social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), restocks, packages and ships orders and takes pictures of models.

Although the majority of work put into Neon Saints is done by McKinney, many of her friends contribute to the production by modeling merchandise, creating lookbooks, and writing blogs for the site.        

The site aims at a demographic of babes interested in fashion. “I named it Neon Saints because it represents my style for the site which is bright and trendy,” McKinney said.

McKinney claims her style is eclectic, but to better specify the look of who Neon Saints may represent, the site provides an example.

“We in vision her as the girl you always seem to wonder where she shops, leaving you wanting to know more about her. Her style is chic and trendy, yet she’s not afraid to pull off anything,” according to NeonSaints.com.

“The store has captured the attention of many girls’ eyes and heart.” 22-year-old fashion student Lauren Deister said. “From headbands to dresses and swim suites to shoes Neon Saints possesses all items a girl would ever want in a closet.”

 Items on NeonSaints.com range from $20 to $80.

Neon Saints has previously held two successful Pop up shops in the past, in which customers were able to try on and buy items at a designated location. For now Neon Saints is an online site but McKinney hopes to one day open a store within California.  

Going to school for fashion never sounded appealing to her, so the young 18-year-old entrepreneur hopes to attend USC or Loyal Mount university to major in public relations and minor in marketing.

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