THERE'S AVERAGE, THEN THERE'S ELITE
Meet Carleigh: A 23-Year-Old Female Powerhouse, Athlete, and Entrepreneur
Imagine being a college dropout, a retired elite athlete, and only 23 years old, yet already a successful business owner. That’s the remarkable story of Carleigh, the driving force behind Elite Custom Apparel.
Hi, I’m Carleigh. At just 23 years old, I’m the proud owner of Elite Custom Apparel, a New Jersey-based custom apparel business. My journey to this point has been nothing short of extraordinary, marked by years of dedication, hard work, and a deep-rooted passion for excellence.My story began when I was a wide-eyed 6-year-old, introduced to the world of gymnastics by my parents. Little did I know that this would become the foundation for my work ethic and determination. I fell in love with the sport and poured countless hours into training, steadily progressing until I reached the elite level. My journey even took me to Texas, where I trained at the prestigious National Training Center facility, Karolyi Ranch, as a part of the National TOPs Team. With dreams of the Olympics in my sights, I stood second in the nation, right behind New Jersey native and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist, Laurie Hernandez.
However, life can change in an instant. A life-altering accident involving my brother reshaped my priorities, emphasizing the importance of family and the fragility of life. I decided to redirect my aspirations towards an NCAA scholarship, and in October 2015, during my sophomore year of high school, I received a full athletic scholarship to Western Michigan University. There, I majored in business and competed on a Division 1 NCAA gymnastics team. Yet, despite my achievements, something felt incomplete.
After a year away, I returned home, transferred to Rutgers University, and accepted the opportunity to compete for Rutgers Gymnastics, a BIG10 school. While pursuing a business degree, I was struck by a long-term injury that led to my medical retirement from gymnastics. The onset of COVID-19 brought further uncertainty as schools closed and quarantine left me searching for my identity.
In the midst of this uncertainty, inspiration struck. My mom possessed a single heat press and experience in the embroidery business. Rather than wait for life to happen, I decided to take action. Thus, my journey as an entrepreneur began.
On July 10th, 2020, at the tender age of 20, I established Elite Custom Apparel LLC. What started in my dad’s basement swiftly expanded into a 2200 sq ft warehouse, where we create custom designs and apparel, transforming dreams into reality for our customers. At ECA, we hold dear the values of supporting our troops and first responders. Our team is not just a team; we’re a family.
Today, at 23, I stand as proof that the American dream is alive and well. I firmly believe that by thinking big, dreaming big, and believing big, the results will be nothing short of extraordinary.
Welcome to Elite Custom Apparel, where we turn your custom apparel dreams into stunning reality.
- Monday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Tuesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Wednesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Thursday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed