Malcolm Linnehan-Herring: Entrepreneur and Global Dancer

Competing in international dancing competitions seems like a far-fletched idea for many teenagers, but for Malcolm Linnehan-Herring, it was all in a week’s work. Read more about his rise to international stardom, his retirement from dance, and his innovative new clothing company below.


Malcolm Linnehan-Herring, student entrepreneur, is dressed up head-to-toe in his clothing brand, Atlas Innovative

Andrew Yuen, Bear Hub Staff

I love to try new things with an open mind. For the last 5 years, I’ve competed as a professional ballroom dancer. I travelled throughout the world, from Blackpool, England to Assen, Netherlands, competing and representing the United States of America. But, training at such a high level throughout the entirety of my adolescent years took a permanent toll on my body. Waking up at 4:30 everyday to workout, then going to school, then training for 6 hours every single day, not including overnight flights, driving to competitions, etc., dance became a double-edged sword leading me to undergo 3 surgeries in 4 years. Understanding my body needed rest, I made the hard decision to retire from dance. Despite my many accomplishments in the dance world, my new passion evolved from the creation of my company Atlas Innovative, an athletic wear company. Today, I spend hours doing photoshoots, hosting venues for clients, designing new clothing, traveling to expos, writing blogs, filming training videos and generally, everything required to manage a company. My background in photography gave me a competitive edge because, recently, I was picked up as a creator working within the VSCO circuit, and they publish my images and provide me a community for feedback. Creativity is at the forefront of my life; everything I do is art in itself because it’s all based around interpretation and creation.

Atlas has shaped me in more ways than one. Primarily, it’s important to understand that I use Atlas to convey my thoughts and ideas. I’ve always been an ambivert – I have big goals and I like to get out of my comfort zone to do them, but I’m always insecure to give myself credit where’s it deserved. Therefore, with Atlas, I’ve been granted the opportunity to be who I really am and express my thoughts on life and athletics and interact with people who I never thought I would before. Furthermore, Atlas Innovative, despite the cliche, is like my “baby”; every dollar I make, I put back into it. Growing Atlas from scratch, it has taught me how to be a better person, to interact and speak, and most importantly, it’s forced me to mature. Maturity in business is a critical key because I am only 17–16 when I started–and the number one insecurity when talking to gyms, clothing stores and other business owners, is the fact that I think they believe I’m too young and inexperienced to have the capacity to create such a powerful brand. Despite me creating Atlas from the ground up, Atlas has broken me down and created me into the best version of myself I am.

I have no idea. I take each day as it comes. At the moment I am juggling running Atlas Innovative, my Youtube channel “Malcolm Charles” and going to school, all of which require significant time and energy. To be able to tell which will take priority in the coming years is completely at random and truly based on whichever makes me happiest and provides me the most satisfaction. It would be naive of me to place myself 10 years in the future when I’m sure my life will be completely different as I will be a different person too. But, that’s not to say I don’t have goals for myself. For example, in my business there are goals at scale which I want to accomplish and there are goals for my personal life as well: being independent, moving out, and just embodying who I am as I get older. I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason for so wherever life takes me I will be forced to adapt, change, and embrace. Although I can’t change the direction of the wind I can change the direction of my sail to help me get to my final destination.