Walk A Mile In My Shoes: Jessica Rich Shares Her Journey To Becoming A Celebrity Shoe Designer
It all started with $1,500 and a plan.
In 2015 Jessica Rich was based in PR when she decided to bet on herself create something tangible from her love of fashion. She’d already amassed a large social media following from her bubbly personality and short stint on the dating reality show, VH1’s “Real Chance of Love,” and wanted to leverage the visibility.
“I was aware that of used the 15 minutes of fame I had from the show I was on in 2009, so I moved to network for a few years and amplify the buzz I’d garnered,” Rich said. She explained that soon after, she started building an impressive contact list filled with celebrities, stylists and brand influencers. She then quickly realized that her keen fashion sense could be turned into multi-million dollar business. That’s when she launched her online store, initially selling costume jewelry, but quickly grew it into so much more.
“In 2017 I had $1,500 to create a prototype of a pair of transparent heels took 50photos, sent it to my list of influencers that I knew, they reposted it, and my business was birthed from there.”
Mere months later, she said she amassed enough revenue to walk away from her day job to expand her brand to include clothing, more shoe designs and eventually, bags.
The company’s success was swift, but it wasn’t entirely a surprise to her.
“My mom is a single parent, so I grew up with just watching her work two jobs, my brother, so she was always a hustler,” she shared. “But I think in my mind, I just never wanted to work for anyone else because my attitude with life was always like, ‘I’ll show up when I want to.’ Even if I had a job, I was always, ten minutes late. I moved to own rhythm. And my mom looks at me one day when I was a teen and said, ‘you’re going to own your own business one day.’”
And what a business it is.
To date, Jessica Rich, the brand, is sold in her own flagship stores, Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom among other retailers, and has been worn by Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, and Chloe Bailey among others.
Her latest iteration includes an expansion into sneakers touting her signature transparent style.
But with all of the success, she says she always feel like there’s more she has to learn as an entrepreneur.
“I’m always looking to grow,” she shared. “You can never educate yourself enough in business and that’s the exciting part about all of this.”
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