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From Rags to Riches and Pumps to Perfume

Steve Madden is not afraid to start from the bottom and sweep floors.

Image courtesy of Steve Madden
Steve Madden, a world famous shoe designer, wasn’t always rich and successful. Before he became a renowned entrepreneur, he started selling shoes in 1990 out of a trunk in his car. 28 years later today, Steve Madden is on top of the world, with both men and women all buying his shoes!

It is common for designers and fashion brands to create a makeup or a fragrance line. However, it is quite buzz worthy when a rags to riches shoes salesman, turned shoes designer, turned successful global entrepreneur launches a new perfume collection!

Steve Madden recently launched The Factory, his first ever fragrance collection. This new line of perfume is all about a woman’s different styles, mood, vibe and feel. It’s also wonderful for when the seasons change, especially now that fall just started. My favorite is Kiss My Rose, which excludes delicate rose petals that meld perfectly with geranium and warm woods.

I’m so happy to have been able to interview Steve Madden recently. It was inspiring, because it came from someone who lived it — someone who made it to the top from humble beginnings. See my Q&A with Steve Madden below on how to be a successful business person, and how different it is to be an entrepreneur today compared to 25 years ago.

Bev L: How has creating a successful business 25 years ago different than today?
Steve Madden: Digital technology changed the way I do business today. When the company first launched, having a retail presence was the topic of discussion, that has now grown into ecommerce and social media. Social media especially is so crucial now in any industry. It is one of the best vehicles to connecting directly to your consumer!


Bev L: What advice to you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Steve Madden: Don’t be afraid to start from the bottom, and sweep the floors if you have to!


Bev L: You’re prominent in the world of shoes. How did you come up with the idea of launching a fragrance collection called, The Factory?
Steve Madden: Fragrance to me is like picking a pair of shoes, they set your mood for the day. It really felt like a natural extension of what we already do. Our goal has always been to deliver the best in footwear, those same values go with perfume. The fact that we named it The Factory is a highlight for me, it’s a nod to the great Warhol and our headquarters in New York.


For more information about Steve Madden, visit here.

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