Written by The Strategy
It’s time for the world to realize that the future is female. There are so many female entrepreneurs who inspire us and we wanted to know more about how they got their companies off the ground. Welcome to our series: The Future Is Female, where we sit down with inspiring female entrepreneurs and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how their companies operate.
As a woman of colour, after unsuccessfully spending years scouring the market for nude shoes to compliment colourful attire, Rebecca Allen decided to fill the void in the marketplace. As a vice president at Goldman Sachs for five years, Rebecca left her role and launched her eponymous footwear brand. The goal of of the company was to create a ‘nude’ shoe that was specifically targeted to Black and Brown women, who have often been overlooked in the ‘nude’ shoe category. Offering 3 classic styles in a range of skin tones, Rebecca Allen managed to take a leap and create a product that many women have been searching for, and we love her for it.
Excitingly, the Rebecca Allen footwear brand recently launched at Nordstrom, and will have new styles coming out in the fall.
Without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to the badass female founder, Rebecca Allen.
What made you start Rebecca Allen?
I’d spent a long time searching for the “perfect shoe,” a style staple that could seamlessly blend into my wardrobe and complement my skin tone. The problem was that I could never find it and I’d been looking a long time, ever since I entered the working world. I spent most of my career, prior to launching Rebecca Allen, wearing business formal or business casual attire. For many (White) women, the “nude pump” has always been a staple, living under their desks at work because it just goes with everything. For me, however, instead of blending in to balance a patterned dress, every “nude” I found was a pop of color against my brown skin. The limited color range wasn’t flattering to my skin tone and because I couldn’t find footwear that was a perfect fit for me, I made it. Founding Rebecca Allen was more a fashion solution than a fashion statement. I just got to a place where I needed the shoe that badly and I knew if I was feeling that way, then so were other women of color. I launched Rebecca Allen for me and for them.
How did you come up with the name?
Well, when I looked around the shoe floor of department stores it was mostly names of founders or designers, so it was an easy choice!
What was the biggest struggle or hurdle?
Being a small team and managing time/resources in the best way. I was always asking myself, “what is the most impactful thing I can be doing right now to drive this forward?”
What inspires the Rebecca Allen brand?
We are most inspired by our customers and the opportunity to boost confidence through feeling comfortable in your own skin. At the heart of all of our decisions is thinking about our customers’ needs and how she moves through space. We want her to feel effortless at every turn and we know that she often has so many things on her mind that we want to make one thing easier for her. We want her to be ready to roll, like the feeling when you have on an outfit that’s really a reflection of who you are.
Has there been a moment when you’ve realized you were making it?
Haha – Not yet.
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
Get going. Big ideas still need to be broken down into smaller steps so you can always work with what you have to start moving toward your goal. Be resourceful and keep moving forward.