Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion and clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Aaron Sharp, Founder of Mandeaux, located in Anchorage, AK, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Mandeaux (pronounced man-dough) is a luxury lifestyle brand that is sought after by socially conscious high, performing business professionals, athletes, and celebrities.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Aaron Sharp, and I started Mandeaux in 2019 when I realized there weren’t many black-owned luxury shoe brands. I noticed black celebrities and athletes merely collaborated with the large brands rather than owning them. Additionally, designer brands were not giving back to their clients and communities. Nor was it common to see rewards or referral programs offered by high-end brands. I wanted to change all of that and also educate people on how important construction and high-quality materials are when selecting footwear.
Giving people an example of how a black-owned brand can be an industry leader in luxury footwear and world-class customer service is what motivates me every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
While Mandeaux has been featured in various publications (both locally and internationally, my biggest accomplishment thus far is receiving our official paperwork for having registered trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Nowadays, it’s extremely difficult to get a registered trademark; being able to protect my intellectual property is a huge deal, and it puts everyone on notice that Mandeaux is spoken for.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is “not knowing.” You’ll certainly get the feeling of not knowing if you made the right decision. You’ll experience not knowing exactly how much money you’ll make this month or this year, not knowing if your efforts will be enough. The one thing that’s certain about being an entrepreneur is you’ll encounter unknowns.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Change your mindset. In order to get things done, you’ll need to have a solid routine, discipline, habits, and focus.
- Do your research. Whatever type of business you’re looking to start, research the industry, your competitors, and what it’s going to take for you to succeed. If possible, have proof of concept before you invest your time, money, and energy into something that could quite possibly be a flop.
- Act. Don’t get so caught up on the research and getting everything right that you don’t make progress. Start today and make corrections as you go.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.