Vanessa and Angela Simmons chatted with Black Enterprise about how they built their Pastry empire from four sneakers to having a children’s line, Barbie dolls, and even sportswear:
Check out the video here:
Yes, the sisterpreneurs Vanessa, 27, and Angela, 23, Simmons are the daughters of hip-hop pioneer Rev. Run (of Run DMC fame) and nieces of uber-entreprenuerRussell Simmons. And yes, the young ladies didenter our lives (and our consciousness) thanks to reality TV.
But these young women were determined to make a name for themselves by going beyond simply leveraging their TV success. Instead, they positioned themselves to call their own shots by getting their feet wet as young entrepreneurs. The result? Pastry Footwear, their successful clothing and accessories line. Since launching Pastry in 2007 with one sneaker collection, the company has expanded into a multimillion-dollar brand that includes junior apparel, dress shoes, kidswear, accessories, and handbags, and is sold in more than 15 countries–all under the design, concept and constant management of the sisters themselves.
BlackEnterprise.com talked with Vanessa and Angela about the perks and sticky points of working with family, about how challenges can serve as motivation, and about their plans to go beyond gear and get young women moving by promoting fitness.
LESSON 1: Just because you’re given a golden chance, doesn’t mean you can just kick your feet up.
Angela: Nothing’s given to you, because once you get the opportunity, you still have to put in the work. We’re hands on [with the business]: We have meetings, take calls, choose what we like, what we don’t like. We pick colors and fabrics.
Vanessa: At the end of the day, men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t. Results have motivated me to keep going despite challenges or naysayers.
Read the rest here.