In honor of Black History Month, FN is recognizing African-American movers and shakers in the shoe industry. From rising stars to accomplished executives, here’s how they’re making waves and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
While many a celebrity would be happy to slap his or her name on a fashionable item or two in hopes of cashing in on a lucrative partnership, Rasheeda Frost has built a reputation for being hands-on.
On any given day, the “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star and rapper can be found working the sales floor of her Atlanta-based clothing and accessories boutique Pressed, which last month opened a second location in Houston.
Although her drive to be present at every turn for her burgeoning fashion and beauty businesses is not without its challenges, Frost’s hyperinvolvement is undoubtedly a critical component of her success. (Pressed also carries Frost’s line of makeup products, Poiz Cosmetics.)
What made you want to pursue a career in the fashion industry?
“My love for it. I’ve always had a love for fashion. I have always been different, and fashion is something that I really enjoy. The thought of clothes, accessories and putting outfits together is exciting.”
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced along the way?
“Finding and building a good team. That would be in all aspects of the business. It’s tough finding a good backbone of support and dependable people.”
How did you overcome it?
“I think it’s just a process. If it were easy, you wouldn’t be going through the trouble. I don’t think you will always have the best answers or team. I think it’s about knowing and understanding you won’t have the same team forever. I’m a hands-on person because I always want to be at the top of my game.”
What advice would you give to your younger self?
“Learn how to practice patience a lot better. It’s important to be patient.”
Best advice for other African-Americans looking to enter the shoe industry and/or fashion?
“Be consistent. Know what you want to do, work hard, stop cutting corners — it isn’t about a quick lick. People who are extremely successful understand that it’s a process and takes time. Nowadays, kids aren’t consistent and don’t want to do the work it takes to be successful. Important people to set goals and create vision boards. Always ‘do you’ and don’t allow people on social media to deter you.”
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Black History Month Spotlight: Shoe Industry Veteran Noel Hord