Wow time flys.....
My last blog was July 8, 2020 and even then I was not keeping up with it as much as I used to. I started my blog back in 2014 when I turned 30 years old. I wanted to give my audience a little more of who I was and how I really lived my life. Sometimes social media only gives us so much from a Instagram post and a few stories. Well lets catch you up on the last year and half! so much has happened. I had a retail store on Melrose that I opened in summer of 2018 that was going really well for the first year. It was my first location and my customers really loved that we had a place to touch and feel the shoes in person. Fast forward to 2020 the Pandemic was such a shock to the world most stores on Melrose closed down including mine. We were ordered to stay home in our homes so there was no reason to have retail hours. My staff and I still operated from the store and still shipped out all online orders and handled customer service. My landlord was also so nice and gave me a 20% discount on the rent that I still had to pay even though we were not open. I one day got a call from a friend who had a store at the Beverly Center which is one of the most known malls in LA. She said they had a lot of empty stores and she was confident if I moved I would get an amazing covid deal on it. I went right away and took a look at the places that they did have available. The staff there showed me the available stores they said " we have the perfect location for you" He walks me to floor 7 where all the Luxury brands were, I was thinking what store does he want to give me?! We get to Fendi and then Tiffanys and next to Versace he bends down to open the store that was behind a white door. In my head I was thinking to myself wasnt this the Giuseppe Zanotti store!?
Then we walk in and sure enough it was...he said " I thought this would be the perfect store for you since you sell shoes". I swear I wanted to faint.... Never in the history of my short 3 years of selling and designing shoes did I think I would be taking over a legend who has been around for so long who has stores all over the US! I said to him I LOVE IT! BUT HOW MUCH? He said he would give me a deal I could not refuse. That day I got the lease and yes the price was beyond great because of covid so I signed it immediately for one year. Giuseppe Zanotti closed all of his US stores and it was a blessing for me being able to fill such huge shoes in that space. My lease was still on Melrose and I had to break it to my landlord that I would be leaving for a really big opportunity and he understood and let me out of my lease. I got my keys Oct 1, 2020 and we had sooo much moving to do to prepare for my new opening. With all of the covid rules I was not able to do a grand opening event or anything but we still let our customers know we had moved and the new location was so exciting. I was in between Versace and Fendi across from YSL and Gucci.
I started my shoe line in summer of 2017 for fun never thinking I would be where I am today. It has been such an amazing journey full of learning experiences and so many hurdles but it has been so rewarding and I couldn't be happier with my brand and my life. Shortly after we opened the weekend of black friday 2020 my staff gets a phone call. She comes back to the office and says" Jessica Nordstroms just called they wanted to see if you wholesale". I said to her WHO JUST CALLED?!!!! I remember running back and forth in my office 50 times and screaming. I immediately called them back and the buyer said she has been trying to get a hold of me all summer. I said how? she said she was calling the Melrose number and since we were not there much we never saw the call. She said she wanted to get an order in right away for Nordstroms online and 5 stores.
I was on the phone secretly crying with tears down my face trying to keep my cool and talk at the same time. This was GOD and something he knew I wanted this for so long but I knew I was not ready yet for it back then. We had no idea how to work with retail stores. I was in Macys before once for a pop up at one location in Detroit but this was a whole new bigger situation. Nordstroms sent over the first order to us and I fell on the ground the amount of shoes I had never produced at once. I called my factory immediately to insure we could get it done in the time line they requested. Sure enough they said yes no problem. Fast forward we got the shipment in about 2 months and shipped it out to the stores. I launched in summer of 2021 in NYC, LA THE GROVE, MIAMI, VEGAS, & HOUSTON stores. I remember searching my shoes on their website and there I was pulling up next to Jessica Simpson and brands that have been around for ages. That is when it all set in...... I made it.... I felt I had already made it with the countless celebs and women and customers in my shoes but this was a different made it. I was now nationally known as a real shoe designer. All the sleepless nights hard work and sacrifice had really paid off. I have worked so hard since leaving my family in 2006 from Michigan to me moving to NYC ALONE to try to figure out what I wanted to be. Then to move from NYC to LA alone again in 2010 to continue the 15 mins of fame I had from the VH1 show I did back in 2008. I just let one thing lead to the next and here we are. I do miss my family back home and I have missed so many moments with them and years building my brand. Its not always easy as a self made person the rewards are amazing but you have to also give up so much.
Since Nordstroms our expansion from 5 stores to 20 as of December 2021 we were also approached by DSW which I am also now sold at as well. We also just launched at Bloomingdales in November 2021. This is all a dream come true and I couldn't have been more excited to set the example for others who felt like I did that this was impossible a new brand to now be sitting next to brands we have known to trust for years. I want to be the girl who tells you to never give up and ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. If you build it they will come! Never loose sight of who you are and where you want to be! It will all happen for you when you least expect it. I PROMISE