Starting a Shoe Business at a Young Age

January 29, 2001 | By | Reply More

QUESTION ON Starting a Shoe Business

I’m only 15 years old, but when I grow up I want to have my own shoe business. When I told this to my mum she said that I should start it now. Should I really start it now? And if I do how would I get started? –



Advice by Tammy Harrison

Dear Catherine:

Your mother is right, and it pleases me that you are taking heed of her instructions. I hope my children are that respectful when they reach your age.

I’d like to give you an example, so you can see what your mom means.

World class and Olympic gymnastics athletes begin lessons when they are about three years old. As they grow and learn, their teachers, coaches and parents are usually able to see if they have what it takes to be future champions. The adults are looking for body shape, a go-getter spirit, a child who has goals and reaches for them, and many other things that go into the young child who may be seen on our next Wheaties box. In essence, these youngsters, once they are encouraged and given the tools to succeed, are able to make it wherever they want to go because their mentors (and hopefully themselves) have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and can reach for it.

In your case, you are not looking to one single event for your future, you are looking for a career dream. What you can do right now may have a huge impact on making sure your tunnel is clear!

Of course, education is the number one thing you should focus on right now. Being able to study and learn is the most important thing that successful managers have going for them. Are you doing well in school? If not, what can you do to make things better? That’s your immediate concern. The next concern is, where are you going to go to college? Are there any that have excellent fashion design programs? Or, are you just wanting to own a shoe business? If so, where are the business schools you have interest in? Do some research to figure this one out. If you find a college that you want to go to, what is it going to take to get you in there? If you’ll need scholarships, that is yet another reason for you to have excellent grades in high school.

The basics of business include creating a business and marketing plan. That is what any single entrepreneur (or group) must write and develop to have a vision of their goal. To write good plans, you need to do more research. Visit other shoe shops, communicate with shoe designers — you can make a good dent in your understanding of the business just by talking with people!

Visions of our lives change as we grow. I think it’s great that you have a plan, and now you just need to spend your educational and formative years learning everything you possibly can so that you can achieve whatever dream you have. Listen….that’s the key to success, listening and taking notes!

Wishing you success,

Tammy Harrison

Recommended Resources on How To Start a Shoe Store

    How To Manage A Retail Shoe Store: A Series Of Essays By Prominent Retail Dealers (1888) How to manage a retail shoe store. A series of essays Fashion Entrepreneurship: Retail Business Planning, 2nd Edition The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a RetailStore

Article originally published in January 2001. Updated February 29, 2012Tammy Harrison is a successful home-based working mom for over five years. She holds a degree from Mizzou in Consumer Economics. Her business focuses on Marketing and Creativity for Small Businesses as well as numerous other small businesses.

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