What Can Entrepreneurs Learn From Tamara Mellon?

What Can Entrepreneurs Learn From Tamara Mellon?

Tamara Mellon is a British fashion entrepreneur and well-known shoe designer who co-founded the luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo and later created her own self-titled luxury footwear brand. She is no stranger to the spotlight. As the daughter of the late Tom Yeardye, a Rock Hudson stunt double, who was a partner in Vidal Sassoon, and Ann Davis Yeardye, former Chanel model.

Tamara was an assistant fashion editor at British Vogue, where she met shoe designer Jimmy Choo. In 1996, Mellon suggested the duo go into business together and the Jimmy Choo brand we all know today was born. Unfortunately, in the following decade, the company bounced back and forth between private equity owners. Mellon felt lost and wasn’t happy. She left in 2011 and sold her share of the company for an estimated $135 million.

For most of her career, Mellon had been known for one name: Jimmy Choo. She decided she wanted to build a new kind of brand, and started her own company – named after herself this time. She wanted to do things differently: instead of large collections released each season, Mellon decided to release her products every month. She understood that women didn’t want to see products months before they could buy it or wear it, they wanted the luxury of now.

Retailers were intrigued, and Tamara set up meetings with investors who contributed $24 million. But then, a roadblock happened. Investors and retailers said she was trying to do things too differently. They wanted her to build her Tamara Mellon shoe brand the same way she had built Jimmy Choo. And that wasn’t what she wanted.

She chose to stick with the path she initially envisioned. Tamara wanted to run her company the way she wanted – not how anyone else wanted her to run it. She believed in herself and her own experience, which is the first thing all entrepreneurs can learn from Tamara Mellon. She stepped out of her comfort zone to not only leave Jimmy Choo, but to build her own company from scratch, on her own terms.

Believing in ourselves is something we, as entrepreneurs, need to do on a daily basis. We need to trust our own experiences, listen to ourselves and not let others dictate the way our companies are run. We need to press forward when others think we are doing it incorrectly.

Tamara didn’t let those investors or retailers slow her down. She pressed forward. She kept her vision of the way she wanted her brand to be, and she worked toward it. When retailers kept resisting, Tamara decided to stop focusing on retailers and instead, built a direct-to-consumer company. This scared some investors, but she found others who believed in her and supported her.

This leads us to the second valuable point that we can learn from Tamara Mellon – she had the tenacity to overcome adversity. How many times, as entrepreneurs, are we afraid of adversity? It’s only natural to be afraid, but we need to press on. We need to believe in what we know is best and overcome those that press against us. It is possible to find the people and investors who believe in us and our company and trust us to build it the way we want to.

A third admirable quality that I think we can learn from Tamara Mellon, is the way she promotes and runs her shoe line. She has empowered the female consumer and was determined to build a female-led company. The brand Tamara Mellon is a footwear brand designed for women, by women. Tamara isn’t afraid of diversity. By featuring women of all skin tones in her ads, she appeals to women around the globe, no matter their ethnicity.

And last, but not least, what woman doesn’t enjoy an amazing pair of shoes? You know that quote, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world?" Well, that’s true – and Tamara Mellon knows it! The right pair of Tamara Mellon shoes can change your whole attitude, make you feel more confident and give you the feeling that you can accomplish just about anything. Knowing that your shoes are made and designed by successful women, and all the hard work they put into them, makes them even better!

So, to close, there are many qualities that entrepreneurs can learn from Tamara Mellon. Her self-belief, tenacity to overcome adversity, investment in other women, and her ability to create an amazing pair of shoes are just a few. If we put these techniques to use in our own businesses, we can conquer anything we set out to accomplish. Remember, “The only time you should let your head down is to admire your shoes!”

About the author, Sheles Wallace

Sheles is an award-winning business coach who gets results for her clients.
For over 15 years, she has helped business owners achieve their goals and
take their businesses to the next level. If you're ready to take the next
step in your business evolution and go from an owner who wears all hats to
creating a commercial, profitable enterprise that runs without you, find out

more here: https://calendly.com/sheles/introduction?month=2021-06