How did Milano Di Rouge come to be?
I actually started by blogging. I had a blog – IAmMilanRouge.com where I gave love, beauty, motivational and fashion advice, this allowed me to build a loyal audience. After receiving 100,000 views on my blog I decided to just go for it and I begin the process of starting Milano Di Rouge apparel.
Who or what inspired you to branch out and start your own business?
I always wanted to start my own business. In March of 2011 as I sat in my macroeconomics class, I sent a group text to my sisters (1 biological sister and four stepsisters) telling them that I wanted to start a blog, and through the blog we could sell t-shirts and venture off into different avenues such as having really dope events, starting a shoe line, and wardrobe styling services. Everyone agreed, we came up with a name “GlamSissy”, we had a fish fry to raise money. The fish fry was a success, but it wasn’t enough. A year later I attempted to attack my dream again and this time I didn’t give up.
What pushes you to go harder? What’s your motivation? Do you ever feel like you want to give up?
There are times when I do feel like I want to give up but then I think what else would I be doing? But there’s nothing else I’d rather be do. I love fashion. Nothing else excites me like Milano Di Rouge.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
It’s challenging being a female in a male-dominated industry. You have to remain strong. You have to keep your self-respect in order for them to respect you.
From your MDR collection, what’s the most significant item to you?
The most significant item to me would be the MDR Signature t-shirt, it was my first design, its classic & timeless
Explain your thought process for the creation of the 5 cities tee
The 5 cities tee was actually named after the 5 fashion cities in the world, London, Paris, Milano, New York & Tokyo. The red cross is actually the flag for Milano, Italy.
Do you have a piece of advice for those who are trying to start their own business, but aren’t sure how to get it off the ground?
Do what makes you happy. Make sure it’s something that you want to do. You have to know why you’re doing it. That why is what will keep you moving forward.
Where do you see Milano Di Rouge in ten years? What’s in store for the future?
I see Milano Di Rouge being a household name. I also see a few flagship stores in various locations. I also would like to begin the Making Dreams Reality Foundation— something that we’re going to start working on very soon.
What final thought would you like your viewers?
It’s never too late to follow your dreams. More powerful than the will to win, is the courage to begin. You have to start somewhere.
Bonus Question: What’s your favorite movie?
Think Like a Man