Rebecca Allen, The Woman Creating Nude Pumps for ALL Skin Tones
Born and back in Brooklyn, New York, Rebecca Allen worked in asset management with high net worth families and smaller institutions before making the leap last year to start her eponymous footwear brand Rebecca-Allen. Her newly launched and inaugural line of power pumps currently come in five shades of nude for all shades of women. Rebecca is a poised and powerful woman, in the midst of forging her way into the world of startup fashion with an important and powerful mission. We sat down to learn more about her mission, motivation and path to launching her brand.
Can you tell us how you came to start your company, Rebecca-Allen?
The concept is very much born out of my own pain point. As a black woman wearing business formal or business casual attire every day, I always wanted a “nude” pump that would complement my complexion and achieve the same seamless, fashion solution that my white counterparts have been afforded by every major footwear company. I thought it was insane that there was nothing in the marketplace designed with me and other women of color in mind!
I am committed to telling the stories of women, and particularly women of color, across industries. Sharing and celebrating our goals, successes, and even failures are at the core of cultivating this community.
What was your thought process behind creating an eponymous brand?
I put my name on the brand to stand behind the product and the identity. I want to engage in an authentic way and I want my customers to know that I’m cheering for them. I also find it so perplexing that the shoe floor in department stores is dominated by male designers! I want women to know that I’m here trying on the shoes and that we’re aligned in the pursuit of style, quality and wearability.
What has the transition to corporate to startup life been like?
It’s been a breath of fresh air! I’m also really trying to focus on bringing consistent structure to my day. Working for myself comes with such a different dynamic - there is always something I can be doing to move my business forward.
It must be a big shift in terms of self-management. Where do you get the motivation it takes to run a startup?
Seeing how excited women are that I’m offering something created with them in mind is really motivating. Also, I am driven by the terror of failure!
Do you have a favorite success tip you’ve received over the years?
It is so simple, but following up to thank people for their time and insight, whether by email or a handwritten note, goes a long way! I ask so many people for favors so when someone in my network connects me with someone new I always drop them a note once we’ve actually met. And I always try to pay that kindness forward when I’m in a position to do so.
In terms of networking, do you have any dream partnerships?
I'm working on a few that I am very excited about. Stay tuned...
We understand and will certainly be watching closely. Is there anything you can share as far as next steps in developing your business?
I am rolling out the launch, getting the word out and working on the next styles!
Will you use technology to shape the future of your brand?
My hope is that technology will let brands like me leverage data to deliver better products and experiences to customers.
I think start-ups and older incumbents alike are grappling with what the future of a multi-channel distribution model will look like for retail. Being small and new affords some nimbleness for testing new technology, recognizing that some systems that seem essential to doing business today probably won’t be around in a few years.
What does FemmBoss mean to you?
To me FemmBoss is defining success on your own terms and being truthful with yourself in that pursuit. I think it’s also recognizing that no one’s success precludes your own and we are all more powerful and effective when we collaborate.
Last question! Do you have advice for FemmBosses on the rise?
Building consensus is helpful, but at a certain point you have to make a decision and move forward. Don’t overthink it!
Thank you Rebecca, and everyone please check her new line out!